I’ve had to make quite a few logo’s in my time and there are a few ways to get them done. My preference these days is actually to do them via a crowdfunding site but for the sake of completeness let’s discuss the various options.
Working with an advertising agency can be very beneficial. They can help you decide on a design if you don’t have one, work with you on the concept and the overall colour scheme and finally manage the relationship with the designer themselves. However, with an agency you are paying for their expertise and this is probably the most expensive option.
With a direct relationship model, you work directly with the graphic designer to create your logo. With a direct relationship model, the danger is in making sure you picked the right designer in the beginning (skill levels and aesthetics vary widely) and then communicating your design to them in a way that they understand. In a direct relationship, the need to provide clear design direction is a must – you don’t have the back-up of an agency to work with you on this. The biggest advantage in a direct relationship model is that often, you can get the logo’s done at a cheaper price.
In a crowd-funding environment; you work with a variety of designers by providing the job description on a website and multiple designers apply to win the design prize. You have much of the same disadvantages in terms of design direction at a higher price. In addition, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a design you look. The big advantage of a crowd-funding option is that you can generally find some great designs (especially if you are willing to up your project price); and sometimes the designers will come back with new, cool ideas that you’d never have thought of yourself.
When you can, get on terms. It’s probably one of the best ways of improving a business cash flow. There are 2 ways to get on terms actually – one directly with a supplier, the second via a credit card. The best option of course is to have terms with a supplier who then charges your credit card – but few businesses will do that.
However, one thing I’ve noticed being on terms is the number of suppliers who call me up to thank me for paying on time. I feel it’s just good business practise – but it’s obviously striking enough of a difference that my suppliers are grateful for it.
My personal view is that you should always pay on time, because it gives you leverage. And leverage is nice when you want to start negotiating for new terms / rates. It helps you get rid of specific onerous terms because you have given them (at very little cost to yourself) something important to them – payments on time.
A recent example is our web developers. They asked for payment for hours worked; I said okay. Initially, they wanted me to pay the 2% fee for a credit card; but I requested they remove that as I was paying on time and they agreed. And just like that – a 2% savings. Not a huge amount of money; it’s only $60 or so but it keeps them happy and I’ve still got another 30 or so days to pay off the bill as it all goes on my credit card anyway (and rewards!).
However, one thing you do need to keep an eye on if you intend to pay everyone on time is your casfhlow. Specifically, creating an Emergency Fund. Whether it’s a Line-of-Credit that you can tap (when needed) or actual capital; you should always have an emergency fund for when cashflow is just a little tighter than you expected or some new expense crops up. Like personal finance, an emergency fund is necessary; important and all too often forgotten.