Don't Cut Costs, Ever

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There’s a lot of talk these days about how to cut business costs. There are plenty of blog posts in the universe about the subject and you know what’s usually first on the list of things to cut corners on? You guessed it. Digital trades. You need a logo? Try Fiverr. You’re looking for a website. Wix has you covered. Need someone to build a smartphone app? Freelancer has got your back. The general message is, “what your business needs is worth outsourcing to Bangladesh for pennies on the dollar because to hell with the professionals in your own country who are trying to make a living.”

That’s complete and utter garbage.

Would you trust someone from Fiverr to do your business’ accounting? Probably not. So why trust any part of your business with someone who’s offering a cut rate service? You shouldn’t, it’s that simple. Anybody offering their services at a price that low doesn’t value their own work and sure as hell isn’t going to value yours. The business world is looking at what designers and developers do and is trying to convince the small business market that they don’t need us. Fiverr is a multi-million dollar business (an estimated $646m to be exact) and Freelancer is worth $10m. These companies make their money by undercutting services and convincing you (the small business owner) that this cuts down on your overhead.

Let’s say that you don’t care about the profitability of other businesses because, “it’s free market economics blah blah blah...” and let’s take a look at what specifically using a cut-rate contractor does to your bottom line.

It's role-play time! 

Scenario 1) You contract someone through to make a new logo for your small business. This person gets it done for about 32.00 USD and the turnaround is lightning quick. They get you a copy of the logo and you’re excited to make business cards. Turns out the logo they gave you isn’t in the right format. You have to contact the designer again and they tell you they’re going to charge you for different format because their design agreement only covers one format. Getting another logo is going to cost you another 32.00 USD and the headache of having to wait again. Bummer. A few months later, you decide that you want to have a sign made for your business and the printshop wants a high resolution file of the logo but the only ones you have are original that was given to you and the one that was made specifically for your business cards. You try to contact the designer through Freelancer and they don’t respond. You wait a couple of weeks, putting your whole sign project on hold. They never get back to you. Now you’re forced to find someone else to reconstruct your current logo for you. Most designers (even the cut-rate ones) will refuse to do this and instead insist that you pay them to make you a new logo. This whole process of getting a logo has become a headache and cost you a lot more than the discount you thought you were getting. You cry softly anytime someone mentions the words “graphic design.”

Scenario 2) You find a guy on Fiverr who’s willing to make you a WordPress template for your blog. His listed price is only 30.00 USD which is much cheaper than what was quoted to you by your local designer. He makes your template but you notice that it’s not quite what you wanted. Then you notice that it doesn’t look different than the other templates he’s made for other people. You contact him about making something custom for your business specifically. He explains that it would be more money. You mention that you want ecommerce added to it and he says it’s going to be even more. This $30.00 project ends up being almost $300 by the time you get everything you want. “That’s still cheaper than the $600 that was quoted to me,” you think to yourself as you browse your new website. You start to notice that the formatting is off in places and contact your new best friend and he explains that it is what it is. Determined to not have a website that works properly, you contract someone else to clean up his work. They tell you it’s going to cost roughly $300. Now you’re up to $600 and this project has taken a lot longer than it would have had you just hired your local designer. Your business page on Facebook gets a comment about how they can’t find what they’re looking for on your website and your nose starts to bleed a little.

These two scenarios, although extreme, are based on true horror stories from businesses who have had tried to cut costs. These services cost you more in time and money in the long run than it would have been just to pay more and hire a designer/developer who can actually provide you with an exceptional and personal experience.

Design firms don’t exist to milk you for every penny you’ve got. They exist to make your brand/project/business look like a million bucks and they’ve spent a lot time perfecting how to do that. For everything that goes into a single project: every thought, every bit of planning and every bit of prototyping, there’s experience, discipline and love. These are things that cut-rate services lack. Design firms exist to give you the best possible product that they can because this is their passion and their expertise.

That’s something that Fiverr just doesn’t do.

Published on
October 6, 2016
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About the Author

Alex is 30-years-old. Alex has been working on graphic design since he was 15. 30-15 = 15. 15! 15 years of graphic design experiences. When Alex is not working on graphic design, he likes to write stories and play vidya games.

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