The email inbox is piling up, voice mail reached it’s capacity days ago and it’s before noon. Finally, the company is looking into developing a piece to leave with potential customers in case they are not in the buying mood immediately. This might be extreme, but it’s probably affected most offices at some point!
Why do some companies insist on using their front office staff, who is already burdened with paperwork, to design these pieces, when in the long run a graphic designer is going to end up being cleaner, and most likely will create a design that won’t be put in the trash?
The answer, according to most companies, is money. The thought being that utilizing your staff, who is already in the office, to design your materials will save you money over hiring another company who does the same thing for a living.
The inherent flaw with this thought is a combination of many factors that turns out to be more expensive for said company (unless of course your staff is full of graphics designers experienced in creating fantastic designs, in which case, you’ve hit the jackpot!). Let’s take a look at a few of the costs involved with using your front office staff compared to a graphics designer.
The first factor is time. There is a lot of time that goes into creating a visually attractive piece. When the front office is hampered by trying to manage multiple tasks while still trying to be creative enough for an eye-catching piece, they are often tugged in two different directions. This will lead to sloppy performance at both ends of the spectrum. On one hand, general office work will be hampered thus slowing productivity within the office, leading to less money. All the while the final product’s image will most likely be compromised and turn out poorly.
Hey Jane, after you're done with the invoices, patient receipts, staff calendar, appointment follow up and my coffee, could you design a brochure for us?
The second factor to consider is the design itself. The idea of design was touched on briefly above, however, utilizing your front office staff compared to that of a trained designer can be costly on the back-end. When a graphics designer puts together a project, they will take into account the brand image along with the image of the overall piece. The designer will combine their training with knowledge they’ve gained from previous projects to create the new piece. If front office staff works on the project, chances are good that it will be their first time and typically issues will arise that slow the process down and ultimately will leave the project looking ineffective. On the front end you will spend a little more with the graphic designer, however the project will be completed on time, with a great design that is sure to keep customers aware of the company’s name (top of mind awareness).
Finally, a factor that should be considered when deciding on whether or not to use a graphic designer, is your customers, both current and potential. The current customer likes to know that your business is not going out of business. Nice looking pieces convey the message of financial strength. When others notice your financial strength, they will be more inclined to become your customer because they trust what you are doing. A graphic designer makes an impact here because they have designed something that will not only look impressive to your current customers, but may in fact add more customers on look alone.
Take for example a loyal customer of 5 years, how much are they worth to the company? $5,000? $15,000? $100,000? More? Paying a little more for a great graphics design on the front end can mean big payouts in the end.