As a small business owner, you likely strive to cut corners. After all, you feel every penny leaving your company, so spending money unnecessarily isn’t in your vocabulary. But do you realize there are some things you absolutely shouldn’t skimp on? Doing so can keep your company from growing, and can make you look unprofessional.

1. Graphic Design

Trust me on this one: early on, I tried designing my own company logo. It didn’t go well. Because your logo and your marketing collateral are the first things people see of your brand, you want to ensure that what they see is professionally designed and visually appealing. And unless you’re a designer yourself, you’ll have to hire a graphic designer to get the look.

But don’t despair: graphic designers are much more affordable these days. You can hire a freelancer, or even an aspiring college student, at a reasonable price. You can also look at crowdsourcing options like 99Designs, which let you get multiple concepts from different artists for a low price.

2. Web Design

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to lately who are dealing with shady web designers that just up and leave before the project is done. To them, I say: you get what you pay for. Now, I’m not suggesting you drop $10,000 on a website (they’re actually much more affordable), but if you’re trying to get a complete professional design for $100, you can’t complain when your designer says he’s too hung over to finish the project.

We judge businesses heavily on their websites. If they’re cluttered and flashy, we leave. That’s the equivalent of walking out of a store because it wasn’t inviting to shop in. Your website can make or break sales, so it’s worth it to invest in making it look appealing.

3. Marketing

Some business owners do a great job of marketing their brands. Others…not so much. Or maybe you’re good at it, but you just don’t have the time to spend managing your social media profiles and staying on track with your marketing strategy. In that case, hire someone to do it for you. This could be a full-time employee, if need and budget permit, or a freelancer or agency. Whatever option you choose, make sure you communicate your marketing needs and goals clearly and be involved in the planning process initially.

Many businesses assume they can manage without marketing, but the truth is: every business needs it. Even if sales are through the roof today, you can’t guarantee what tomorrow will bring, and marketing provides you with a plan to maintain steady sales, even through hard times.

Rather than skimp on these services, cut corners elsewhere. These are, after all, services that make your company more professional looking and appealing to potential customers. Maybe you can cut out the gourmet coffee in the breakroom instead.

Another area not to skimp on? Your business filings! If you need to file a DBA or incorporate, contact one of our business experts here at to get started.