One thing that used to plague me in the early stages of my career was the massive load of DIY options available to small business owners as they started on their design journey. For some crazy reason, I thought of these things like direct competition.

It took me years to let it go, but I am so thankful that I did. While some of these tools are insanely helpful (I used them allllllll the time in my old businesses before becoming a designer) and they can really help newbies get the ball rolling, I had an epiphany that changed my whole perspective.

Every tool has a place.

For some who do not understand design concepts, industry standards, or even what the word “branding” means, DIY options feel like a godsend. For some who are just starting out, they cannot afford professional help. For some who are just stubborn, they do not WANT professional help.

And you know what? That is all peachy keen. I am not for everyone, but I know now what a solid brand designer, web designer, and/or strategist can do for a business. I know the power of imagery and graphics. I know exactly where to go, what to do, and how to get to the next level.

When business owners are READY to step up their game and have the time/money/mental capacity to attack it with a helping hand, they will.

But how do you know if you are ready?

I LOVE to work with clients who have been in business for at least 2-5 years. They have some of the basics (product lines, service lists, past customers/clients, etc.) built up. They have an idea of where they want their business to go. They have a basic understanding of their ideal clients. And most importantly, they are ready to let someone like me into that inner circle.

Every tool has a place. Don’t let anyone shame you for doing whatever it took you to get to where you are, but also keep an open mind and watch for signs that you are ready to step your game up. I’ll be here to help.