Setting up a business on a startup budget can be pretty daunting. How does one decide how best to allocate the funds? Key business decisions such as the one above would ultimately be yours to figure out. When you are just starting out, amidst all the other expenses, the last thing you would want is to hire a designer to take care of your business’s creative requirements. Social media posts, posters and flyers, business cards…are all important, but it wouldn’t be wise to hire somebody just for this purpose. It would make sense to have an in-house designer once your business has at least 20-25 members, but not before.
Approaching an ad agency is also a bit of a stretch on a start-up budget. If you want to save your hard-earned money, and if you are ready to give it a shot yourself, you can design your own posters and flyers with the help of a bunch of online tools that are available for free. All you need is an open mind to try something new, since there is absolutely no learning involved.
1. Canva: This one is often dubbed ‘the best graphic tool for an unskilled user’. They have templates for whatever you are looking to design – from posters and banners to flyers, presentations and social media posts! All you have to do is choose a template, replace or add the images you want, and swap the existing dummy content with your original content, and voila – your design is done!
2. Easil: If you do most of your marketing on Instagram, you are going to love Easil. The sheer number and variety of templates for Instagram stories and posts cannot be found elsewhere. But you may feel a tad bit let down when you realize that they don’t have too many good templates for posters, flyers or presentations.
3. Adobe Spark: Adobe Spark comes highly recommended by a lot of designers for its professional quality images, easily editable social graphics, web pages (more like landing pages), and even video stories. The most awesome thing about Adobe Spark is how its Content Aware Layout uses Adobe Sensei—ninja-like artificial intelligence that not only helps you create stunning designs, but also stops you from making bad designs for people who don’t have an eye for good design!
4. Fotor: Whether it is a poster, a banner, or even a logo, Fotor has thousands of templates for you to choose from. The only downside is that their free version allows you to only create graphics that contain their watermark. However, you can upgrade to a paid version upon paying a very nominal fee if you want to remove the watermarks and get access to some of their advanced features.
While these options make for excellent visuals during cash-strapped times, know that a lot of them are cookie-cutter designs they may never match up to the magic an actual, skilled designer can conjure for you. Look at these options as a stopgap arrangement. Later, when your business expands and you are in a position to hire your own designers or an ad agency, don’t think twice!