Your branding (i.e. logo design and promotional material “look”) will be how your clients visually remember you. It is imperative to invest in branding that you really like and that really defines your company’s message.
I’ve worked with a client who bought a simple, discounted logo package from a design firm. My client never loved the logo because it was “blah” but used it for their business because it was cheap. It didn’t “say” anything about their business. They found themselves often clarifying what their company was and what their services are. A good logo should “say” that in a glimpse of the graphic and tagline.
When they came to me, they had been using this logo for years so the logo was on everything: their business cards, rack cards, website, brochures, t-shirts, you name it. This client not only paid for the original design and all the promotional materials that had that design on it, but also paid for a second design and new promotional materials. Furthermore, they had to resubmit copyright paperwork and fees. If they had just spent a little more money hiring someone to create a look and logo they liked, they would have actually saved money in the end.
If you are on a budget, figure out what your budget is. Branding, marketing and advertising can all be part of your marketing budget, which you can write off. If you need help determining a practical marketing budget, visit the Small Business Administration http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/index.html or SCORE http://www.score.org/index.html. I believe that adding some creativity to your branding will help you stand out from your competitors. I am interested in making something completely suitable for you, that defines your product/business and that will promote your product/business to your target market. If you need help deciding who your target market is and figuring out your, marketing plan, I have years of marketing experience and can help you there too.