I believe 100% that if you're serious about building a successful business, you should have your visual brand professionally designed.
However, I don't think you should hire a visual brand designer right this second. That's because visual branding is a big decision, and not one that should be taken lightly, or rushed. If done incorrectly, or if done by an inexperienced designer, your brand may not function the way you hope and may not connect with the right audience.
When you break visual branding down to it's core purpose, it's communication. And it's not your designer's job to decide what your business should communicate. (A brand strategist, however, can help with that.) A talented designer will take what you want to communicate with your audience and use colors, textures, imagery, and type to convey that message through your visual brand.
Visual branding is also a big investment. Hiring a designer with enough strategy and experience to create a professional visual brand isn't cheap because it's a time-intensive process.
Like I said before, I fully believe a visual brand is a necessary investment for growing your business, but I also believe that since it is such crucial up-leveling step, it is imperative to slow down and make sure you get it right.
How do you prepare to hire a designer and create a professional visual brand?
The #1 thing you need is clarity.
You should have a clear vision of what your business is now, who your business is for, and where you want it to go.
Questions to ask yourself about your business now:
What is working in my business right now?
What is my strongest selling point?
What are my weak points?
How do most customers/clients interact with my brand? Is it through a physical storefront, Facebook, Website, Etsy, etc?
Questions to ask yourself about who your business is for:
What are my current customers/clients like?
What is my ideal customer/client like?
What prive point does my business meet? Is it bargain, mid-point, luxury, etc?
Who is not a good fit for my business?
Questions to ask yourself about where you want your business to go:
How many staff members do you want your business to have?
Are there any offerings you're hoping to include in the future?
Dream big - what does your ideal no-holds-barred business look like?
And these questions are just starting points. You should be able to explain every inch of your business's past, present, and desired future to your designer so they can create a visual brand that fits your current business as well as help you get to your ideal future.
Hiring the right designer is a completely different story - but I'll write about that in my next post.