There is an interesting concept in running a business. The idea is called technical debt. This type of debt can't be measured in the same way as traditional debt. This is when a technology driven company, whether website or app or software, starts out their project on the wrong foot and cuts corners. They slap together some code that gets the job done, but isn't as good as it could be or should be for future growth. As time goes by and the company grows, it becomes harder and harder to fix their original code and at a certain point everything may have to be redone from scratch. This will not only cost a lot to fix, but can cause internal and external confusion and inconvenience, resulting in a potential major hit to the bottom line. It's a serious problem that will be paid back with interest.
A very similar concept can occur in branding and even graphic design. If corners are cut in the beginning, you will eventually have to pay it back with interest. There are many instances where business owners will try to save a little bit of money going with a less professional and less expensive design or branding "service provider" rather than an expert. They think they have found a bargain and are getting the same service for less but many times they will be so unhappy with their service, they will fire the service provider mid project. It's too late to get your money back (down payment or more) from the service provider, and now you have to pay full price for the expert on top of it. An even worse scenario is, you finish the project with the service provider, then several years later realize that whatever they had done isn't on brand or sending out the message you want. You have just lost years of time and energy sending the wrong message and building a weak or no brand at all. This is when you will have to pay it back with interest. The more ingrained a message is in your business, the harder it is to pivot and change directions, resulting in a lot more time spent in marketing, messaging and branding. As I've said in the past, competing over price is a chumps game, do what's write for your business and go for the best option, not the cheapest.
I would like to finish this blog post with an excellent video I found about spec work. Hope you enjoy and maybe even learn something!