Do you own your brand? Most small retail owners will respond yes, of course, but think about the question differently. Do you own and control the elements that make up your brand (design files, vector logos, native Adobe files, photos, colors etc.)? If you hire a freelance designer or design firm to create your brand and marketing collateral, you need make sure you get copies of all their design files.
Why is this important?
As a designer who has worked with numerous small brands, I can attest to the struggle to get the artwork needed to complete a project. It is common to receive tiny logos pulled from websites (fine for some projects, but not for print), images are often low resolutions, and brand standards and design directions are nonexistent.
Designers need specific files and a history of your marketing efforts and brand to create effective new marketing pieces. Having these files in an easy to access place is key. Organize your files in a cloud-based storage system such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive, that you control. This makes it simple to send links to files for future design work and control what gets added or deleted to the folder.
Also consider creating a “brand guide” to ensure every designed element has the same style. This can be a very simple outline of colors, fonts, previously designed pieces, signage, and logo variations. Not only will this save you time if you hire a new designer, but this exercise will also give you a clearer idea of your brand as a whole.
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