How important do you think a custom logo is for a small business?
How important is the name of the company?
How important is the product/service mix?
How important is it to "stand out" from the noise?
For a small business, creating a unique logo is relatively easy and inexpensive, but can mean brand recognition.
I chose a QR Tag about 2 years ago (knowing I would have to change it in a couple of years). Why?
It elicited one of two responses when people saw it, 1) What's that? or 2) Wow you have a QR Tag!
Either way it extended the period of interaction with new people, one of the reasons for a logo.
A good logo doesn't make or break a company. No one looks at a successful company and says.. "Geez.. it was the logo that made it them so successful". Likewise, you can have the most awesome logo ever created, and it your product sucks, you won't be successful.
Unless your business strategy really requires a very strong branding component, the logo doesn't need a 7 figure investment from teams of creative people and 100s of hours of work. Additionally, branding is a bigger effort than just your logo. I am not saying you don't need to be thoughtful or deliberate about your logo, but I don't believe you need to spend an inordinate amount of resources on it.
C2B businesses probably want some more thought put into their logo than required for a purely B2B business, but again, your product or service will really drive the success of your logo.
If I extend your logic, you can say the same thing about a company name.
Unfortunately, history has shown that choosing (either the first time or changing) to a "wrong" name can be disastrous
Take a look at this Time article:
One thing I found was if the logo is not representative of the product or service provided, it can lead to brand confusion. If you are a new company, you don't want any confusion about what you offer. So if you are creating a logo, be sure it communicates clearly and leaves no questions.
If you are a consumer products company, the logo matters more than if you are B2B and you should probably pay a graphics designer to help with the construct. However, even B2B companies should spend time considering logos. If you look at logos that have been registered with the US trademark office, you'll find the quality is all over the map ( http://tess2.uspto.gov/tmdb/dscm/dsc_01.htm).
Personally, I think logos matter only if they look amateurish or hopelessly dated. It's worth spending a day (or a few hundred dollars) on something that looks fresh. Have some friends give you feedback. If you come up with something you really like but the half dozen folks you show it to hate it, find out why and tweak it.
Choose one consistent image for a professional appearance.
I saw this http://shine.yahoo.com/photos/wendys-logo-secret-slideshow/ today and thought of this post. Perhaps try incorporating a subliminal message within your logo.