You’ve done your research and written your business plan and you’ve decided (and excited) to go ahead and set up your new business. Maybe funds are tight and you have not budgeted at all for the initial stages of a new start up business. Many new business owners spend money in the wrong areas, at this early stage. They subsequently run out of money very quickly.
Some business owners have a ‘pay as you earn’ approach to investing in their business but after their first year in business are disheartened as their business (understandably) has taken too long to get off the ground (if at all). The whole process had not gone the way they expected or as fast as they expected!
Setting you apart from the competition
The two things that I consider to be important ‘spends’ at the outset will be professional branding & design. Good branding & design will set you apart from your competition and make you look a credible and professional business, from day one.
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or services, as distinct from those of other sellers.
Investment in your logo design, marketing material, social media branded headers, a new website and all the other ‘touchpoints’ for your customer and consumer, will all be coherent when they are designed by professionals. Everything looks part of a family. Everything that reaches your customer must be consistent and recognisable, from platform to platform, website to mobile device.
Making a great first impression
Good design makes a huge difference to the perception of your business. When it is coherant and visually appealing, you are on to a winner. You can never make a first impression twice! You have your chance at the outset to make a great impression, so make it a positive one.
‘Do it yourself’
If you decide to cut corners and ‘do it yourself’ it undermines your place in the market, from day one! It could make your business appear ‘amatuerish’ and one that demonstrates no confidence, that you may not even be in business for very long. Why? Because you were not prepared to invest in a professionally designed logo or website, showing that you have put your ‘stake in the sand’ and have stated to the world that ‘I am committed and I’m here to stay’
The best decision
Great branding will make you proud of your new business and happy to promote it. Not feeling that ‘inward cringe’ because you ‘did your best’ with limited funds! Great branding is the best money you will ever spend, particularly in the early days of business ownership.
Nobody wants to start off on the wrong footing, feeling inferior, against their competition, so make this the first (considered) investment you will make. You will not regret it. BUT choose wisely! Do your research for good designers. If you would like some recommendations, contact me.
Tired or shabby?
Businesses should review their branding every few years and refresh or re-brand when appropriate or when the brand is looking tired or outdated. Living with the same branding (without any tweaks or bringing it up to date) shows that the owner of the business has taken their eye off the ball.
Keeping your eye on the ball
Take the time to assess your branding every few years, to see if it’s still ‘relevant’ and matches your business proposition. Maybe your business has grown and moved on, but your branding has not!
Tried & Tested
Working with me can help you access ‘tried and tested’ Graphic Designers /Brand Strategists/Website Designers/Brand Communication Specialists. I have good relationships with many trusted designers, who will work within a variety of budgets.
Starting up a new business is not cheap, but worth it if you invest your money in the right area to gain a good return on your investment.