Starting a business is no small feat. From the dream stage into full fruition, the process of developing my own business has truly inspired my passion for helping others through this sometimes lengthy and testing processes.
How do you even start a business??
Well, you see, it starts with an idea. An idea, followed with a well developed business plan, a registered business name with the Secretary of state, a business bank account, and a devout commitment to work your little tail off for the mercy of your own idea. With this, a relevant URL should also be considered. Relevant domain names are hard to come by these days. Going without a well designed & developed website is business suicide.
It sounds not so complicated when put in so few words, but these are just a few of the first big steps to make your new venture "official".
Branding is crucial in building brand awareness.
After the beginning steps, it's time for the fun stuff. What will your business look like visually? What is your logo going to look like? What colors are you going to use? This really is where O+F comes in full fledged. You can read more here about the process. We talk about colors, patterns, textures, and your inspirations. This is where we really dive into your dreams and your passions. We want to let that come out in your business branding. But I tell you, branding is much more than a logo, color palettes, fonts, and pattern choices. Branding encompases every essence of a business. Your branding is the guidelines and the foundation you have set for your business, which just so happens to be represented visually through a logo, color choices, fonts, and patterns.
The moment you have been waiting for. Even if it's just a logo for now, or a new business card, your brand NEEDS to be put out into the world in order to start your business. People need to see who you are and what you do. Be cautious to not do this prematurely, as what your audience sees is what they will associate you with. So changing your brand too many times to early on, will confuse your audience. But if you have a solid branding and a logo to go with it, put it out there! Put it everywhere. Let it be known.
The website launch proves to be the most rewarding part of the project. Because an online presence is so crucial, designing and developing a beautiful and easy-to-use website is powerful. Being able to show everyone what a business has to offer in an online setting proves beneficial immediately (thank you analytics). Ecommerce websites are also a very fun and exciting thing to watch grow and develop. Check out Urban Edge's newly launched site! It is a true example of this process.
Effective communication of your brand establishes brand loyalty.
What you put out there and how you put it out there in the name of your brand is very important. Think of a logo as a first impression. It's something that represents your business, inside and out. So it definitely should be something you LOVE and truly represents your business as a whole. Creating a business and its brand is a process that can many weeks. With planning, research, and design, you will uncover a brand concept and logo that truly fits. Follow that with clear concept of who you are, what you do, and what you offer. It is the foundation of the rest to follow, so it better be strong.
Get out there. Communicate with your audience.
Websites, Social media, Store Fronts, Events, and face-to-face encounters are all opportunities to communicate your brand. Website and social media have rapidly increased our abilities to reach people far and wide. If done well, this can be the most effective advertising tool. O+F includes social media help in its website and branding packages to help you launch your business and brand. It's a learning process. If you aren't a social media guru now, you will get the hang of it. And if you are completely intimidated by the social media world, find someone to help you out! (like O+F)
Don't miss out on the small opportunities to go the extra mile. Hand written notes in your packages, fun facts on your social pages, or an informative blog post, can all be ways to let your audience into what your brand is all about. You are human, and you are talking to humans, so be personable.
There is struggle with every reward. There is challenge with every victory.
Remember where you started when you question where you are. Think about your dreams and goals when the tasks before you are overwhelming you. But always remember there is beauty in the process.
GO BUILD YOUR BRAND.