Essential tools to have when starting a business are …
A logo lends itself to helping you brand your business. Do keep in mind if you don’t have a great concept of a logo not to waste time on creating the perfect logo. It’s better that you get a simple logo created that’s just okay until you’re able to redefine and/or developed a better one. So while many small business owners sweat the details of their first logo to get it right on the first try, don’t go crazy where a week turns into 3 month or longer delaying the real purpose which is to be in business.
REASON: As I stated you can redesign the logo once the business is up and running and you have time and money to get what you want. Don’t feel bad about redesigning your logo since there have been many successful businesses that have changed their logo over the life of the business (see a few of them here).
I’m baffled when a new business tells me they don’t have business cards yet or they are coming. If there’s one thing that you should purchase in abundance especially when you have a storefront are business cards before the doors open. It goes without saying that your logo would be present on your business cards along with your complete contact information and web address. In creating your business card it should not take more then a few days to create and one-week to print. There are many online sites that provide nice templates so you can DIY and they come out professional looking. The one thing I ask you not do is print them off your computer because that type always looks cheap. If you have the cash to spend feel free to hire a graphic designer to produce your business card just make sure it’s something that they produce frequently from design to production so you lessen your headache.
REASON: Business cards are your calling card, a reminder to the potential customer when they walk away without the full experience you have to offer. For example, a local coffee shop was opening off high traffic street but a very residential neighborhood. The location was great where for neighborhood foot traffic but if you did not live there, you wouldn’t know there was a coffee shop on that block. The neighbors both saw and heard the construction and would pass by to see what the space was going to be. The owner was always there but without business cards. This was a lost opportunity for the owner to put a business card in every potential customer pocket.
One of the reasons we got into designing websites was due to the horror stories we heard business owners share to get them produce. I always recommend business owners start out with a template website. The reason for this is, so that you can get up and running making money and as things progress you will have the cash flow to redesign the website to your specific request. There’s nothing worst than wanting to build a mansion but all you have is money to pour the foundation. Sometimes it’s better to go with the basics not making yourself crazy and learn what it is that you actually need once you’re up and running. Let’s face it experience is always better then assumptions. We designed many websites with a great amount of detail just for the business owner to realize they didn’t use half the bells and whistles they felt were crucial at the time the site was developed. So take my advice when I say keep it simple stupid and use a nice template that’s appealing and gets your message across. First design of the website, you should be aiming for on the website is clean design, simple navigation, clear message, good SEO and easy to update. Leave all the extravaganza for the second round. It is recommended that small business owners outsource this task especially if you’re not well-versed in web design. To learn more on how to choose the best talent to work with or template to buy read:
Keep in mind you can simply contact us to assist you too. But some key factors to note are the website should not take more than three weeks to produce, make sure you get complete access to the entire site and own everything about it!
REASON: A website is a great tool to have in place before your doors open and when your doors open. Here’s why … (before) the coffee shop above had neighbors inquiring while under construction, now if the business cards where made the owner could have handed one to every person who inquired and simply directed them to go to the website on the card. On the website the home page could have featured a … we’re not open yet but here’s our plan. The site could have displayed a place to sign-up for more information as things progressed to opening day. Maybe since it was on a residential street talk about why they choose the space and neighborhood. The sign-up sheet would have been fueled with a CRM so the owner could then send out pre-opening invitation, a gift with purchase or discount code to get free pastry while supplies last etc. The list is endless of opportunity to connect with potential customer before opening day. Once the coffee shop open the mailing list would stay in place, menu would be present and whatever else the owner had in place for marketing, advertising efforts.