When we start our own businesses, many of us try to find ways to cut costs. You might try to work out of a home office instead of renting an office or workspace. You might commit to doing most of the work yourself, to cut staffing costs. You might turn your hand to digital marketing instead of employing marketing professionals, and you might be your own accountant.
Many small business owners become a jack of all trades, and this has many advantages, aside from saving you money. It can mean that you understand your business well, that you know everything that goes into it and that you have at least a basic understanding of all of the elements that make it. It can also give you a chance to improve your own skills and means that you’ll understand other people’s jobs if ever you do take them on. This can make you a more considerate and understanding manager.
One area that you may have given some thought to doing yourself is branding. You might have even wondered if your small business really needs branding, but even if you have realised that skipping the process altogether would be a mistake, you might be tempted to have a go yourself, instead of hiring costly designers, that may not understand your business as well. If you are considering tackling your own branding, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Do You Understand What Branding Is?
What do you think branding is? Do you think it’s just a logo and a name? If so, you might want to do a little more research before you consider doing your own branding.
Your brand is much more than a logo. It’s who you are. Your brand certainly includes a logo and business name, but it also encompasses the font style and size that you use on your website and offline materials, the colours that you use for your fonts, lines and even paper and office supplies. Your branding can go into absolutely everything you do, from flyers that you send out to the color of the chairs in your office.
But, it’s even more than that. Branding isn’t all about design. Your brand should also have a story. You should tell people why you started and where you’ve come from, what you believe in, what you want your business to achieve, and how it can make a difference in the world. Your brand should have beliefs and values, and you should take them into account whenever you take on a new supplier or take your business in a new direction, asking yourself, does this decision fit our core values?
Can you tell a story?
So, your brand should have a story. But how do you tell it? You can’t sit down and tell everyone that walks into your office the story of your brand. But, you can print it on materials, you can bring it up when you need to explain a business decision. You can make sure your staff know it off by heart and can reference it when needed. You can even paint it on your office wall. Being able to tell a story is an essential element of creating a brand. Can you do it?
Do you have design experience?
If you’ve got design experience, it could be a big help. Think about the jobs that you’ve done in the past or creative hobbies that you might have enjoyed? Do you have any experience or interests that you could draw on for help with your branding project?
Is it worth it?
Yes, doing your own branding can save you money, but is it worth it? Do a poor job, and your business might take longer to make an impact. Sometimes, spending a little money is worth it to get a job done well.
If you decide that you can’t tackle the whole process on your own and that you need a little help, there are options. Using a design tool can be a helpful alternative. You’ll still have control. You won’t have to worry about finding a designer that genuinely understands your business and its story. You can say yes or no to the designs, you’ll have plenty of input, and you don’t have to rely on anyone else.
But, whatever you do, never underestimate the power of a brand. It will get your business recognised, help you to build trusting relationships, increase the value of your business and improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. However, you decide to go when it comes to branding, take your time to make sure that it is a job done well.