Six Foundations to Starting a Business
Often times I get the privilege of working with clients in the earliest stages of their business. They know they need branding and a website, so they come to me, but they rarely know what the next steps should be.
In my opinion, from a logistical perspective, every business needs these six things in this order of priority:
You probably guessed it since it is indeed what I do for a living, but branding is absolutely vital. Branding includes your business name, tone of voice, logos, colors, fonts, packaging and so much more. It’s the identity behind your company, and you simply can’t run a business without a brand.
Websites provide information and establish credibility. I so often find people saying they just need social media, but THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Don’t you hate it when you try to google a businesses website and it sends you to their Facebook page? Yeah. A website is your communication to the world that you are indeed an established business ready to serve them.
Beautiful stock photography exists in the world in this day and age and it can absolutely serve as a good starting point— Unsplash is a great resource if you’re looking. However; nothing replaces genuine moments captured on camera and nothing better displays what your brand is about than pictures of your services, products, and team members. Images stir emotions and emotions lead to purchases from your customers. Invest well.
Once you have an established brand and a website with on-brand photography, the next step is to market that brand. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, emails, and flyers all fall under the “Marketing” umbrella. If you have on-brand photography (see step 3:)), you can do this yourself for a short time or indefinitely. My Instagram course is a great resource and there are many others like it for. various other marketing platforms! If no one is talking about your brand, it’s not going to make it. Which leads me right to my next point…
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s what makes your website appear on Google first. It takes strategy, time and energy to earn your spot in search engines, but it’s how you get discovered. Want to see how you’re doing in the SEO department? Check your website here.
Advertising is the last of the top priorities in my opinion, but it’s not one to be looked over. Influencer advertising, online advertising, and print advertising. They get your name out there to an audience that may otherwise not stumble across your brand.
Of course, all of those are expensive investments, and if your small business life is anything like mine, they may not all be possible at the same time. The good news? You can work your way down the list in order of priority until everything is knocked off! If you invest in your business, your customers will want to invest in you. Takes money to make money, but every penny comes with a return on the investment if it’s done well.