So, you’re thinking of starting your own small business. You’ve got the idea, you’ve got a game plan, and you’re ready to take the leap of faith. There’s no doubt this is an exciting, sometimes anxious time—one that’s worth celebrating, too! But before you start strutting around town calling yourself an entrepreneur, there’s one big aspect of your business you’ll need to address first: branding.
Nowadays, how you brand your business can say a lot about the type of company you are starting, and it can dictate who will want to work with you. Which means that you’ll want to go about this process strategically, methodically and with a solid plan. Needless to say, branding is definitely an important step you should take before officially “launching.” But before you get overwhelmed, today I’ve mapped out some of my best tips for branding your small business successfully. Read them below. And, if you’ve started a small business of your own, be sure to let me know if you have any of your own branding tips in the comments…
- Choose a company name.
If you haven’t already, take your time to think carefully and creatively and choose a company name. You’ll want to make sure it is something that accurately represents your company and you will want to double check that your desired company name isn’t already trademarked. Once you’ve got it, trademark it!
- Secure all your social media channels.
After you’ve decided what you will call your company, it’s crucial to secure your social media channels. This includes your website URL too. Snag your Instagram and Twitter handles and create your Facebook and Pinterest pages. If you can’t get the exact name you’re looking for, make sure they are all at least similar versions of it across the board (i.e. LaurenConradcom, LaurenConrad_com, LaurenConradcom1). Then, be sure to set them up with the pertinent information and start doing some preliminary posting and pinning so that you have content pre-launch.
- Create a mission statement.
Make sure to have a very clear mission statement. A mission statement can be 1-3 sentences that sum up what your business is all about, what your goals are, and what your values are. This will not only help clients and colleagues to know more about what you do, but it will also serve as a sort of guideline for yourself to follow and keep in mind as your grow. And, do your research in the space to make sure that your branding and company mission is unique to you. You won’t want to be confused with any other business in your space (or in another space), so make sure you are giving your company that unique “it factor” that differentiates it from others.
- Get your graphics going.
Unless you are a graphic designer yourself, you’ll need to find a talented graphic designer who understands your vibe and mission to create your logo and assets. This includes designing your website, logo, business cards, social media graphics, and everything in between. These graphics will be the cornerstone of your brand!
- Network with likeminded business owners.
Now that you know the look and feel of your business, it’s time to start up collaborations. Go to networking events, make coffee dates, and even cold-email those you admire in your space to set up meetings to talk shop. Keep in mind that who you choose to collaborate with will be a reflection on your own business, so you will want to find a tribe that speaks to your values, work ethic, and reputation.
If you’ve ever started up a small business…
What tips would you add to this list?
Have you faced any start-up challenges you can share below?
What has been your biggest accomplishment and biggest learning curve?
I’d love to hear all about your entrepreneurial stories, so be sure to leave them in the comments below! I can’t wait to read them.