Branding for Small Businesses
Branding is incredibly important for small businesses. Everything you do to prepare your business sends a message. You want your message to be clear, trustworthy, and professional. It does NOT cost a lot to do this! It doesn’t matter how small of a business you have, branding is crucial. Here are what I think are the four most important branding points to keep in mind as you start or grow your business!
Crucial branding point 1: Business name + tagline
You will use your name through every other step in creating your business—creating a logo, naming a shop or website, social media handles, email address, business cards, marketing materials--everything!
The first impression people will get of your business is through your chosen business name. Your name needs to do a lot. It needs to catch people's attention while also conveying an idea of what it is you do. It should be easy to remember and really encompass what your business is about. It seems like an overwhelming amount to ask of a name, but when you come up with the perfect name, you’ll know!
You can also add a tagline if desired, but it is not necessary. A tagline should be a brief and descriptive sentence that tells what you do. For example, the tagline of Doing Business + Raising Babies is “where business and motherhood meet.”
Crucial branding point 2: Logo
Your logo is also one of the first impressions people get of you and your business. Keep it simple and straightforward, you don’t want to confuse people by making it overly complicated.
A logo can be done for FREE in Canva. They have free templates and free design elements (there are also cheap and affordable paid options as well), free images can be found on sites like pexels.com, and cheap clip art can be purchased on Etsy (just make sure the listing gives permission for commercial use). You can also pay for someone to create or design your logo if you desire and IF it’s in your budget.
(Doing Business + Raising Babies logo designed by Nicole Sloan of Drawings by Nicole)
Crucial branding point 3: Custom URL and DIY professional looking website
Custom URLs can be purchased for $15.99 a year from GoDaddy.com. They often have sales and you can get your first year for $.99
DIY website from Squarespace is $26/month ($18/month if you purchase an entire year at once). You do NOT have to be tech savvy to create a professional website, it is so easy to use and you don’t have to pay thousands to hire someone to do it for you! I am so bad at computer and technological things and even I was able to create a website I love on Squarespace! It’s about as straightforward as you can get and any question you have can easily be answered on Google or YouTube.
For both you could spend $231.99 a year, maximum, using these two sites.
You can even have a custom URL without a custom website. For example, with my hand embroidery shop that is on Etsy, I purchased my shop name as a URL on GoDaddy and have it routed to my Etsy shop. Now I can put my actual web address on business cards without having to put an Etsy web address! It’s a cheap way to up your professionalism!
Crucial branding point 4: Marketing materials (business cards/flyers)
You do not need to spend a fortune on fancy business cards and flyers. The information on them is the most important aspect. Buy cheap to start and upgrade later if needed or wanted. If you have a local business you should have larger fliers to leave places and business cards to give in person to potential or established clients. They need to catch people’s attention and convey all necessary information, but they do not need to be expensive. If you have an online based business, business cards alone are sufficient to send in packages or hand out in person if the opportunity arises. I personally use Vistaprint, their materials are a good quality, they don't break the bank, and they frequently run really good sales!
As I said at the beginning, these are what I personally consider to be the four most important branding aspects of starting your own small business. As small business owners, the goal here is to keep it affordable while still coming across as professional as a larger business with more resources. These things do not have to be expensive. You can achieve a great brand look with cheap and free resources, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Also, remember that just because you utilize free things now as you get started, does not mean you can’t upgrade down the road when your business is making a profit!
Have fun creating your brand and don’t let yourself get stressed out by thinking you have to spend a lot!
Yours in business and motherhood,