An extract from my second book, Power Climb: Growing Your Small Business which was published in 2012.
You may think it’s a bit ‘back to front’ starting the book with a section on branding, indeed you could be thinking that branding is only for large companies and doesn’t apply to you at this stage.
Except, you may find that you could save yourself a lot of time and money later by taking a moment now to consider branding.
I’ve heard of people that have spent thousands of pounds on new websites/stationery/etc, thinking that they will deal with the brand at a later date – unfortunately in some cases when they do, it could mean that the best option is then starting again from scratch, wasting all the time and money they had invested to date.
Fiona Humberstone made some excellent points online in 2012:
Do you need a decent brand to succeed?
I’m not suggesting for one moment that your business will fail if you don’t have a decent brand, but you’re certainly making life more difficult for yourself.
If you know exactly what your business is all about, who your ideal clients are and what they value about what you do then you can communicate with them in a way that puts your business to the top of their list.
If you consistently communicate with these customers and prospects in a way that inspires and resonates with them then they’ll ache to work with you: whether you’re the cheapest or not.
And if you can show confidence and professionalism throughout all of your communications: website, printed collateral and through all the social media channels then when these ideal clients and prospective customers find you, then why wouldn’t you blow your competitors out of the water?
Once you’ve got all of this right, spending money on advertising, search engine optimisation and pay per click marketing makes sense. Why? Because you need people to find your business!
But you need people to see your business in the way you see it, and too often there’s a discrepancy between the confidence and passion you have for your business and what people see on the outside.
Start with your brand and build up your marketing from there but make sure you get focused. Because business without focus is incredibly tough.
Questions to consider
what do you offer – specifically?
who are your clients and where are they located?
What makes your clients choose you instead of a competitor?
how do you want them to feel?