You've decided to take the leap, congrats!
You only get one shot to make the right impression. So you know you want to start strong out of the gates, but where do you start your business off? Here are a few considerations you may want to tackle right off the bat.
What do you need to know about branding?
Branding is the personality of your business. Often your brand will tie into the story of your business and the WHY. You should know this clearly, the clearer you understand this the better you will be at communicating it to your audience.
Get your logo right, we are overwhelmed with visual communication, design, colours and platforms for promotion, make sure you get your logo right. > then get all of the files. Don't be afraid to ask for the vector and raw files, you should OWN these, any designer holding them is only doing so to force you into reusing your business.
Files you need:
.ai or .psd -the raw files
.jpeg and .png -you will want these for social media and letterhead, presentations etc
.eps -this is good for print, stitching and a good common file between designers.
Social media vs website:
Things have changed, some people think websites are the end all, be all, but some businesses are simply designing landing pages for a website and doing all of the promotion through social media accounts. Which is better? Only you know the answer.
If your business sells products or aims to be an expert in an areas of expertise, you may want to start with a website.
Websites are great for sales, booking appointments, offering information, hosting videos and offering credibility.
Who is your audience? If your audience is not on social media, you may need a website no matter what.
How much should you spend?
Spend what you can afford to get things right. People think design can be expensive but would not bat an eye at spending $200 for distressed jeans. You will always put your money where you view the most value, so if you view distressed jeans as important versus investment in a well designed logo or website, that is your choice.
Expect to spend between $65-100/hour for a designer.
Websites generally start at $1000
Consider your time/hour, what could you be doing rather than struggling with building a website?
Social media can cost anywhere from $500/month to thousands, it depends on the level of engagement, the media you would like to promote (videos versus images) and the amount of contact with the community.
Then consider the cost you would like to spend on promotion on social media platforms, and consider which is the best avenue: boosted posts or ads (there is a difference).
Now you are ready for your promotion, how do you get your name out there? You can do lead up teasers, grand opening blitz, contact the media, set up signs, promote through social media... all of this, what you choose should be related to your business, there are multiple options and various avenues you can choose to promote your business.
But above all...
The most important thing to keep in mind is KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE, you will have more success converting them and you will resonate with them better if you communicate directly to them in the first place. Knowing your audience will control your budget - you will know exactly where they are and where you should spend money on promotion. You will be able to craft messages that will speak directly to them and help them understand why they need you.
Talk to a professional, just like dying your hair at home, your results will be much better using a professional and worth the spend.