It continues to shock me how many business owners, new and experienced alike, don’t have a realistic grip on what it actually takes to competitively brand, market and/or advertise their businesses. If you have a business idea, a side job, or a passion you want to turn into a career then these are the three things you need to get real about as quickly as possible.
Be realistic about budget. Marketing is necessary, and it’s expensive. If you’re paying $1500 for a website, you’re not getting a deal. You’re getting a poorly designed website. If you’re paying $5 for a logo, you’re not getting a researched piece of creative that resonates with your target audience. You’re getting recycled ideas with off-brand messaging, something both you the business owner and the designer probably decided would be “good enough” or “will work for now.” Expect branding to be one of your largest expenses upfront. Memorable brands make money. This is not the time or place to cut corners.
Be realistic about time. If your brand was built in a day, a week, or even a month, it probably lacks market research. This includes research done to fully understand: your industry, your product or service, your competition and most importantly, your target market. It takes time understand what people want and need, what they like and know, and how to present your brand to them in a way that will make them respond. It takes time to build something that will last. It takes time to establish your new brand into a market. It takes time to gain followers on social media, to get hits to your brand-new website, and to become known in own your community let alone your state, the nation, the globe.
Be realistic about the amount of work. Yes, everyone needs and wears pants. However, the fact is, not everyone needs your brand of pants. Therefore, you don’t have a billion-dollar idea just because a million people could use your product. You also don’t have a universal target market. You need to do the work outlined in number two and figure out who will be the primary and secondary users of your brand. Similarly, just because you have a website, don’t assume it will result in a ton of sales. (Especially if you didn’t follow the advice from number one.) The same is true for social media, or any other form of advertising, just because you have a page, post to it, and/or advertise on it (billboard, radio, etc.) doesn’t mean it will result in immediate or even long term growth or sales. The number of hours and hustle you’ll be required to put in the first couple of years, should not be under estimated. It will be more than 40 hours a week.
Many businesses don’t make money for their first couple years in operation so if you don’t have the time, money or dedication to hold out past that initial time period, you best stay put at your nine to five. Owning a business is for the realist. When you’re ready to get real, contact us. Together, we’ll achieve a #victoryforyourbrand.