When is the best time to invest in branding your small business?
If you’re embarking on the journey of launching a business, quitting your job to work freelance, or taking strides with self-employment in another way, you’ll likely be aware that you need to have a brand identity or logo for your endeavour. But when is the right time to invest in this? How do you know you’re ready to hire a designer and spend some of your precious pennies?
From our experience working with over 50 different businesses and individuals, we can confidently say that the #1 thing to know before hiring a designer, is your business. What I mean by that, is that it’s crucial to really know your business. You need to at the very least, have a rough idea of what it is you’re doing, what your goals and mission is; the purpose behind your business. Without that you can start to think about the people you’ll be attracting (or want to attract) as your customers or clients.
Without first knowing your business, or by being vague and unsure about it, you’ll end up with designs that don’t feel suit your business, or designs that need to be updated just a year or so later. This is probably one reason that lots of freelancers and solo-preneurs start out with a basic logo and not much more. And while a lot of these logos aren’t as strategic as a full brand identity, they do the serve the purpose of giving you a starting point - something to put on your website, your business cards, and on your Instagram profile.
Once you’ve gotten to know your business or customers better, and have a clear picture of what you’d like to achieve you can confidently articulate your business to a designer and are much more likely to have a brand identity that will last you 3-10 years.
Now that’s not to say the a rebrand won’t be needed at some point - businesses do evolve, and we need to adapt to suit them. Where you are in 3 years time with your business could look very different to where you are right now. Hell, 3 months from now you might taking it in a whole new direction! With every big change, will come a need to reassess your brand identity, but to get started we suggest using this as a rough checklist:
Are you in the first 0-3 years of your business?
Do you know what it is you are doing/ selling/ creating and how?
Do you know who you are doing/ selling/ creating for?
Could you describe those people, at least a little bit?
If you can happily answer ‘Yes!’ to all of these points, then you’re ready!
Without the above though, you’re going to struggle to get clear enough for a designer to create an accurate brand that will grow with your business. And don’t worry, if you did answer ‘no’ or are feeling unsure, take your time to get clear and talk to a designer about it!
Strategic brand designers (like us) tend to include brand strategy within their design process and our clients rave about how it has helped them get even clearer, confident, and sure about what it is they are doing - meaning they are now able to go out into the world and be a total boss!!