Why You Should Be Investing (x)% Of Your Budget on Marketing, Design & Success
DON’T LET THE OPERATIONAL COSTS OF STARTING A BUSINESS OVERWHELM YOU
We meet so many business owners who say things like: “I wish I had come to you sooner!” Or, “I wanted to do this when I started up, but I thought I should grow a little bit first.”
The truth is, your business identity begins the moment you file for your local business license. Your visual identity should too. That said, we understand the trepidation that prompts business owners to wait before making an investment in design services, branding strategy, and all things that tend to be thrown under the heading: marketing. We are a small business too. We have our own list of concerns. However, our list of solutions is longer.
Branding your business from the very beginning and committing to a branding/marketing/design budget will serve you well. Here’s why:
You need a brand identity you can grow into.
Starting off without a logo, a tagline, or any sense of cohesive/coherent style might save your wallet in the short term, but in the long term, it’ll cost you. A professionally developed brand identity, based on a relationship with the designers, a clear sense of purpose with defined goals, will give you an identity to grow into. It will also give your audience a visual queue to follow as they learn more about you; purchase your goods or services; and begin sharing online, and in person, about their experiences with you.
Standing apart from the masses is critical!
You’re not the only (insert profession here), who decided to incorporate his or herself and start selling your services, or goods! You have competitors, maybe more than you know. Your brand identity should stand apart from theirs and speak directly to what makes you unique. This will not only make you recognizable in a global marketplace but come in handy as your developing loyal customer base begins sharing information about you.
Consistency is a tenet in life, small business ownership and especially branding.
In an ever-expanding marketplace, businesses need visual cues to identify themselves from others - especially when they're starting out. Creating those cues is one of the benefits of branding that brings many entrepreneurs comfort. The visual identity you create for your brand should also give you a style guide by which to design the communications you send out into the world - be it a Facebook business page, your Google business listing, the sign outside of your storefront (the website banner on your digital store), or an email.
It’s Never Too Late To Start
Whether you've never made an investment in branding or your attempt at DIYing it isn’t working, we can turn that around. Branding is one-half design, one-half strategy. When you combine the two you can solve many problems. Even strong brands lead visual reboots, or shift directions as their identity, or field shifts with the times. Startups, small-to-mid-size businesses are not excluded from that opportunity. We can help you find your bearing and give you the toolkit you need to propel yourself forward.
THE NITTY GRITTY
We tend to agree with the advice of the U.S. Small Business Association when it comes to determining that (x) amount of your budget to invest in branding and marketing.
While many businesses generally allocated 2-3 percent of their overall budget to branding and marketing, the SBA has different advice for businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue:
"As a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing. This budget should be split between 1) brand development costs (which includes all the channels you use to promote your brand such as your website, blogs, sales collateral, etc.), and 2) the costs of promoting your business(campaigns, advertising, events, etc.)."
Businesses scale their branding and marketing budgets to their needs all the time. Just like in branding, however, consistency will pay off in the long run.