Having an idea for a new business is just the start of a long process; finding the right place to start from is the first step. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the prospect of going into business, but in truth it’s not as difficult as you may think. The trick is to take your time with the initial parts of the journey, and to make sure you are on the right track. To begin with, you need to understand some of the basics of a successful business, and they can be basic in the extreme.
We have put together some important points to consider, and these will help shape the identity and purpose of your business for the future. Let’s consider these to be the basic bricks upon which your business will be built.
Naming the Business
The chances are you have a name in mind; after all, it’s you baby, and you will have considered this fact. However, you need to give this serious consideration, as the name is what your company will be remembered by. Don’t get bogged down in trying to think of something that is relevant to your product or service; try and think of something that is instantly memorable. You can bolster your image with a slogan that tells the world what you do.
The name should not only stick in the memory, but it should be as simple to spell as possible. Don’t try and be clever by inventing new words or spelling them the wrong way; this will confuse people in the long run. Consider the way well-known brands have used names that mean nothing in their industry (Apple, for example) and how they have become engendered in the mind thanks to the use of logos and slogans. Furthermore, keep it short and to the point; initials are a good way of shortening a name, and are simple to remember.
What is Your USP?
Your Unique Selling Point (USP) is an all-important part of the overall concept of your business. This is what makes customers choose you rather than your competitors. No USP, and you will not gain business from already-established rivals. You need to entice customers by offering something the others do not; you can use your logo, slogan and even business name to highlight your USP. If you are selling edible products that are grown only locally, for example, you could use that as your USP and incorporate local landmarks in your logo. That sort of thinking helps create your corporate identity.
Who are your Customers?
One area in which start-up businesses often lose out is in not considering carefully enough who their potential customers are. Research has shown that certain colours and fonts appeal to different ages or types of people. There are obvious examples – young, funky and fresh is not Times New Roman, for example – and you also need to let it be known whether you are a luxury brand, or at the other end of the market. One trick that will help you decide upon the right approach is to have a look at what everyone else is doing. Take a careful look at your closest competitor, and you will see that they have created their brand in a particular way.
Also, you need to establish a reputation, and a lot of this can be down to how people perceive your business from the logo, marketing material, and general approach. Visual identity is a major part of attracting customers, and is something that really does need consideration. The general trend is for business to business start ups, those working in the professional field, a clean and simple font and unobtrusive colours does the trick. Bright colours and a more fun approach are used for companies aiming at the children’s market; this may sound obvious, but it’s amazing how often it is done incorrectly. You can ask others for their input on the fonts, colours and styles; two heads are better than one, after all. Check the market carefully for current trends, but be careful not to simply copy someone else’s idea – remember, you need that USP.
These are the basic beginnings of building your brand, and they form the basis of how your company will develop from the off. Once you have them in place you can really begin to invest in the identity of your company. It is a fact that, once you have in mind the basic tenets above, you will understand better how to approach the very operation of the company.
Success comes from providing you customers with what they want, and loyalty – a very important part of the picture – from ensuring those customers that they will find consistency throughout the business. Get the brand in place, and the rest should follow.