Whether you’ve been running your own business for a while, or are just starting out, there are all sorts of things you need to consider to ensure that your venture is and remains a successful one. Your brand is possibly the most important aspect of attracting business – you could have the greatest product in the world, but if consumers don’t recognise you or know who you are, you’re unlikely to make enough sales to reach your budget.
From a business perspective, laying down a claim on your brand also holds a number of benefits – registering as a limited company online with a dedicated service such as The Foundations Company means you can stamp your own name on your business and ensure that nobody else does the same. It’s worth having a chat with an accountant at the same time, as you may also find that switching your company status from sole trader to limited company can also save you money on taxes and accounting fees.
Creating a brand
Your brand is essentially your company’s “personality”. It’s what your customers will associate your product with, and a positive impression is dependent on the tone of your company. A financial service, for example, is unlikely to do well if its marketing campaign paints the company as frivolous or overly-simplified – equally, a party organiser who appears too stiff or formal may give the wrong impression.
There are a number of factors that will affect your brand. You should consider hiring an expert to help you build the marketing strategy for your company, but here are some tips to get you started:
Reach: To reach the highest number of potential customers you can, it’s wise to have a multi-platform branding campaign; that is, to have a visible presence both online and via more traditional means. The reason for this is that you are more likely to reach both ends of the spectrum in terms of where people seek out businesses and products – younger people are more likely to use the internet, especially for researching, while older people and casual shoppers may be more attentive to print media or TV/radio advertising.
Visuals: An aspect that is all too often overlooked by small business owners, your graphics and visual marketing is a massive factor in making yourself more visible. A consistent look and theme in your website, print media and packaging makes your product or service instantly recognisable, and more authoritative.
Content: How your content is written determines how the tone and attitude of your company comes across. Potential clients and customers will start to build up an impression of your customer service and your attention to detail, so having good-quality content is an absolute must. Ensure it is clear, concise and approachable, and that it reflects your company in the right light.
Service: Your customer service has to be spot-on for a branding initiative to really work. This doesn’t just mean face-to-face, but in all communications, regardless of whether the person you are dealing with is a regular or a brand-new client. Marketing is powerful, but word of poor service travels remarkably quickly – always aim to surprise and delight your customer, and you’ll find that people start talking about you for the right reasons!