I primarily do full branding for wedding businesses and work with women who have been in their industry for years, but every now and then I get an inquiry from someone who is just starting their business and they often ask this: should I invest in full branding? That’s a tough question! Branding is tough, time-consuming, and expensive so of course new business owners want to know if they really need to do full branding or do something a little more makeshift until they can full invest. My answer to the dilemma is this: it depends. See three criteria you should consider as a new business owner before deciding to invest in a full brand or not.
- Do you have experience? Are you someone just starting out in your industry from square one or have you been working in your industry for years for someone else but are now ready to branch off on your own? Sometimes I get inquiries from women who have business backgrounds so they know the terms “niche”, “ideal client”, “competitive advantage”, and have done their market research. These ladies are usually able to jump into the full branding experience because they have a business background. Other times I get women who have worked under a company for a long time and want to branch off into that industry on their own. And then there are the ladies that are literally just starting off with really no background at all. Sometimes they are girls who planned their own weddings and want to start a business as a wedding planner and they are full-time teachers, accountants, etc. These ladies really shouldn’t take the full branding jump quite yet.
- Do you have time? If you are a full time teacher and want to start your own wedding photography business then it may not be the best time to jump into full branding. Branding requires a lot of thought and time and you really need to be able to focus on it.
- Do you have money? This is the biggest setback for most people but I think lack of experience should be the biggest. Someone could have enough money, but no experience, and I’d still tell them to hold off on full branding. Branding is expensive! Make sure you are investing your money at the right time.
Do you fall in the category of not being ready to invest in full branding? Here are three tips for you to get started!
- Get a Basic Brand and Website Template- If you aren’t ready / shouldn’t be doing a full branding process get a designer to create a basic brand board for you. Have a logo, color, patterns, and monograms made for you so you can at least start off being consistent. Consistency is KEY in branding even if it is a makeshift logo or not something you intend to keep forever. Then you can get a website template from somewhere like Showit and either get a designer to customize for you or do it yourself.
- Get Hands on Experience- Get as much hands on experience as you can! Work for free, assist someone in the industry, or shadow them to get tons of experience and learn as much as you can.This way you’ll learn what you want and don’t want, where you want to work and don’t work, and who you want to work with and not work with.
- Research Your Market- You need to know what the going rate is for what you’re doing. You need to know who your competitors are. You need to know specifically what niche of the industry you want to work in (rustic weddings / ballroom / wineries?). Research, research, research!