So you say brand & marketing, web design and social media management is expensive.
Well, yes…….I’ll agree…….It is.
And being a small business owner myself, I get it. Although I don’t have to pay directly for a designers time, or a marketing strategy….. I do pay with MY time.
Often times, my marketing and design take a back seat to looming project deadlines. My portfolio updates are left for Christmas Breaks and strings of influenza when I’m stuck in bed. As a matter of fact, as I type this blog – I’m sick – Not a coincidence, but I digress.
Even though I am the designer, and I am the marketer, and I am the social media manager…..My business takes a back seat. I don’t give it the time it needs. I’m often the last to update my blog and branded content, last to have something meaningful posted on my facebook page, and last to interact to really track after clients.
What I’ve realized is that I’m not alone. I find that most small to medium sized businesses are in the same boat. They don’t have time to begin to figure out what they may need but they know they need something, and they realize they are losing traction by doing nothing at all.
I’ve said before, that if you have no budget you have no brand. This is the same concept as losing traction by not marketing and consistently keeping your brand in center focus.
It’s a frustrating position to be in when you are trying to keep your head above water managing the day to day operation of your business. You think of potential business ideas and see opportunities slipping by because you simply just don’t have the time to “make things happen.” You look at the well oiled machine of a business someone else is running and you wonder…how are they doing all of that and growing at the same time? You begin to feel overloaded and defeated, until you realize why you got into business for yourself to begin with. People have misconceptions about business ownership and you feel like you’re drowning.
Always caught in this catch 22 of not having enough, and needing to do more.
So how is brand & marketing costing you money without spending a dime? Well….. you are losing money, by lost opportunity. When you don’t send a message out…it’s never received. Growing your brand equity and brand recognition in the marketplace is essential to staying relevant to your target demographic.
So….for my fellow business owners I have some food for thought for you. 3 simple steps to take to start moving in the direction of gaining traction and getting things done.
Step 1 for Brand & Marketing Your Business | Find Your Purpose
Get OFF of the focus of how to make more money, save more money or grow. First things first is that as a business owner you have to figure out who you are and where you’re trying to go. Rationalize it, analyze it, speak it, and eventually write it down! Do not ask other people (unless they are co-owners of the business) what their opinions are. You have to be able identity for yourself why you are doing what you’re doing and why your customers and potential customers should even care.
Some key things to take inventory about:
- Why am I in business for myself? Money? Time with Family? Passion for the Industry?
- What is the purpose of this business? Am I helping someone? Am I providing a Needed Service?
- Where am I trying to take this business? Am I trying to leave a legacy? Am I trying to Grow it, to sell it? Am I just working until retirement and then close it?
- Why should anyone care that you are in business? (sounds harsh) but this is by far the most valuable question I ask my clients. If you don’t know why someone should care why you’re in business, then you shouldn’t be in business. You won’t be able to sell yourself to anyone if you can’t sell yourself to YOU.
Step 2 for Brand & Marketing Your Business | Work with People
The best of the best of the BEST see the value in TEAMS. You can’t be a one woman/man show and expect to be able to take over the wingbat technology sector. You have to formulate a plan and that includes having people around you that round out your strengths and weaknesses. Key people you may need:
- Small Business Administration – Utilizing places like the Small Business Administration is of great value to small business owners.
- Accountant – if you aren’t good with money or budgeting this is essential.
- Alaska Small Business Development Center – Another great resource for Alaska Small Business owners.
- Anchorage Chamber of Commerce – Offers networking events to tie into others in your sector or partnering with businesses to lift one another up.
- Brand Consultant and Graphic Designer – You will spend more for a designer but the impact of having a strong aesthetic, unique brand asset, color and typography will push your message further and consistently.
- Marketing and Social Media Management – Keep your brand equity growing means keeping a tangible place in your market, and in the face of your target audience.
Step 3 for Brand and Marketing Your Business | Execute Your Plan and Stay Consistent
A sure fire way to make sure that your business grows and remains relevant is consistency. No you don’t have to come out of the marketing gate blazing trails, but you do need to have at least a small drip of movement. Small businesses are expensive to open, operate, and run but you do not want to have a brand that has zero gas behind it.
You have to utilize the vision, brand, and plan that’s been developed and consistently put that message out into the marketplace. Alaska is a small enough market that luckily it doesn’t take long for the word to get out about your business. Especially if you do things the right way.
Content is King and Consistency is Queen!
Contact Bianca Frank Design today to see how we can help increase your brand equity!
Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need brand or design consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.
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