Okay, you have decided to take your idea or hobby and make it into a business that will make you some money. Now what? You have an idea (unique website or shop that caters to a specific clientele) or your hobby (sewing, jewelery, soap making or one of dozens more) and find a way to make money doing it. How do you start? Where do you start? I think one of the FIRST things (before a business plan, before stock or inventory) is to decide on your branding. No matter how good your idea or craft is, branding is what will sell your business. Every successful small business has their branding, packaging, logos, etc. unified and ready to go. It can change and evolve (just a bit) but it should start out very close to the image you want your company (even if "your company" is operated from your kitchen table or your living room sofa) to project to the world and all your friends. So what do you do? Where do you start? Well, I have a few ideas I want to pass along to you.
I have dabbled in several slightly for profit craft businesses. Gift baskets, jewelery, coffee, and most recently bath & body. The one thing that has always stayed the same is my product presentation...my packaging was so similar throughout all these businesses and I didn't even realize it. Why? Because I have my own individual and creative style. I gravitate to certain colors and certain themes. Probably you do too? Mid-century modern, shabby chic, rustic natural, retro groovy, industrial chic, bohemian gypsy, Paris modern and the list can go on. Look around you. What style are your clothes? What style are your furnishings and accessories? No matter what your style is you can create a branding package for your business that will make it stand out among the competition and help your business become successful (i.e. making money, lol) and win you new and repeat customers, the life blood of a good business. People often buy products because the branding appeals to them (they have the same taste as you) but they will only return if your product is really good and does whatever you say it will do. So, where do you start? That will be the subject of my next article...specific ways to build your brand. Keep making products or researching your idea and tomorrow we will start going over questions to help you narrow down your style and figure out what your FIRST direction will be. Yes, I said first. I will give you the info you need to start your branding, and you will have homework!!