When we speak of branding most of the time people try to relate it to big business house, however, the fact is that every business needs to establish their brand in order to survive the competition. This is nothing new; experts and management gurus had been preaching the same sermon for years now but what they have not told is why you need to brand your small business? How is branding going to help you to establish your business? How can you establish your brand without spending a fortune on it?
You might be having a very small business but would you like your client to perceive your business as a small time entrepreneurial effort? Definitely not, and your business cards, letterheads and other marketing collaterals does just that. They create an impression to your clients that you are an established business house of considerable strength and not just a mom-n-pop shop.
While you have read till this much, you might have started to plan to get a few home printed business cards or visit the website where you saw the preformatted business cards being sold for peanuts. Beware! The quality of your business card is an indication of the status of your business and your clients are intelligent enough to understand the difference between a standard designed perforated business card and a professionally designed business card printed on good quality card stock.
Most of us, including you, would prefer to consider the stability of a company before making a purchase decision. Once you have established your brand with a professionally designed logo, business card and other marketing efforts it becomes much easier for you to build your credibility among the customers.
Getting a professionally designed custom logo is one of the very important elements of branding a business. A logo is not just a symbol or a piece of graphics; it is actually your corporate identity. A properly designed logo can leave long lasting impression on your clients and will never let your business slip out of their minds. It also makes your business easily recognizable. Just think, wherever you see the Golden M of McDonald's do you really need to think twice, what company is that referring to? A good logo should ideally exude the nature and attitude of the business.
Once you have got a logo for yourself it becomes easier for you to establish your brand. You can use that logo in your business cards, letterheads and other accessories. Don't you think it is going to make a difference if the pack that you use to deliver your products to your customer has the logo of your company on it? And if you are using a reusable pack, your customer might just use the same pack to pass on some other goods to one of his friends- what happens then? Yes! Your logo gets noticed by one other person, you add one more name to the list of your potential customers. You are on your way to establish your own brand.
Similarly with business cards, as they get passed on from one person to the other, more and more people knows about your business and the potential customer base increases.
Having a business card or professionally designed logo also shows your commitment towards your business.
A short, easy to remember punch line is another useful tool for branding. Getting a tag line printed on your business cards or your business stationery makes it easier for people to understand the nature of your business. Ideally, your tag line should not only say about what you do but also speak about your USP.
Having said all that, the ultimate question that most of the small business people would have is, how much does it cost to get all these things done? I'd say, "not much". Money is always a problem for most of the small businesses (that's why they are small, otherwise most of us would like to open a Microsoft and be as rich as Bill Gates) but if you know where to look for, you really don't need to spend a fortune to get a professionally designed logo or a business card. There are loads of websites that offer them really cheap and some even allow you to decide the price that you want to pay. (Check out this twin sites, http://www.mycorporatelogo.com and http://www.mycorporateidentity.com ).
So, if you think you are tired of being a "small business" and its time to grow up, take the first step; establish your brand!
Ray Smith is a marketing expert with years of experience in different industries and specialized knowledge on branding and internet marketing.