Advice

What Branding Essentials Are Necessary When I First Start Out?

March 7, 2019

Dear Jenny, I’m about to start a small catering business and I anticipate working alone for the first 1-2 years. My budget is tight but I want to launch successfully. Can you help me with what branding…

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Dear Jenny,

I’m about to start a small catering business and I anticipate working alone for the first 1-2 years. My budget is tight but I want to launch successfully. Can you help me with what branding essentials are absolutely necessary?

For example:
Do I need a logo?
A tagline?
A mission statement?

Do I have to do an “About Me” even if I anticipate adding a few employees in a few years? And even if I don’t want to be the face of the business?

Dear Brand on a Budget,

First thing’s first. If you want to launch successfully, have a plan so you don’t fall flat because you left out important ingredients. Pardon the pun.

Check out: Is Your Business Guaranteed to Rise? on the blog to make sure you’ve put a strong foundation in place – instead of throwing together a bunch of ingredients hoping something will stick.

Do that first.

Now as far as branding essentials go, here are some free and/or budget-friendly resources to look into so you don’t look like amateur hour when you launch:

Read A Potential Customer Arrives at Your Website … Now What? to get a sense of what and how you need to communicate with your potential customer in order to get hired.

Read How Do I Choose Colors and Fonts for My Business’ Branding? to learn more about selecting a color palette and fonts that work for your brand. I’ve included several sites for color palette and fonts inspiration that are free!

And finally, read Do I Really Need to Hire a Copywriter? to hear why I think investing in a professional writer will really get your brand cookin’.

As for as your logo, you can select a free, legible font that resonates with your brand for your company name. Again, there are many free fonts to choose from. There are also free logo generators and services like Fivvr and 99 designs to have a logo created.

And don’t take forever creating a logo, picking a font and second-guessing it a million times. You can revisit your branding later on as your business grows and your services are more defined.

And you don’t need a tagline or mission statement to get started, so don’t worry about that at all right now!

Next, although you don’t want to be the face of your business, it is a catering business and I have a feeling people are going to want to know who’s cooking for them. Wouldn’t you? I mean, it’s not Casper the Friendly Ghost in the kitchen!

So yes. You need an About Page, even if it’s just a one-sentence sum up of why you cook, what you cook, for whom you cook for and why you’re qualified to cook. People don’t want to read a mile-long hero’s journey, but they do want to know those basics.

Here’s the upshot:

People aren’t buying from you because of your catchy tagline, a heartfelt mission statement or beautiful logo. (Although, of course, those things don’t hurt.) What matters most is that your messaging and services on your website and social media channels are CLEAR and that you actually deliver on what you promise in that messaging.

I hope this gives you some clarity with a side of Texas sass 😉

Best,
Jennifer

P.S. Join our new Facebook Group and pull up a chair!

Disclaimer: The advice given in this column is for educational, informational and entertainment purposes only. The reader is responsible for the outcomes of any actions and/or decisions made based on this advice.

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