As you get started with your small home-based business, you might think that you can afford to put branding off for the future. After all, you should just get down to work, right? Wrong.
Failing to develop a strong brand identity is a common mistake, and it will set you back on your path to success. You need to think about how you can reach out and grab your clients’ attention and get them interested in what you have to offer, no matter how small you are now.
Why is branding important for a small business?
Quick – think of Apple’s logo. It came to you easily, right? And with it, a whole slew of your feelings and thoughts about the brand. Now do the same for Subway. And then for EasyJet. Their logos, colour scheme, and fonts are all instantly recognisable and loaded with meaning. You’re not too small to have your own brand recognition!
- Branding is the ‘face’ of a business – Your branding drives recognition and helps people get excited when they see your logo, and tells them what to expect from your company.[i]
- Your branding creates trust – When people see that you have a professional logo, they are much more likely to trust in your business. A small home business can look every bit as slick as the bigger guys, providing they have consistent and polished branding across all platforms.
- Branding offers value – A strong brand identity lets customers know that they are in the right place and that your products and services match their needs. They are more likely to pay more for your offerings if they can see that you’re worth the investment.
How much does business branding cost?
Business branding costs can run the gamut from printing a run of business cards to a full design suite, logo, and colour scheme. Your costs will also vary depending on whether you choose to work with an independent freelancer, or you prefer to work with a professional agency.[ii]
- Business card printing – Business cards start at £21 for 50 single-sided cards on 400 gsm unlaminated paper, and runs to £482 for 5000 double-sided cards on 400 gsm matt laminated and Spot UV paper.
- Logo and visual identity – From the moment you get started, you need a logo and visual identity that will grab your potential clients and get them interested. Make sure you hire someone who shares your vision. Expect to pay anywhere between £100 - £3000 for a logo, and more as you start adding fonts, colour schemes, and other visual elements.
- Website – Your website is the most crucial aspect of your small home-based business, as it will often serve as your calling card, and be the first place your clients interact with you. Rather than splash out on a massively complicated website built to order, template websites from Squarespace look great and do the trick. You’ll only pay between £10 - £30 per month on the subscription, and about £20-£50 per year on your custom domain.
- Brand strategy – Once you are up and running, it is time to think about your brand strategy and positioning. It’s essential to get this right, even if you have a small budget. Working with a freelancer will cost you between £500 - £3000, and working with a small firm with a proven track record will cost between £1000 - £5000.
Our top identity-building tips for your home business
Here are some of our top tips for building your own branding strategy.
- Establish who you are as a business – This point may sound simple, but its importance can never be overstated. Your branding isn’t just a colourful logo or a tagline – it is all about your mission, your values, and the care that you put into your products or services. Asking yourself the deep and meaningful questions about your ethos now will pay off as you grow your business.
- Identify your target audience – To attract your target clientele, you need to know who they are and what they want from your company.[iii] Every other aspect of your branding strategy will always come back to this: who are your customers, and what do they want? How old are they? Where do they live, and what is important to them?
- Set up your social media accounts – Social media is more important than ever, and your accounts should echo the discoveries of the points above. Post thoughtful and original content that will engage and delight your target audience. Remember to keep things on-topic and on-brand.
No home-based business can ever truly take off and become a legendary success with a strong commitment to branding. Now that you have the basics, it’s time to get out there and put this information into practice.
DeVault, G. (2012). How to Create the Ideal Consumer Profile. [online] The Balance Small Business. Available at: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/consumer-profile-defining-the-ideal-customer-2296932.
Smithson, E. (2015). What Is Branding And Why Is It Important For Your Business? [online] Brandingmag. Available at: https://www.brandingmag.com/2015/10/14/what-is-branding-and-why-is-it-important-for-your-business/ [Accessed 20 Jul. 2020].
Tech Crunch (2019). Start-Up Branding: How Much Does it Really Cost? [online] Tech Crunch. Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/28/startup-branding-how-much-does-it-really-cost/[Accessed 20 Jul. 2020].