You often hear parents reflect on “How fast time flies.”
I’ve been through that as a parent of grown sons, and now I find myself reflecting on how fast the time has flown by with my “Brand It baby”.
Fifteen years simply disappeared.
No guessing about it, the past 15 years have brought fun along the way. Yes, it’s been stressful at times and twelve-hour days didn’t seem short while I was living it. Just as a new mom forgets about the night feedings, I have almost forgotten the long hours and deadlines that happened before we had the full Brand It team.
15 Things I’ve Learned from Starting a Business
Starting a business from nothing is something my husband Pete and I find a lot of satisfaction in knowing we accomplished together. We feel so blessed. I’m not ashamed to say I’m a person of faith and it took a lot of prayer in the beginning as we took on this new business venture. But it also took good common sense. Below are just a few of the things that I have learned, and hope that you take these lessons to heart as you plan your business.
- If you are considering a new business adventure, please consider working with professionals from the start. Learning the ropes as you go is admirable but there can also be very costly mistakes made. Find a mentor that will give good advice. Be willing to pay them for their time and listen.
- Do your homework. Look to resources for guidance. There are business presentations, industry workshops and professional mentors that have knowledge and are willing to share their expertise.
- Sign up for industry publications or blogs and attend tradeshows that keep you up-to-date.
- Join the right industry organizations that work well with your new business venture. Brand It Marketing has chosen to be involved with several Chambers of Commerce in our local area, Women in Business, Optimist Club and we serve on several worthy boards.
- Networking events are beneficial and help make valuable business connections.
- Every business works under a different model. Do what is going to work best for you. For Brand It Marketing, we used the resources we had and built on them. Our farmhouse office is a prime example. We owned the farmhouse and decided to use it to our advantage instead of having an additional expense in renting or buying a new office space.
- Naming your business is very important to you, the business, and your future brand. Spelling, uniqueness, clarity, pronunciation, and longevity all are things we consider when we work with our clients in naming a business. This step can be one of the most difficult business decisions because you really do need to get it right from the start and it’s so personal.
- Check availability of website URLs that work with the name you are considering. If you are planning a website, this article will help you fully prepare: https://www.branditonline.com/planning-a-new-website/
- A short tagline that states what your business does is a valuable part of your branding. The shorter the better.
- Are company colors important to start a business? Brand It Marketing’s stand on this question is YES. And stick with those colors to help establish brand recognition.
- A brand symbol also known as a logo is one of the things that our creative design team enjoys developing. A lot of thought and research goes into the decisions we make in producing the right image for a unique new design that represents your new brand.
- Your brand is your reputation and people are watching. What will be your brand reputation? Brand It Marketing is a smaller agency that’s doing big things and we try to be as simple and transparent as possible when it comes to our business model. We don’t like negative surprises and we don’t want our client to have any either. We value our clients and we are honest with them.
- What will your brand look like every day? Are you a uniform business, casual logoed dress or business professional? Whatever look you decide, always be consistent. You will become known for the brand you create, and your clients or customers will expect it from you. Don’t confuse them.
- Your signage, website, social media, and dress are just a few ways of creating a brand. It needs to be consistent every time to become a strong recognized brand.
- When starting Brand It Marketing, we were told to work on an exit plan before starting the business. At some point we might stop and enjoy the retired life, but for now the exit plan doesn’t seem too necessary. It is a good idea to know how you are going to end your business.
Our different backgrounds, academic choices, skills and talents, drive and desire have us on a journey that started 15 years ago as ag marketers. We have expanded our reach to a diverse industry base. Many friends have been made along the way and I truly look forward to where this journey will lead us next. I love what I do, and I enjoy the people I work with and help every day.