You do not need a considerable budget to make an impact by branding a business. Sure you can spend millions of dollars branding a business but for most small businesses branding is something that only some are willing to spend a lot of their resources on. Learning what you can do yourself, outsourcing, and tools that you can use. A tiny budget doesn’t mean tiny branding, you just have to know how to utilize the tools at your disposal.
Branding to Focus on
Business owners need to wear many hats and have to learn to excel at everything even if 99% of it is not what they set out to do. From sales to customer service, bookkeeping to branding a business, most small business owners have to handle most, if not all of these tasks themselves. As you and your company grow you will be able to outsource more, but in the meantime, you must learn to brand yourself so your customers know it is your company.
So, what even is branding, besides a buzzword that you hear often in the business world? The American Marketing Association says that branding is-” A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
Think about some of the biggest brands out there, even if you were to take just a couple of letters out of their logo you would probably be able to figure out what company it was. Or remove half of their logo, and you would still be able to decipher what brand it is. This is from years of branding in your face without you even realizing you were seeing the same image, logo, or tagline over and over again. You could probably finish most of these catchy taglines as well, even if you don’t think you know them.
When branding a business on a tiny budget, focus your precious dollars on where your money will go the furthest. First, decide on a cohesive look and simple branding guidelines that all of your brandings will follow. This will help any and all marketing, advertising, social media posts, email blasts, and more look professional and consistent with your brand. If you are able to outsource your logo, start there, often young, up-and-coming graphic designers are willing to take this project on for very small fees to help build up their portfolio.
Once you have a logo, create your color scheme and fonts that you will use across your branding efforts. Create a simple toolkit that will help you stay on brand while managing your business. The toolkit to start does not have to be complex, a simple toolkit with guidelines for branding a business is an important step and key for branding a business. A toolkit is also helpful when you are able to outsource projects, as the toolkit will be able to guide both people inside and outside of your business, which is helpful when branding a business on a tiny budget.
Helpful Tools For Branding a Business on a Budget
Branding a business on a tiny budget will mean a lot of stuff that bigger businesses outsource will be yours to take on and master. Learning how to do these tasks will not only make you a stronger business owner, but it will also help you long-term when you are able to afford to pay someone to do that job. You are the person who knows your business the best so even with a tiny budget you are the heart of what your business stands for as well as the image you want to portray.
Canva is a great tool for branding a business on a tiny budget. Is an online design and publishing tool that is easy not only easy to use but also helps you create professional branding pieces for your business. There is a free basic account or an upgraded one if you want more access. From creating logos, keeping your branding fonts, and colors, scheduling social media posts, and more. This is a tool that can be a one-stop shop for a very reasonable price, perfect for branding on a budget.
Everyone needs a website, the drool-worthy websites can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars with dedicated people to manage and keep your looking pretty and clean. There are plenty of platforms to create a website that is user-friendly even if you are a novice when it comes to coding and creating a website. Just make sure that your website host is able to do what you need for your page whether that be a capture page, image upload, process payment, and more.
How to Stretch a Tiny Budget
When branding a business on a tiny budget you must learn to stretch that tiny budget but not appear that you actually are. For starters don’t try to do everything halfway, pick a few things to focus on and master those before branching out. There are so many social media platforms that you can be a part of, but doing multiple of them at the same time with little to no engagement is not as impactful as picking one or two and focussing your time and attention on those.
Pick the ones that are the most relevant to branding a business and the ones you feel most comfortable with for your business. Even if it seems everyone is doing one trend that you can’t stand, doesn’t mean you have to do it as well. Pick what works for you, your brand, and your company, and focus and master on that. Your focus will come through to your brand by being genuine and showing up where it matters most to you and your customers.
Outsourcing branding a business, marketing, or advertising projects can be a helpful way to stretch a tiny branding budget. You do not need a lot of money to outsource small projects to those who are looking to make a little money on the side, college students, or those brand new in their careers looking to get as much experience as they can. In addition, many local colleges require students to get an internship, which can be a great way to help a local student, get extra help and learn from them at the same time.
Branding a business on a tiny budget may seem like an uphill battle, but really as a business owner, it is all about being resourceful. Utilize others, take advantage of the many helpful tools out there, and do what you do best while getting help for those other branding tasks that you are just not quite able to master. Branding a business is a vital part of your brand image and necessary for growth and long-term sustainability as a brand image.
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