Traveling to an appointment this week, I passed a black truck towing a black trailer that on the back door stated, “Quality Landscaping” with a phone number. This chance encounter started me thinking about branding and why it is so important for a business.
Branding itself is multi-faceted and should grow as your business grows and for a startup, branding is necessary. It shows that you, the owner, care about the appearance of your business. People are more likely to do business with someone who has taken the time to not only know their trade, but invest in in. These investments may be carrying insurance and being bonded or having quality equipment. Your branding is also an investment. This investment may include having quality business cards, having a professionally designed logo, a fully functioning website, and so much more.
Why is branding so important?
It all comes down to assumptions and expectations. When you take the time to invest in your branding, people are more likely to assume you provide quality goods or services. However, if you are running on a shoestring budget and it shows through your lack of branding, people are less likely to frequent your business. Your lack of branding may be giving the expectation that you will not be in business long term or you do not carry the proper coverage on your business should something unexpected happen.
Proper branding shows that you as the business owner have taken the time to care about how your business appears to the general public. It gives a sense of permanence to your specific brand. Depending on your specific business, you may need to employ different branding techniques but that does not mean you need to spend a small fortune doing so.
Here are a few tips to help you with your branding:
- Have a high-quality business card printed from a professional print shop. While you can create and print business cards from home, they lack in paper quality, print quality, and the perforation marks show. Business cards do not need to be expensive. While many choose to purchase from online print shops, there are also local shops that can print high quality cards at a low cost. We highly recommend Occupational Services Inc. for printing needs.
- Spend time on creating a website for your business. The days of passing cards and expecting a call are over. In today’s fast changing world, a business needs to be online for long term success. This is more than just reviews and recommendations. Individuals look online to see what you do and how you do it before making a decision. Websites should have different pages that showcase your business, what you do, who you are, and how to contact you. Other pages may include testimonials, shopping, and your list of services.
- Create a logo for your business. A logo is a visual representation of your business. It does not need to be overly complex, but it shows a sense of permanence and should be on all of your branded materials.
- Use social media networks that target your audience. Social media is huge and those who are not on a network of some sort are a very slim minority. Take the time to learn about your audience and then post on the network they are more likely to spend their time on. Start with one network and once you are receiving a return on your investment or you are feeling comfortable with posting on that network, move onto the next. You do not need to be on all of the networks, as there are a lot. Just focus on those that your target audience is on.
Taking time to invest in your branding gives people the opportunity to find you and when done well, helps your business grow. As for the truck I passed, I did not take a picture to remember the phone number or write it down as I was driving, but I did search online. I found a lot of landscapers in the area, and one with that specific name. If you were looking for a landscaper, who would you choose? The one without any reviews or website or the ones below it with reviews and a website? I know who I would contact first.