One of the main reasons a person starts a business is simple: They no longer want to work for someone else.
The aspiration of being your own boss has a sultry feel to it. Being an entrepreneur is a coveted career path for many. There are 20-year olds in Silicon Valley launching the next black unicorn at this very moment.
But the dream will remain just that, a dream, unless action is taken.
“It’s not the right time.”
“I don’t have the money.”
“I don’t have the time.”
Often, a myriad of excuses arise and the next great idea gets shelved while another episode of [insert any Netflix phenonemon] gets consumed instead.
Starting a business is challenging. It takes time, effort, and energy. I’m here to help.
Creating Your Brand’s Starter Kit
My name is Matt McConkey and I’m a Pro Product Specialist here at Design Pickle. What’s a Pro Product Specialist? It’s a four-dollar word for sales. So why is this sales guy telling you how hard it is to start and run a business?
I created a business from scratch in 22 business days using Design Pickle’s Pro package. That means I created every single graphic needed to launch a business for less than $1,000 in under a month.
“Oh sure, this guy works for Design Pickle. It will be easy for him.” See, you’re already making excuses. (But just check out Design Pickle’s work samples to get an idea of our creative scope!)
Can anyone do this? Yes. Anyone can launch a business. Don’t believe me? Read about Martha Matilda Harper. She invented the franchise model 60 years before Ray Kroc.
The idea behind my business was simple: If anyone can create and start a business, I wanted to show how Design Pickle can elevate their brand to the next level, even before the idea is off the ground.
I chose the house cleaning industry. Often, house cleaning businesses are operated by solopreneurs and feature less than 10 employees. Generally speaking, these owner-operators take pride in their cleaning skills rather than their marketing capabilities. In today’s market however, if you want to stand out, you’ve got to do what others aren’t willing to do.
To prove that Design Pickle is the perfect partner when starting a business, I documented the process of building my brand. From choosing a name and logo to social media graphics, my journey can be read (and watched) below.
Several ideas were kicked around, but ultimately, I coined my business LemonTidy House Cleaning for several reasons:
- Lemon is a common agent in household cleaners. It evokes the thought of cleanliness and has a pleasant scent.
- The definition of Tidy is “arranged neatly in order.”
- “House Cleaning” narrows down the niche from the variety of cleaning services on the market.
“The strongest logos tell simple stories.” —Sol Sender
The logo is the foundation of any business. If your logo looks like you spent an hour in Word using Clip Art, it will reflect on your business. Not everyone can design, but everyone can certainly spot good design when they see it, so you need to make a great first impression.
I used Google to find logos I felt would be best suited for this startup. After some quick searching, I found several stock photos, grabbed their URLs, and dropped them into my Design Pickle Request. This way, my designer knows exactly what I’m looking for in a logo.
Several days later, I had five iterations of logos in my inbox. Some companies can take weeks or even months to produce a logo and I got mine back after a handful of days. I settled on one and pushed forward with the next step in my process, printed marketing materials.
Marketing collateral is vital for every business. After doing research on the materials that should take priority when getting started, I landed on the following:
- Business Cards
- Tri-fold brochures
- Door Hangers
For a house cleaning business, this is the perfect starter kit.
Again, I am no branding “specialist,” nor do I hold a degree in marketing. However, I do know good design when I see it, so I went to the most logical place to find great design – the internet. I then let Design Pickle take that inspiration and make it my own.
I followed the same process for creating marketing collateral when creating graphics for the following platforms:
I even had ads created. We’re in the age of the Internet. Every single business should have some sort of online presence, including a website and social media channels. Having a digital platform to push out sales and interact with your audience is key in today’s market.
Next, I created a brand guide, t-shirt designs, and a vehicle wrap.
A brand guide is the backbone of any brand. It tells the story of your brand, how the logo is allowed to be used, the colors associated with it, and the fonts you’ve designated to be associated with said brand.
Can you guess where I found the inspiration for a brand guide?
From there, the t-shirt graphics and vehicle wrap fell into place quite easily.
At this point, I also set up my brand profile in my Design Pickle account. In the Brand Profile, I can include the company demographic, colors, and brand style guide. This gives my designer a baseline for all designs moving forward. Then I don’t have to upload those assets each and every time.
PROS OF THE PICKLE
The dedicated designer is one of my favorite aspects of Design Pickle. They are an extension of your team, no matter where you are located on Earth.
I allowed my designer creative freedom within the boundaries I set forth. LemonTidy’s business cards were one of the first design items where this creativity shined through.
I gave the designer three different styles to follow. The designer created the graphics and the one I chose ended up being the baseline I used throughout the whole branding process.
Who came up with that idea? My designer did! It’s all about collaboration when it comes to design.
HOW MUCH DID I SAVE?
Twenty-two days after starting this project, my brand’s starter kit was complete. To say I was impressed would be a gross understatement. Call a branding agency and ask them the average time it takes to launch a brand. Hint — It’s months, not days.
The launch cost $995. If you were to complete this process with an agency, you can guarantee it’s going to cost 10 times that, at a minimum.
A branding guide is your key to creating consistent, professional visuals. Download our step-by-step guide to creating a complete set of visual brand rules that will help empower your marketing materials, indefinitely!
Now it’s your turn.
What business ideas are floating around in your head? For the creative support needed to get your next project off the ground, lean on Design Pickle graphic design subscription. We’ll be glad to assist.