To anyone looking to make a jump into entrepreneurship in 2019 I would like to give a few bits of insight before you make your first step in hiring a graphic designer or anyone needed to build your up and coming brand(s).
I've worked with a various types of clients who were up and coming people going into the business world or established clients looking to rebrand and upgrade themselves.
When it comes to those who never started a business before there are some who tend to jump a lot of steps before going in the right direction.
Starting a business is one of the most exciting and exhilarating decisions one could ever make. The risk and the rewards are worth it if you plan it properly.
However, some of the things I have consistently noticed is that people want to see the visuals before actually having a plan of action.
Those same people often tend to have more trouble at the beginning of their business ventures than most. Almost leading to failure which also means a great loss in their investment.
So I want to take the time before I received any phone calls this year with potential new clients looking for me to help build their brands to ask and inform suggestions on what to do before coming to myself or anyone (whether it be freelance or companies).
Again, some of the things I have noticed over the years is the lack of planning for one's brand and business venture.
I come across so many potential clients who have not thought of any form of strategic planning it's almost disturbing.
Very often they feel that they want a logo first and then think of how they will build revenue, clients, assets, etc.
Some also jump off before knowing where they will land.
Anyone who has ever taken a business class knows that it is suicide to go about it that way.
Before taking any steps to create your business please consider doing the following before wanting to create the brand.
1). Planning: Once you decide what you want to do (and whether there is a market for what you want to do) please do your thorough research. Meaning do your homework on what goes into the field that you desire to be a part of. There is the old saying "If you don't have a plan, you plan to fail."
2). Build your capital: Make sure you know how much money to invest in your business and brand. Again, research is involved. Building your capital also allows you to make better decisions based on your assets. So if you don't have the assets needed that is okay. There is no real need to rush the process especially if you have a plan. The important thing is to build. Meaning saving up what exactly what you need (and more in case of) to get things started.
If you have the means to get your capital from friends and family then do so. That way you can avoid any unnecessary interest from bank loans or credit unions.
Only require a loan from a bank if you have no other options but also know the risk.
NOTE: it is much better to approach people when you are ready and able. While some contractors and others allow partial payment, having everything at the ready puts things in order especially time.
3). Worry only about investing and not spending: This is something that I tell my clients a lot. Some are looking to jump from their regular jobs to become their own boss so they rely on that paycheck to do so. Because of that, they focus on spending which is not the bigger picture.
The reality is, things cost. Even more, quality cost. If you want to have that quality look that will gain the attention that you desire then you will have to invest. The most successful business and business owners didn't cringe when building their companies because they understood what is needed and what they are getting back in return from their investments.
Those who focus on SPENDING is not focusing on their future and what comes out of it.
On the other hand, those who focus on investing are those who not only have done their homework but are also confident in what to expect in their investment.
The reality is the spending focus types have been known to not last very long and are less risk-taking to make their vision come true.
Investment focus types have their research, plans, proposals, and capital ready to got knowing that it will eventually come back and even supersede that amount they put in.
It is important to also note that educated entrepreneurs have an understanding that what they forecast can take up to a few years to build. There will be some loss along the way which is normal but the best thing to do is stay consistent in your plan and don't give up just because its not coming in the first month, year, or two years of business.
Some of the most successful figures in the US have had similar stories where it took them a decade to get to where they are today. However they trusted in themselves enough to have faith in their investments.
4). Maintain diligence and consistency: Working in retail I always worked my hardest even if I hated the job. The idea is to not allow anyone to say that you have no value or that you are lacking in the requested areas of expertise. If you do so you can use that ability elsewhere and anywhere.
5). Diligence and Commitment: Case in point, when I was working in retail and corporate I often was promoted to take on the more challenging task. Now as great as that sounds there are some companies and management that will take advantage of you and your ability to be diligent and committed. That's where critical thinking comes in as you have to make business decisions on whether it is worth your time and investment as well as whether they will make it worth your value.
But while working in retail there were co-workers that would slack off constantly and say I will put in the effort in the job I am aiming for. In the years that I moved on and evolved those who made that claim stayed doing the same job and never making the proper move.
6). Critical Thinking: This is one of your most powerful tools in business. It can help you advance and it can also save you from some very dreadful situations. Not everyone in the business world is dependable, trustworthy, or successful in their pursuit of you. I have had potential clients that I had to step away from due to the lack of trust I had in them when it came to working on projects. Sometimes it was financial, other times it could be based on moral and ethics. Some of them were actual names of famous known people in pop culture and I chose to step down when working with them.
7). Education: A big part of investing in your business is being educated to understand how to properly do business. This is surprisingly a major mistake by many who look to create their dreams. Some believe in their minds that business is created exactly like a 22-minute episode of their favorite sitcom which is further from the truth.
What our favorite shows don't show (due to the lack of time) is the stages that people in the real world go through to become that successful. One of them is actually getting a proper education to learn the right strategies and the right terms that you need to make it out there.
Those who are not properly educated have a much harder time without the knowledge needed. Yes, Jay-Z made it big but what people also forget is that he was a successful hip-hop artist which allowed him to transition into becoming the mogul he is today. It was not an A to D direction for him. He too had to learn steps which involved A B C and D combined.
My biggest suggestion to all is to take a couple of business classes to see if this is truly what you want to do. Because the business is more than just a logo, business card, or a website.
That is a part of your investment as well because it will cost you to take these classes but with a great end result if you truly benefit from its teachings.
There is only so much that you can learn from the internet and even that is only a very low percentage of what you need to know.
8). Integrity: The key to building a quality brand is integrity. When you think of very successful brands in the world such as Sony, Pepsi, Nike, Target, Amazon, etc, you think quality. You think of companies who often maintain a standard of good to great service with their customers, consumers, and/or clientele. That is very important in your journey to establishing yourself as a legitimate business person in society.
The code of morals and ethics play a major role in gaining more business. People will require a level of expectation from you and if you don't deliver you will have a hard time gaining the needed attention
So no matter who you work with whether it is hiring people to help you or providing goods and services you will always need to build a strong sense of principle where people feel very satisfied in working with you.
REMINDER: So again, remember to please take these steps before perusing the needed help to build your business or brand. These steps will not only help you but also allow people to see you with respect of one who is ready, willing, and able to make it happen.
The last thing you want to do is be exposed for not being a legitimate figure in the business world. First impressions are very important no matter who you work or network with.
With that said, HAPPY NEW YEAR and I wish you all the best in your endeavors.