As a fellow female entrepreneur, I totally understand having a very tight budget in the beginning and that’s nothing to feel bad about. When you’re just starting out and can’t necessarily afford top-notch professional branding services or a custom website there’s definitely no shame in that. When the budget is minuscule there’s some ways you can have a successful launch and do the initial branding on a smaller scale until you’re ready to take it to the next level.
If you’re doing it DIY
Keep it simple. Choose a nice typeface you like rather than trying to go about designing or illustrating an icon – especially if you’re not going to be married to it long term. Don’t risk a less than ideal execution that could hurt your business presence. On the other hand, using a simple and beautiful typeface and color palette and some nice photography instead can have the right impact for your business. It’s also best to avoid creating a mark or icon if you plan on changing it later – it may end up confusing your following once you make the change. Don’t worry about having the public establish an association with your mark just yet – especially if you’re not so sure about it yourself.
If you have a shoe string budget
Start with just a logo. Listen – I’m the first to advocate that a brand consists of more than a single logo, but if you’re tight on funds having a well designed logo is certainly a wonderful start. You can always add to and evolve your brand once your business grows and you get some more cash flow coming in. Once you have the budget, you can then develop more collateral, refine the color palette, patterns and get a custom website and “go big” with your brand. Starting with a strong logo means you won’t have to worry about a confusing transition and you’ll be able to create and keep the established logo/mark association you’ve created with your brand and your followers.
Don’t price shop
Branding your business is an investment and is one thing you shouldn’t scrimp on. Make a smart investment with your branding and it’ll pay off. You may be tempted to choose the least expensive designer but this might result in an unsatisfactory design and you end up spending more money and time and frustration in the end. Think of it as quality vs. quantity, you may get a whole branding system but if it’s not the quality you’re looking for then you could potentially end up paying for a whole new rebranding later. Also know a higher price doesn’t mean they’re an ideal fit for you. Always look at their collection of work so you can get an idea about their design aesthetic and level of quality. Designers all have their own strengths and style. For example, there’s some who specialize in hand lettering and some might be fantastic at clean and modern design and some iconography. Make sure to pick someone who has work that is inline with the style that resonates with your business. In the end, it’s best to save your money until you can afford the right person for the job.
Take Action: For those who are ready to make an investment visit my website quaint-inc.com and send me an email – And for those just starting your business and have a super tight budget I offer two branding scholarships a year – email me email@example.com to apply!
Take Action Op2: Decide where you are in your business right now and which branding solution makes sense for you. Then look for inspiration online and create a Pinterest mood board so you can get inspired and a better grasp on what aesthetic you like – and if you do end up working with a designer this will help them immensely with capturing the right vision!
Leah is a designer with a professional background and a passion for helping fellow female business owners authentically communicate their brand and captivate their ideal client’s attention. She loves taking her experience in design, branding, and marketing to help her clients get a beautiful and polished brand paired with smart strategy. She has worked as an Art Director with award-winning design firms and is founder of QuaintInc where she specializes in branding and illustration with a quaint aesthetic. She also has QuaintShoppe which sells a collection of jewelry and illustrative goods for the home. She currently resides in Austin, TX and when not designing or illustrating, you can find her shopping for antiques, traveling or enjoying a gin concoction. You can see more of her work on Quaint-inc.com