Questions every new business owner should ask when branding and marketing a new business in Reno.
We are experiencing a surge in growth of new business in the Reno/Tahoe area. Major tech companies are flocking to grab a piece of the tax breaks while ambitious entrepreneurs introduce grand ideas to the scene, the local market is heating up.
As a new business owner, you have legitimate concerns about your business. But as a new player, it’s difficult sifting through questions that matter and questions that don’t–or don’t quite yet. So what questions are the most lucrative questions? How about the most pressing? Ah! Now those are some questions worth exploring. We’re focusing on questions that concern branding: brand launch, brand maintenance and brand profitability. So let’s get started.
We can break priority branding questions down into three categories: Time, Money and Vision.
How do I create a brand launch timeline that works with my budget? The longer your business takes to launch, the longer it takes to make the first dollar. Working with a branding or marketing company that understands that–rather than simply taking your money and churning out thoughtless deliverables–can mean the difference between a mediocre launch and a profitable one.
How do we set up the business to evolve with the evolving market? When people think of you as a small business, they don’t take into account your big dreams. You get tossed into the Small Business category, and it’s hard to move out of that sphere when a marketing company confines you there. Part of staying out of that category is making goals toward progress. Looking forward at what you want to become.
How do I select the right branding and marketing partner? You need someone who knows how to launch right, not deliver a brand that was thrown together overnight, because that’s exactly what it’s going to look like. If an agency starts with your budget before your vision, leave. A competent branding agency will support who you aim to be and work with you to create a strategy to achieve it.
If energy–or storage, or labor–were free, what would our ideal operations look like? This is a more theoretical contemplation for those relaunching their brand, something to help you consider how you would rewire your business if and when the funds were to come your way.
What should we be counting that we’re missing? You’ve got to consistently look at both intangible and tangible assets to wholly understand what you’re working with and how you differentiate from the competitors in your market. Look at brand reputation and emotional resonance with the same critical analysis as profitability and cash flow.
How do you add value to the market? Consider monetary and qualitative values. How do you contribute?
What single word do we want to “own’ in the eyes of our audience? This boils down to branding. Nike owns Just Do It. Google not only owns the word “search,” but has essentially replaced it in the English language. This is what Byron Sharp calls Distinctive Assets, and you need to be aware of yours.
Will Your Business Be Relevant In 10 years? Is your business idea progressive, relevant, or timeless? A solid brand is built with wiggle room–opportunities for growth when the time is right. But first, you need to look at the long-game potential of your brand. If your brand is Just Copiers, you might not make it past a year. But if you’re brand offers complementary services that can evolve, there is ample room to re-strategize for relevance.
What is it like to work for this company? You’ve likely thought through your ideal employees, but what about when the tables are turned? Think beyond the Golden Rule, here.
The “Small” Business Owner Takeaway
As a new business owner, marketing agencies and investors will immediately categorize you as a “Small Business Owner.” You, however, aren’t calling it a small business, just because you’re working from a laptop in your apartment–because you’re not thinking small,you are thinking bigger than a single brick and mortar, bigger than a 20 semi-regulars popping in throughout the week (this sentence confused me). You have vision, now you need support that sees that and is committed to helping you grow.
Your branding agency shouldn’t be a bottomless wishing well to toss your money into. It should be the other kind of well–you know, the one with the information, the right information. Get Business support with your branding agency, and together you can think through the best way to use your money.