Once you have your Brand Definition, Logo and Business Card, here are the next steps for a small business to consider:

4. Do you need a letterhead? Not all small businesses will need a letterhead as a first step, but some will. It all depends on how you plan to correspond with your customers. If you do want to create a letterhead, then think about whether you’ll want to have sheets preprinted, or if you’d rather have your letterhead as a digital file in Word, that you can print out one sheet at a time. If you only print letters occasionally, and email more often, a Word letterhead may be all you need. And, you can use the header from your Word letterhead in Quickbooks, to brand your invoices.

5. Web site. These days, a website is going to be an important part of your marketing and sales strategy. I recommend that a small business start their business literature by creating their site, because it’s a great way to work out the text for your other printed marketing materials (there’s nothing worse than ordering 1000 brochures and realizing that they don’t really say what you want them to!) The text on a website is easy to change, so you can test different messages out before committing to print.

Additionally, a website gives you an active piece of marketing collateral. The website’s going to be out in the world, answering prospects’ questions, which makes your sales cycle easier. And, if it’s Search Engine Optimized well, the site will in new prospects also.

6. Printed collateral. Sales sheets, brochures, packaging, etc. should be the last pieces that you design. And, what you need will depend on how you’re planning to market and promote your business. If you plan this section carefully, and make sure that you design pieces that you’ll use (meaning that you’ll give them out instead of letting them gather dust in your office) and that your prospects will read (instead of throwing them in the trash. So, think of marketing pieces that are going to be helpful to your prospects, so that you’ll get the most benefit from giving them out!