You’re just starting your business. Opening a bank account, getting a business license, and setting up your office are top priorities. And, of course, the question of stationery and marketing comes up. If you’re starting a business, you need business cards. And probably stationery. And a website. All this means you need to design a logo immediately, right?
Maybe. But maybe not.
A lot of small businesses start out with one vision, but by the time they really start rolling, things may have changed. Services or products may wind up being modified to better match customers’ wants or needs. New product and service lines may get developed. You may discover, after you start making sales and talking to customers, that you’re doing things in a revolutionary way. You may be serving a different type of client than you’d originally envisioned—or solving a problem you didn’t expect to encounter for those clients.
Any of these factors can play a major role in your logo and brand design.
Starting out your business with your logo, stationery, and marketing materials all perfectly designed can certainly jumpstart your brand building process. But the key word here is “perfectly.” If your business is in the very beginning phase, you may not have had enough practice running it to know what it is really all about, so you can’t use that information to design the perfect brand.
Here are questions you can ask yourself to determine if you’re prepared to create your logo:
1. Do you have a solid plan that lays out exactly what you’re going to do in your business? If you’ve only sketched one out, or if it has gaps and holes, then waiting until those are filled in will result in a stronger logo and brand.
2. Are you committed to sticking to that plan? Or are you planning to stay flexible and make changes in your business as you try things out? If you’re willing to make changes, then those changes may mean that your brand ends up not matching your business—which means that the effort and cost invested in design and printing has been somewhat wasted. You have gained some value from your brand, but you have to do everything all over again.
3. Can temporary marketing materials work for your business, or will they detract from potential sales? How important is it that you get off the ground with your marketing materials finished perfectly? Don’t postpone the branding process if it will cost you customers or hurt your business. However, do be aware that if you try to brand too early, you may not design your brand correctly.
4. Have you started a business and/or created a brand before? If not, you may want to take it slow. Branding is easy to rush into, but it’s a major business decision. Waiting until your business is stable and established can really pay off.
If you have definite answers for these questions, then you may be ready for your brand. However, if you aren’t sure that you’re settled in your business and on its personality, services, differentiators, and target audience, it may be better to hold off creating a logo so that it will be as accurate and as lasting as possible.