Today I met someone who is starting a new business. They wanted to know when – in the business planning process – is the right time to start thinking about marketing. The short answer is “right away.”
Your marketing is going to be the driver of so many things so the sooner you get started thinking about your brand and what story you want your business to tell, the sooner you can start thinking about some of the logistics like ordering signage, shop layout (if you have a physical location), and budgets.
We have met a lot of entrepreneurs that build their business first and worry about marketing later – this causes a lot of frustration and annoyance for the business owner. They usually end up spending money without thinking through the appropriate marketing processes. When they do finally take the time to execute this step, it is often too late to take back some of the original investments that were made. As an entrepreneur-in-the-making, you have the opportunity to break this cycle and do things the right way! One of the top three things most entrepreneurs claim they would do different if they could do it all over is branding. Many small businesses think they do not need a brand…they do not need a story. They do. We all do…if we want to be successful.
Working with a business-to-be is the best kind of project for us, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. We really like to be involved early on before the business launches because we are able to build a plan from the ground up with no pre-existing marketing decisions and investments to keep in mind. Often times we are asked to work on a rebranding strategy for a company, but we cannot change some of the larger investments until they become damaged or run out (e.g. shop signage, van wraps, stationary, business cards). While we completely understand these limitations (as we are also a small business), they do often require a soft launch of the rebrand. A soft launch is not a bad thing, it just leads to slower results (most people like to see big results right away). With a completely fresh slate, we are able to be as creative as we want and produce the best solution to get fast results.
Bottomline, if you are thinking about starting a business, you should be thinking about your marketing at the same time. It will help you to spend less money in the long run which will make your business more financially stable and consistent in the eyes of your community.
If you would like some assistance in the marketing process for a new business, we would love to learn more about what you are building and get an idea of when you are planning to launch. We will always work around your schedule to make sure we can meet your deadlines.