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What Everybody Ought to Know About Starting a Small Business

February 24, 2021
starting a smaill business

So, you have the next big thing,the solution to a terrible pain that will revolutionize our lives beyond imagination. But how do you actually pursue it?

Building a remarkable brand in 2021 is a lot more reachable than you might think.

 

Creating a powerful brand is absolutely within your means. Look at the explosive growth the platform TikTok has seen over the last several years. Look at how a company like Amazon grew to be a trillion-dollar company in just over twenty years. Look at a company like Tesla making just as much money as companies like Toyota and Nissan by selling a fraction of the cars they do.

Access to data collection and data analysis tools give you great insights to not only understand your audience, but to know how to communicate with them, how to reach them using their preferred marketing channels, and how to create content that will grab their attention like a magnet loose in a nail factory…

 

Not only that, but the increased use of technology has made it easier for you – the entrepreneur – to find reliable marketing services and connect with your intended consumer in just a few clicks.

You know how you can go on Google to find basically whatever you can think of?

There are companies that specialize in helping business owners bring their website to the top of Google’s search results, ensuring that prospects can quickly find those offerings as they search (a process known as SEO optimization).

The point that I am trying to make is that bringing your idea to life is absolutely doable, and here is how:

 

Begin by coming up with a name for your brand.

 

Coming up with a name is probably one of the most challenging things you can do. There are insecurities about how good the name is, will the name make sense to the outside world, and will it be remarkable?

This is why I begin my projects by giving them a name. Once you get passed this hurdle, the steps forward become more clear, more focused.

 

Here is what I will tell you about coming up with a name: keep it simple.

Do not try to get clever and use an obscure reference for your company. Doing that is only meaningful to you and honestly how many global companies do you know about with a super unique and obscure name? I am not saying there aren’t any, but trust me, keeping it simple works better in the long run.

 

Here is what I normally do when helping clients decide on a name or when coming up with names for my own ideas: I ask myself,‘what will this project do?’.

I then come up with a name related to what the project is intended to accomplish.

 

For example, when coming up with the name of my agency Digital Innos,the challenge I was addressing was helping business owners use digital marketing to connect with customers. So, I came up with digitalInnos (as in digital innovations).

A couple of friends and I are working on a new brand and this brand will sell high heel shoes, so we called it The Essential Shoe.

Let me give you a couple more company name examples: Fidelity investments, Prudential financial, Burger King, Office max.

 

As you can see, answering this simple question can guide you in the name creation process. I also like to include a word from the industry in the name and that is because most of my marketing efforts are Google oriented – I do very little paid advertising and focus on growing organically instead. Having a name that is relevant to the industry you serve helps with ranking higher on Google – although that is just my personal preference.

 

Come up with a creative name and the rest of your efforts will be a lot more intuitive.

 

Next you will need to create a logo.

 

This might seem obvious, but the reality is that if you go on Google today and type ‘how to start a business’ the majority of articles would scare the heck out of you. There are endless suggestions of ‘conduct market research’, ‘collect SEO data’, ‘interview your prospects’, and compile all these details into the perfect ten-year plan…

These are extremely important aspects of a business, 100%. But to start your idea you do not necessarily need to have all of those in place as those are elements of growing a business, not starting one.

 

In fact, I would argue that fluidity is a better approach for growing a business in 2021. Using solid processes that can adapt to any circumstance and ensuring your business can adjust to market changes fast.

Ten-year plans are a better option for publicly traded corporations with large budgets and in relatively stable industries – in my humble opinion.

 

Anyway, my rants aside, the next step to bringing your idea to life is creating a logo. Having a logo helps you solidify your brand, your identity.

Start the logo creation process and here is the key: do not stop the design process until you have that ‘wow’ moment.

Your logo needs to excite you, motivate you to move forward, to show it to everybody, and to really rally behind your idea.

 

You’ll know what I mean. During the logo design process there will be one of the versions that will make you say, ‘this is the one’. If you have not experienced that moment than you need to continue the design process.

Here is the thing though, before you begin the logo design process go online and get some ideas. The worst thing you can do is to go to a designer with 0 ideas in mind.

 

Sure, logo designers are experts at designing, but they are not experts in what you are envisioning for your company.

You can definitely go out to a logo designer and give as much detail as possible so he or she can come up with a unique concept for you.

But the best logo designs are made when you – the business owner and idea person – are involved in the process from beginning to end.

 

If you take some time to come up with a creative concept that represents your brand the designer can then turn that into an elegant presentation that is unique to you. Doing the necessary research has 2 main benefits: the logo design process will be a lot smoother, and you can keep your costs down. Remember, when you hire a logo designer you may get several edits (Digital Innos does up to 4 edits per logo design). Once you exceed your edits, the designer has to charge extra because more time is being invested in your creation.

So do your research beforehand and trust me, you will be a lot more excited about the final product.Plus being heavily involved in the logo design process helps you add touches of your personality to your brand.

 

Next you must build an online place for your business in the form of a new website.

 

Look this goes without saying, but in 2021 and beyond you simply cannot run a business without a website. I mean back in 2010 you could not run a business without a website, much less today.

The reality is that every possible consumer out there has a smart phone. The reality is that every possible consumer out there is going to use that smart phone to find what they need. And the reality is that if you do not have a website your competitors do.

 

The good news is that getting a new website in 2021 is relatively straightforward. Let me explain how website design services work so you know exactly what to expect during this stage.


The process of designing a new website has 3 main phases:


  • The design phase – During this phase, several important things are done including creating a wireframe for how your pages will connect with each other, creating mockups for your design, and determining if you will provide web copy or if the website design company will need to produce it on your behalf.
  • The development phase – During this phase, the creation of your website begins. This includes turning the initial layout into an actual website. During this phase third-party APIs are incorporated, payment processing systems are added, chat bots are added, customer forms are created, and visual effects are implemented.
  • Testing phase – During this phase everything on the new website is tested to ensure functionality. Here at Digital Innos we actually run all our clients’ websites through our SEO audit tool to ensure they have a perfect technical foundation. This service is normally done separately but to improve customer experience we decided to make this a part of all our designs. Note this is not a standard practice, other web designers might not offer a SEO optimized website.     
 

Designing a new website has 2 types of costs:


  • The first expense is charged once, and it tends to be a larger one. This includes the entire web design and development process: from creating the wireframe, to creating initial mockups, to developing and testing. This might include the creation of powerful web copy – depending on how comfortable you are with doing your own content writing. If new content is needed this will add to your initial cost.
  • The second type of expense is for keeping your website online (AKA website hosting). Quality website hosting can cost about $300 per year but it includes important things like website security (through an SSL certificate), and website backups – in case something goes horribly wrong.


It’s hard to provide an exact dollar figure when it comes to website design costs. There are several factors that can increase your total, things like: > X-NONE
  • how many pages will you need?
  • will you incorporate a payment processing system?
  • will you provide content, or will the website design company need to create it on your behalf?
  • Are you looking to incorporate third-party applications?
  • Do you want to pull reviews from a third-party service like Google my business?
  • Do you have specific tools that you need to incorporate to deliver an outstanding experience for your prospects?
  • Do you have a dedicated tool to help you generate new leads that you would like to use?


This might seem like a lot but for the most part all you need is to conduct a bit of research so you can determine the appropriate answers to the above questions. If you have a solid understanding of your industry and business, you already know the answers.

As I stated, it’s hard to give you an exact dollar figure, but generally speaking, having at least a $3000 budget is reasonable – especially if the web design company will need to do content writing.

 

Website design is the one aspect you really want to invest time and money in. Your website is basically your online office and you want your presentation to be remarkable for every visitor. If I went to you today and told you, ‘hey, I can build your website to perfection for $300’ would you believe me? Or would you ask, ‘what’s the catch, why so low?’.

 

Getting a website for $300 is worthless, you might as well throw your money away. Find a reliable website design company, book a meeting, and ask all your questions. Find out exactly what is included with their website design service and provide feedback about your business goals so you can get the features that will help you achieve those goals.

 

Pro tip: no matter what website design company you decide to work with, ask them to use WordPress to develop your content and design. WordPress is extremely powerful, is super flexible, and once your website is built you will be able to manage it on your own without any coding knowledge. Here at Digital Innos that is the platform of choice for all our projects – we found that it is a better experience for our clients as they can be independent when it comes to managing their website – which helps keep costs down.With WordPress you can build a website for any purpose – and yes, even though WordPress is free you still need to pay to have your actual website designed if you want a professional look.

 

And for the love of anything that is good, DO NOT design your own website. 90% of the work done by web design companies is fixing DIY websites and fixing $300 websites. So please, do not waste your time doing your own design. It is not as easy as companies like Wix might want you to believe.

A lot of thought goes into creating a website. You need to understand the basics of programming so you can create project requirements, you need an understanding of visual design so you can create a good presentation, you need to be able to create logics so you can take prospects from point a to point c, and you need to play around with code to really make your website pop. So, save yourself months of stress and hire a professional website design company to take care of your design (and I am not just saying that because I run a web design company – it really is much more complex than you might think).

 

Once your website is ready, your next step is to create some business profiles.

 

Profile creation is an extremely important aspect of starting a business.

Having other sources that act as references provides 2 main benefits: first, you get traffic from these sources once you gain some followers. Second, you build trust with Google.

Profiles by themselves are not enough to rank your business on page one of Google, but they are a good step in that direction especially for contractors.

Build business profiles across the following platforms:


  • Google my business.
  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • Instagram.
  • Bing places.
  • Yelp.
  • Yahoo business.
  • YouTube.
  • TikTok.

When you begin creating these profiles make sure the information you are using matches as much as possible. The idea behind profile creation is that you can use them as marketing channels to attract prospects and to communicate with them. The thing to understand about these business profiles is that you do not use them to sell. You use them to showcase your expertise.

 

When people access these platforms, they are not looking to make a purchase, but if you put out a cool video and they happen to be thinking about that service, they might end up visiting your website and looking through what you have to offer. So, use these platforms to impress your audience with cool videos and photos because people love creativity.

 

In closing:

 

As you can see, taking your idea and turning it into a unique brand is absolutely doable.

Of course, you have to be heavily involved in the brand creation process.This will ensure your brand has a distinctive personality and does not become a faceless company.

Create a name that represents what you do, design a logo that helps you stand out, build a solid online presence with a website that includes the features you need to help your customers, and build awareness around your brand by creating business profiles across the platforms I listed above.

 

Keep in mind that this refers to the process of getting your idea from concept to brand, not the process of actually promoting and growing your business. There are a lot of avenues to grow a business and every avenue is ideal for a particular type of company. In my opinion there is no standard way of reaching business success. You have to analyze the industry, the available budget, where your audience is, and how you will attract and convert those individuals from being just an audience to paying customers.

 

As I stated before, I am a big believer in search engine optimization (growing your business organically – not using paid advertising). As a result,that is my preferred way of helping business owners. I help put your business at the top of Google.

 

Found this article helpful? Tell your friends about it by sharing it on social media!

 

Have a business idea and want to get it from concept to reality?

 

Need help with getting there?


Book a free consultation today to discuss the steps you need to take. No commitments, just a conversation about your idea and goals.

 

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Note that you can also schedule a free consultation with our virtual concierge. Just answer a few questions and it will do the rest.

 

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