Branding on a Bootstrapped Budget

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Contributed by John D.

Many successful business owners have created their brands from scratch bootstrapping. As an entrepreneur, the startup process can be intimidating, especially if you funding it yourself or from the family trust fund.

The term “bootstrapping” comes from an old saying, “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.

Basically, this is what you do when you build your brand without any external financial assistance. Despite the fact that it can be difficult, your entrepreneurial goals are still achievable. Here are a few tips on branding with a limited budget: 

Start with a specific goal.

Before you start to take an interest in building your own brand, you need to understand that the truth is that if someone can start their own business in 2019, it will mean more potential competition for you. So you’ll have to find a point of difference that will help you stand out from the rest.

Marketers call this a USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

Before you focus on the smallest details of your business, you need to focus on the bigger picture. Ask yourself three questions.

  • Why do you need your own business?
  • What makes you unique?
  • And what is your true passion?

Once you have answered these questions honestly, you must have a good idea of your brand’s purpose or mission, as well as what distinguishes it from others, and what can lead it to success. 

Think of a name.

Once you have decided on the focus of your brand, the name is the obvious next step. It’s usually harder than you think. Not only should it inspire people and explain, or at least hint at, what makes your brand special, but there are also a number of legal considerations to take into account.

If you are a limited liability company, the most obvious thing is that it has not been used by another company (find out through Companies House using their free WebCheck service). Even if you are the only trader, it is still useful to search the Internet to make sure that your name is not confused with the name of any competitor. 

Also, check to see if you can get the correct domain name for your site through any of the domain name registration sites. Lastly, check to see if your preferred @hashtags are available on social media sites.

Creating a logo.

After you have a name, you’ll need a logo. 

This is the cornerstone on which you will create a visual identity for your brand. You will need to include it on all your stationery (letterheads, business cards, compliments, etc.), as well as on your website, social media accounts, and any other marketing materials you create. 

A logo is an instant way to show that your brand is not just an idea, but a living being. So you need to think about creating a logo as soon as possible. For example, before you go to the bank to open your own account, you will want to place a form with your logo in front of it. 

Graphic designers usually charge thousands of dollars to design a logo for you, though I often see a demand to create a logo for a few hundred on Upwork, so there should be a supply as well.

An alternative way of creating a logo that looks professional but costs very little is to use an online logo maker  – there are plenty of alternatives, but I just like this one.

Once you’re satisfied with the free company logo you’ve created and set up, all you have to do is click on the “Download” button to get your vector files. Logodesign.net provides high-quality design file formats such as JPG, PNG, and PDF. They are all ideal for quality branding graphics, such as printing, packaging, and advertising, as well as website design, social media covers, and more.

Using social media

Since you will be taking on the marketing components of your business, consider social media within your budget. Social media platforms are also effective marketing platforms.

You can follow these tips on social networks that will help strengthen your brand. By posting and participating in social media, you create a marketing portal for consumers around the world. And best of all, it’s all free. You can advertise your brand at a low cost during your startup to form an audience for your products and/or services.

Create a blog.

Once you start creating an audience, create a blog to expand your brand. Consumers read blog posts every day, making them another great marketing strategy.

Much like social media, blogging requires minimal or no payments. You can create your own unique, individual website for free through a platform such as WordPress.

After you do this, use your blog to create content that will convince potential customers to purchase your products. Link your social media pages to your site, and vice versa, to increase your chances of reaching more consumers. Stay within budget by creating your brand through blog marketing.

Work from home

Entrepreneurs who start their own business in their own homes, effectively create brands from shoe traps. Although many business owners invest in office space for their companies, it can be expensive.

You probably don’t have the money to rent office space at the time of start-up. However, you do not need it during the commissioning process. By taking care of everything you need to know before you start your home business, you can work from home. You’ll save money in the workplace. Use this money to brand startups. Then you can create your startup well.

Limit Outsourcing.

Another method of building a brand with a limited budget is to limit the use of outsourcing. Instead of outsourcing jobs, consider yourself a better employee. Learn to play a few roles in your business during a startup, so as not to lead to financial ruin.

Hire yourself to become your own HR team, marketer, salesperson, and manager. In doing so, you will ensure that you make the most of your profits.

In addition, you will have full control over the quality of your startup. For a successful building of your startup, only after you maintain a stable cash flow in your business and are able to control the quality of the product for customers, you can then begin to outsource it. This is very important for building a brand in the long run.

It also has the side benefit of being able to better manage employees and contractors in the future as you have experience performing the tasks yourself.

Summary

Entrepreneurs can drastically improve the quality of their lives and bank balances by launching startups wisely.

This requires working from home to save money at work. Limit outsourcing and do most of it yourself to begin with and until cash flows in. This ensures quality product delivery while you’re just starting to set expectations for your brand.

Recognize the free and inexpensive marketing benefits of logo design and branding, as well as the free benefits of social media. Also, use blogs as another free marketing strategy.

This is the best way to create a strong brand from a limited budget.

Guest Author

John D. is Head of Content at logodesign.net and it’s local design community workshop teachlogodesign.com

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Branding on a Bootstrapped Budget

Contributed by John D. Many successful business owners have created their brands from scratch bootstrapping. As an entrepreneur, the startup process can be intimidating, especially

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