Have you decided to start your own business? Congratulations! You have already completed the most challenging part of beginning something new and life-changing. However, as you start researching everything you need to get your new business off the ground, the unending information overload you’ll encounter from business coaches and online entrepreneurs can be overwhelming. When it comes down to it, though, there are only five essential elements you need to build a thriving business from the ground up. If this article is helpful, you can download our FREE Brainstorming Guide to keep all this valuable information in one place and reference it every time you get stuck! As a business owner, this is my simple list of everything you need to get your business started:

Every New Business Needs a Logo

A professional-looking logo is essential if you want to stand out immediately from your competition. A catchy name isn’t always memorable enough to keep your business at the front of people’s minds. But if you have a quality logo, people will recognize your brand with a glance. A logo does the heavy lifting of communicating your brand identity, which can set you apart as a professional and build customer loyalty. If your audience trust that your business is the real deal, higher-paying clients will take you seriously, and you can operate at higher price points. A logo functions as your stamp on the world. Every product, web page, or social media page associated with your business should include your logo so people know it’s you.

Every New Business Needs a Color Palette

Many psychological studies confirm that colors communicate emotions and make us feel something. This is why people describe yellow as happy and blue as melancholy. People tend to purchase based on emotion and rationalize with facts and logic afterward. Using a harmonious color palette in all your marketing is vital if you want to appeal to the part of a customer’s brain that develops the desire to make that purchase. Coolors.co is a great website to build color palettes and try out different colors together. Creating a color palette that communicates the tone and identity of your brand will work seamlessly with your logo to build credibility and increase trust. If you need help finding the right colors, our free downloadable Brainstorming Guide dives deeper into the psychology of color to help you build the palette right for your brand!

Every New Business Needs a Business Card & Letterhead

As you build your new business, networking within your industry and connecting with potential clients is crucial. Some of this will naturally happen online, but if you’re ever out in public and want people to remember you, hand them your business card! A business card has all your contact information so they can remember to connect with you after leaving the event. You never want to be in a scenario where you connect with your ideal client out in the wild and have nothing to give them. There’s a 99% chance they will have forgotten your website name by the time they get home, and there’s nothing more tragic than a missed opportunity like that. Similarly, having a professional-looking letterhead will help you communicate with high-paying clients and land more significant sales.

Every New Business Needs a Brand Guide

A brand guide is a document that helps keep your branding consistent. It will tell you what fonts, colors, and everything makes your brand identity stand out. In addition, having a reference when designing your graphic elements is helpful and keeps you on track. Still, it’s also a great tool if you outsource your marketing to an industry professional. You can send them your brand guide, and they’ll have everything they need to keep your branding professional without needing to start from scratch. In addition, keeping your communication simple and consistent will help potential clients connect with your messaging and view you as an expert.

Every New Business Needs a Website

No business is complete without a professional website. Your website is your business’s primary source of information that can be accessed far and wide, day or night. Much like your logo and branding, your website should convey what your business is about, the product or service(s) you offer, and appeal to your target audience in a sleek, professional, concise manner. How your website looks and functions will set the tone for your business relationship with potential clients. A good user experience and a well-built site will inspire trust and confidence and most likely be the first step in a lasting customer relationship.

You don’t just want to start a new business – you want to create a successful one. The key to standing out from among your competitors, connecting with potential high-paying clients, and bringing in substantial revenue is branding. When you have a professional logo, color palette, business card, brand guide, and website, you will have all the primary building blocks to make your business successful. To help you do this, we’ve created a free downloadable Brainstorming Guide so you can have all the essential information in one place and brainstorm to create a brand that sets you apart. So start brainstorming with the guide today to start your business strong!

Starting a new online business is both scary and exciting. It’s a considerable risk that takes a huge personal investment of time and money, but when it becomes successful, there’s no better feeling! If you’re starting a new online business in 2023, We’ve compiled the ultimate business checklist, so you have everything you need to hit the ground running. As an online business owner who has grown subscriber lists, launched e-courses, and run a brick-and-mortar company for over ten years, we have learned all the tips and tricks the hard way so you don’t have to. However, if you want to skip to the end, we’ve included the link to download our Free Brainstorming Guide so you can start planning a successful brand today! Here’s my ultimate business checklist for new business owners:

Business Name

Of course, a business name is essential. Your business needs an identity that goes beyond your first and last name. This gives your business room to grow and allows you to scale your revenue as you find more success. A business name also proclaims what your brand does best and what people can expect from your business.

Core Values

Creating core values is a step that’s easy to skip or push off until later. However, your core values can dictate each action you take as a business owner. Core values help you to know what your brand prioritizes and what you find valuable. Your core values will help customers and clients align with your mission down the road. But at the beginning of establishing your mission, core values are a helpful filter to select the most effective business moves to start with. For example, do you prioritize a solid work-life balance and set hours for work and free time? Or do you prioritize flexibility and integration so that you can work from anywhere? Your values will help you make the business moves to achieve the things you prioritize without getting distracted by irrelevant possibilities.

Business Plan

From the very start of your online business, you need to know what your business does and what it offers. If you sell products, you need to select which companies to partner with and source supplies from. You should have a plan to connect with clients if you provide a service. It helps to have a specific target audience in your business plan, which will help you know how to market yourself. Every business needs funding and a financial plan to ensure you’re increasing revenue and staying out of debt. As you establish your online presence, your business plan will help you curate a marketing strategy that aligns with your vision and goals. Don’t start your business without a firm plan in place!

Market Research

You know your business offers value to the public, but do they? Doing market research will help you understand customers’ core needs, which will help you know how to communicate your offer in a way that resonates with them and convinces them to make a purchase. If you have a fantastic product but don’t know how to communicate its value to the people that need it, your business won’t grow very fast. Research your competitors to understand the market and identify what is working or not working for them. Figure out what sets you apart and what messaging your target market is drawn to. This research will be invaluable to you moving forward.

Elevator Pitch

Once you know how to communicate the value of your offer to your target audience, you need to refine your pitch. You should be able to explain what your business offers concisely and compellingly within only a sentence or two. Think of being stuck in an elevator for 30 seconds with the potential customer of your dreams! How would you take them to the next step in your business in less than a minute? What are the most precise words to explain what you do? What are the most concise words that connect with their felt needs? How can you leave them stepping out of that elevator wanting more?

Business Email

People need to contact you. Most online businesses don’t have a phone number accessible, so establishing a business email address is vital. This will be valuable as you start various business accounts or download software for your business. Ideally, your email address will either be info@YourBusinessName.com or YourBusinessName@domain.com. You can create an email address with your website as the domain if you have a business website. If you can’t do this, you can set up a temporary Gmail to transition to your own environment once everything is set up. Once you have an email account, you can begin connecting with clients through email. You can create an email subscriber opt-in if you have a blog or content on your website. Once they give you their email address, you can send them discounts, downloadable resources, articles, new products, and business updates to help them stay connected.

System for Record-Keeping

Keeping precise records will be your new best friend. Keep track of the time you spend, the money you spend, the revenue you make, and the products you sell, and keep all business and tax documentation in one place. You should have organized financial records for each month, quarter, and year you are in business. You should also keep track of tax information throughout the year, so filing your taxes is simple. If you book appointments, consultations, client calls, or any other meetings, you can find the best calendar to keep track of your time commitments. There is also a myriad of booking software available to make appointments easy to manage on both sides.

Legal Paperwork and Financial Accounts

Depending on your business, you may not need all of the paperwork and accounts that a brick-and-mortar company might. Research the requirements for your state and county. If you register your business, you will need to know whether to set up an LLC, corporation, DBA, or sole proprietorship. In addition, you may need to file for specific business licenses or permits depending on what you sell. Once your business meets all the requirements, you can set up bank accounts to keep your financial transactions in order.

Registered Domain

No official business wants to be running on blogspot.com. You need your own domain to be perceived as professional and trustworthy. You can use dozens of websites to check domain availability, like Google Domains. Purchasing a domain name is usually inexpensive unless you have a common business name with a lot of competition. Once you buy a domain, that will be your website name. You can purchase multiple domains and reroute them to your website if you’d like people to find you in numerous ways.

Website

Once you have a domain, you have to set up a website. This begins by selecting a host. Every website is hosted on a worldwide server, so you must choose a hosting platform like GoDaddy and purchase a basic hosting plan. There are also services like Squarespace and Wix, which will host your website and give you all the design tools you need in one place. If you don’t use an all-in-one service, you can set up a website using WordPress through your hosting platform. If this sounds overwhelming, it might be a good idea to hire a web developer (HINT HINT) to help. Once you have your website started, you’ll need to build your web pages. You should have a home page, an about page, a contact page, and an online shop. Finally, utilize your brand name and colors to make your website look professional and consistent with all your other branding.

Logo

Every professional business needs a logo. With one glance, this critical part of your brand identity tells your potential customers who you are. They will see whether you used an elegant, feminine font, a daring, bold font, a rustic natural font, or a minimalistic timeless font. They will also notice whether you used pastel colors, neon colors, bright colors, muted colors, or neutral colors. The combination of colors you use can communicate the personality of your brand and will draw the eye of your ideal customer. This can be portrayed through your design elements, lines, graphics, and shapes. If you need help brainstorming which fonts and color palettes will best communicate your brand’s identity, download our free Brainstorming Guide.

Brand Guide

Whether you design all your social media graphics and marketing materials yourself or hire a graphic designer or VA to help you, you should have a brand guide. A brand guide lists out the names of each font, the codes for each color, and the core messaging of your brand so that every design and promotional graphic looks consistent. A brand guide will help create web pages, postcards, business cards, letterhead, social media graphics, and promotional flyers. If you haven’t yet selected the colors and fonts that best match your brand, use my brainstorming guide link above to help create a consistent brand identity that grows your credibility within your target market.

Business Card

Even though you’re an online business, face-to-face networking will still happen. If you bump into your ideal customer in real life, you should be equipped with a professional business card to hand them. A business card will include your logo, brand colors, branded fonts, business name, website, and contact info, including your business email. Make sure you have each listed item before making business cards. Some people even like to include a QR code that takes people directly to their website. Then, don’t forget to slip a few business cards into your bag whenever you leave your home or office.

Letterhead

Having official business letterhead is a necessity. It truly takes your brand’s professionalism and credibility to the next level. If you need a graphic designer to create stationery for you, send them your brand guide and logo, and they will have everything they need to get started. You can use your letterhead for any official business correspondence or even invoices.

Blog

Posting consistent content in a blog-like format helps Google know that your website is up-to-date. This will rank your website higher in Google search results and make it easier to find online, which is invaluable for online businesses. For example, you can post business updates, sales, and discounts through your blog and email list if you sell products. You could also post about how to use your product or industry-related articles. If you provide a service, you can publish content to give your clients more information and set yourself apart as a thought leader within your niche market. For example, real estate agents like to post articles about how to find your dream home, the best times to buy a house, and home decorating trends. On the other hand, a natural deodorant company might post articles about hygiene or where to buy non-toxic products. If you’re not a natural writer, you can hire a freelance writer skilled in writing articles optimized for search engine algorithm visibility.

Social Media

As a digital business, part of your online marketing plan should include at least one social media platform. Platforms you can utilize are Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Reddit. Don’t go overboard. Choose only one to three platforms to focus your marketing strategy on. The goal is to post consistently on each platform with information about your products/services, branded content, photos, and graphics. Social media platforms are great ways to connect with new customers and increase online engagement with your brand. Ensure each social media platform is linked to your website and has your contact information.

As you start your new online business, this is the ultimate business checklist to help you have everything you need to be successful. With these accounts and resources in place, you will have all the tools you need to start your business in the best direction. Your potential clients will know just by looking at your website or logo that you are a trustworthy professional. With consistent branding and a credible online presence, it will be easy for potential customers to connect with you, trust you, and purchase from you. As a result, you will increase your revenue and grow your market! If you’re still feeling unsure about your branding or feel like you don’t have an eye for graphic design, you can use our downloadable Brainstorming Guide to give you confidence. This guide was created by graphic design professionals with decades of experience running a successful business. We provide you with all the crucial questions you need to answer before developing scroll-stopping marketing that your customers will love.

Don’t let the overwhelm of starting a business make you feel stuck. With this ultimate business checklist under your belt, you can take it one step at a time until your business is ready to launch! Online businesses are being started and experiencing tremendous success every day. Your business could be next with a bit of grit and a whole lot of passion!

If you’re stuck on your logo design and it’s holding you back from moving forward in your online business, we hope you’ll join us for this FREE workshop designed just for you!

The LogoLab workshop was created by a master designer with over 25 years of experience creating professional logos for hundreds of businesses. By attending the FREE LogoLab Workshop, you’ll learn why your current design isn’t working and how to brainstorm ideas that will elevate your design instantly. You’ll get the exact formula you can put to work in your business to curate a logo that will do the work for you!

There’s nothing more frustrating than when something as small as a logo gets in the way of growing your successful business. But most online business owners don’t know where to start. So if you’ve felt like you could use extra help from someone who knows all the tips and tricks, here are the top three reasons you’ll benefit from attending our LogoLab Workshop.

You Will Establish Credibility.

Nothing screams amateur like a sloppy logo. And these days, with so much online competition, you can’t risk losing customers due to bad design. Today’s consumers crave a polished aesthetic. If they take one glance at your website and want to run away, then there’s no way they will trust you as an expert.

So throw out that clunky logo and trade it for a high-quality design curated for your distinguished customers. As a graphic designer creating hundreds of stunning logos, I have discovered the secret to a design that effortlessly elevates your customer’s trust in you. But I don’t want to keep the secrets to myself – I want to share all my best tips through this workshop so your online business can thrive too!

I’ve seen too many businesses lose credibility with logos that are easy to fix. But, sometimes, a little tweak goes a long way. This is why I’m offering a live Q&A session after the workshop for VIPs (optional upgrade) to get real-time feedback on their logos. You could lose opportunities to connect with your ideal client every day with a bad logo. Workshop attendees can quickly squash that problem and acquire more customers before the month is over.

You Will Gain Confidence.

Running your own business is challenging. And sometimes, the hardest part is believing in the value you have to offer. It’s easy to have imposter syndrome when you have doubts that people will pay for your product. But this is not the time to be telling yourself all the reasons you can’t succeed.

The truth is there are dozens of potential customers who have been looking for an answer to their problems. If your product or service can solve that problem, people will pay big bucks for it. But part of having confidence in your brand requires having graphic design you can be proud of.

Have you ever felt “website shame?” If you cringe every time you send a customer to your link, it’s going to be harder to be confident in the value you have to offer. Building a brand around a professional logo and a polished design will upgrade your confidence and make you proud of what you do.

Potential customers pick up on this confidence. When they see it, they know that your product will be worth every penny. Your confidence will cause them to trust you to lead them and help them solve their problem. Whether you’re selling a product, a service, or a program, a professional logo will represent the confidence you exude. As a business owner who has been in your shoes, I know you care deeply about your customers, and I want your logos to communicate that same care. This workshop is meant to not only upgrade your logo but also empower you to move forward with confidence!

You Will Increase Sales.

What happens when you no longer have an amateur design to undercut your credibility, and you have a design that makes you proud? You get more customers! Every obstacle that might give you doubts about your company or product will be removed. This way, the pipeline from website visitors to repeat customers is simplified.

With increased trust in you as the expert, you will feel confident enough to charge the prices your products are worth! You won’t undersell or underprice, and as a result, people will be willing to pay top-quality prices to get help from an expert. People want to pay for the best service or product on the market. When they have a problem, your confidence and professional design will establish you as the expert they’re looking for. Sometimes a new professional design can help you see yourself as the capable professional you are, so you can assert yourself and convert curious people to customers.

Nothing feels better than seeing the sales pour in. And there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you are getting paid what you’re worth. This workshop will help you have the tools to remove every obstacle (including cringe-worthy websites), so your sales can skyrocket. You will learn how to make a logo that looks like you paid the big bucks!

Workshop Details

If you’ve been looking for a workshop like this, you can register here! The LogoLab is a FREE 4-day workshop held LIVE on July 25-28 at 11 am central time. If you cannot attend LIVE, you can check out our other packages that include lifetime access to this content so you can go through it at your own pace.

On day one, you’ll learn the importance of a professional logo and how to get started. Day two will help you brainstorm the perfect logo for your business. On day three, I’ll provide the exact method I’ve used to create hundreds of logos and give you a formula you can replicate. And on day four, we’ll talk about how to put this formula into action so you can establish Credibility, cultivate confidence, and increase sales.

If you’re looking for personal help from a professional, our VIP package includes the workshop PLUS a live Q&A session where you can get personalized feedback on your logo designs from a master designer.

After you register for the FREE live workshop or purchase lifetime access to the LogoLab, you’ll get access to our exclusive Facebook group, where you can ask questions and seek help from other professionals just like you. You’ll find a community of people who have put the formula into action and can help you find the success you’ve been looking for!

Our registration is filling up fast, so if you need a logo that will transform your look and advance your business, click here to join now!

Did you know that bad graphic design could cost your business significantly? Trust, reputation, and dollars – the essential things to build your business – are at stake if you have bad graphic design. Whether it’s on your website, merchandise, print marketing materials, social media channels, or products – bad design can ruin your chances of bringing in customers.

Most online entrepreneurs start off with bad graphic design. We all have to start somewhere. But just as you invest in your website or your training in your niche, you need to invest in better graphic design to continue to scale your business and monetize your content.

What are the most significant ways bad graphic design can jeopardize your success? Here’s our list of the top five.

1. Destroys Your First Impression

Whether they realize it or not, that first look matters. A potential customer will take one glance at your website or print materials and decide whether you are credible or not. They will make split-second judgments about how professional you are, how trustworthy you are, how qualified you are, and how well you fit their needs. Unfortunately, this first glance rarely includes your smiling face or firm handshake. Most people will go to websites or social media platforms to investigate a business or company before ever making contact. So what does your first impression tell potential customers? Will they know within 3 seconds whether they want to hire you or not? Will they instantly connect with your brand identity and decide they like your company more than your competition? If you’re not sure, it’s time to take a deeper look at your graphic design. This post will include a list of the most offputting design errors down below, so you can see what you’re doing wrong.

It’s very common for beginner entrepreneurs and business startups to try doing their own graphic design. It seems easier to do everything yourself or keep it in-house. Whether through YouTube tutorials or your friend’s son who has a knack for computers, these methods do not achieve a professional-quality result. If your graphic design looks amateur, potential customers will think your business is amateur.

Don’t let bad design ruin your reputation! That first impression is worth its weight in gold because it can make all the difference between whether a high-paying client chooses you or someone else. People absolutely judge a book by its cover, so let your cover tell the whole story!

2. It’s Impossible to Establish Your Identity

What do you want your first impression to communicate? Your graphics, colors, fonts, and logo help potential customers capture your brand identity with one glance. They will know who you are, what sets you apart, and what you offer. However, with bad design, it can be challenging to communicate your identity without spelling it out. Bad graphic design works against you.

Some graphics might confuse a customer because your aesthetic is basic/neutral and doesn’t communicate anything about who you are. On the other hand, your graphics might communicate something opposite your identity. As a result, potential customers may leave your website thinking you’re something you aren’t. In this way, bad graphic design is dangerous. There are plenty of things online to distract people from your website – so don’t let it be your graphics!

3. Misrepresents You

Bad graphic design can give people entirely the wrong impression about who you are and what you do. Your goal with a logo, website header, brochure, or webpage design is to tell people what to expect from you. If your graphics give them the wrong impression, it can lead to problematic customer interactions if they’re expecting something different from what you do best.

If an educator has comic sans as the font on their website, people might assume they are a teacher for elementary grades rather than adults because of the juvenile tone of the font. Whether a yoga teacher uses neon colors or pastels will cause their customers to question what kind of teacher they are and whether they emphasize relaxation or cardio. If you own a construction company and your logo includes a skyscraper, people who need help with minor home construction might never call. These graphic design elements can help or hurt you, and it’s your job to find an expert that will help you find the difference.

4. Disproves your Credibility

There are many elements that entrepreneurs utilize to prove their credibility. They may include their educational background, job history, or credentials in their bio. They might list trusted websites their work or product has been featured on. They may include testimonials or reviews. And the goal is that their website aesthetic and design presence agrees with each of these.

However, amateur-looking graphics can make even the most convinced customer doubt your expertise. Like one bad review can make people doubt dozens of good reviews, bad design can make people wonder if you’re actually as professional or qualified as you say. This will lead to customer interactions where you’re left having to prove yourself repeatedly. You don’t want that!

Instead, good graphic design can work together with all these elements to make you stand out as the expert in your niche. People will enter into each interaction, convinced you are the best person to go to and clamoring for your time because they’re sure there’s a line. If they’re confident that you’re the best, or your products are the best, they will tell their friends. And in an age of social media where a post like that can go viral overnight, I’ve seen entire product lines sold out from one convincing “word-of-mouth” testimonial. So good graphic design can contribute to convincing people you’re the best, which can give you more success than you realized.

5. Communicates Unprofessionalism

Professionalism matters. It’s all about how people perceive you. They want to know they can trust you, that you’re dependable, and you will deliver what they paid for. Even if your business practices are up to par, your graphics might cause them to doubt. Though this applies to every industry, it’s especially true for copywriters, coaches, bloggers, marketers, or anyone within the digital content space. Even though you don’t need to be good at graphic design to excel in writing or coaching, people will still view your graphics as an example of the quality of your services.

People online don’t necessarily understand that your graphics require skills you may not personally possess. Instead, they see the look of your website or business card, and they make assumptions about the quality of your work. Your aesthetic should ease these fears because it’s top-quality and professional, just like you!

Why Your Graphics are Offputting

Bad Colors

An out-of-date color palette or bad color combination can give people a bad taste in their mouth, even if they can’t put a finger on why. Bad colors give a terrible impression.

Messy Lines

If your lines are messy or your graphics don’t look clean, it gives an impression of hasty last-minute work or unprofessionalism.

Cluttered Appearance

People get visually overstimulated if your graphics are too cluttered or have too many overlapping elements. This will confuse them about your identity, and they may click off your site because it’s overwhelming.

Doesn’t Match Your Brand

If the words on the page say something different than your graphics communicate, your brand identity will come off as disjointed and disconnected. As a result, people may not understand who you are or what you offer.

Seems Unoriginal

If your graphics seem too basic or look like another popular brand, it will leave a bad taste in their mouths because it looks like you’re copying something that’s already been done. Not only that, but they may confuse the identity of another brand with your brand identity.

How to Avoid All These Mistakes

If you don’t want the bad graphic design to cost your business, it’s best to find an expert to help get it right the first time. This will save you hours of frustration, and the money you spend will be more than repaid as your business grows. Without this, poor color choices, homegrown logos, and amataur layouts will all slowly errode your credibility. Even if customers aren’t thinking it’s a bad design, there is something about it they wont like.

As you work with a professional, it’s essential to communicate your vision clearly. Check out our other posts on this page to learn what you need to know to establish your brand identity. As you communicate with your designer, it’s also important to trust their process. Let them do what they do best so that your website doesn’t fall into the trap of bad graphic design. Here are a few tips to remember as you go through this process:

  • Trust their professional judgment
  • Be clear on what you want
  • Communicate your brand identity plainly
  • Be flexible with exact details
  • Be specific about what you do/don’t like
  • Be open to their feedback and willing to embrace changes
  • Let them do what they do best

Ultimately, working with an expert is a collaborative process. There might be elements on your wishlist that will work against your ultimate goal. A graphic designer will be able to tell you if you’re asking for bad colors or graphics that confuse your brand identity. As you work with an expert, you’ll be able to avoid altogether these top five mistakes that will cost your business. Now, your design can help your business grow like never before!

Since aesthetics mean so much to today’s generation of consumers, even the most low-tech entrepreneur could use a few design tips. We’ve got you covered. As a graphic design company with over 50 years of combined experience designing websites and graphics for entrepreneurs and business owners, we know what it takes to keep up with today’s trends. These are our top ten tips to keep your graphics looking clean and professional in today’s marketplace.

1. Keep It Simple

People often believe that graphics need to be complex to look professional. This simply isn’t true. Keeping your designs minimalistic makes them easier to use in a variety of contexts while maintaining that clean crisp look that draws the eye. Think about the simple shapes, lines, colors, and fonts that your favorite brands use. How can you replicate that simplicity for your brand identity? Stay away from complicated overlays, photographs, and unreadable text or colors that will distract people from who you are and what you offer.

2. Be Consistent with Colors and Fonts

If you could summarize your brand identity in just a few words, what would you say? Is your brand modern, adventurous, rustic, or colorful? Identifying some key adjectives surrounding your identity will help you stay consistent throughout your web presence and print materials. If you run an accounting firm, you probably don’t want to use a childlike crayon font. If you own a sporting goods brand, you want to stay away from scrolling cursive fonts. The same holds true for colors. If you’re marketing to young women, rustic browns probably won’t communicate your identity effectively. Similarly, A baby clothing brand might want to avoid harsh neons. Whatever tone you choose for your branding – be consistent across the board.

3. Don’t Use Too Many Graphics or Icons

When it comes to promoting your company, it’s easy to get overly excited. You could fill a vision board with graphics that fit with your company’s vision. But be careful! If you use too many, people get visually overwhelmed and can’t make sense of what they’re looking at. For a logo, just use one image concept. Don’t try to combine too many or it will no longer make sense. On
your website, keep it simple. You can add some images or graphics that help set the tone, but don’t fill every square inch. People need negative space and simplicity so they keep scrolling and want to learn more.

4. Use Script Fonts Sparingly (and never in all caps)

We like to play around with fancy fonts. It’s just fun. But when you’re establishing a brand identity, you need to prioritize readability. If customers can’t read the words you post, it’s going to be pretty hard to connect with them. One of the most notoriously hard to read font styles is script fonts. These are the fonts that look like handwriting or cursive. They are often thin and have a lot of extra curly wisps at the ends of letters and sentences. Use these fonts very sparingly, if at all. This is not the type of font that you want to use for your main website copy or slogan. And if you use a script font, never use it in all capital letters. These fonts weren’t designed to be in all caps, and it often makes them even harder to read. If you’re using a script font for a main title or heading, make sure you don’t play too much with the letter spacing or distance. This can make it look awkward and minimize the handwriting effect that you were aiming for to begin with.

5. Have Someone Other Than You Critique Your Work

We are our own worst critics, but sometimes we’re also our own worst enablers. We know how much work and passion went into a project, so sometimes it is hard for us to see the flaws that exist. Getting an extra pair of eyes to look at your work and give feedback can help you see your website or brand through a newcomer’s eyes. Maybe the colors you used don’t fit the vibe. Or maybe it’s harder to read the fonts than you realized. Getting an outside opinion can help you cover all your bases so you don’t run into problems later on.

6. Make a Folder of Logos or Brands You Love

Especially when you’re just establishing your brand or going through a rebranding process, it’s easy to get lost in the details. If you find yourself overwhelmed with all the options for colors or fonts to use, take a break. Spend a few minutes collecting the logos, shapes, and colors used by your favorite brands and put them all in one folder. Then spend some time looking them over together. What common themes do you see? Are there similar color schemes? Do they use a similar font design? Are there specific lines or shapes among the logos? This exercise will help you cut through the overwhelming amount of options to identify what you like and what elements your eye is drawn to.

7. Don’t Feel Obligated to Use a Friend of a Friend

If your friend’s son is going to school for graphic design, you shouldn’t feel automatically obligated to use him. This is your professional brand and the quality matters. It’s easy to take shortcuts or cut costs, but you usually get what you pay for. You don’t want your brand to lose credibility with your customers because it looks like an amateur did it. When you’re seeking help
to establish your brand identity and get professional assistance designing your logo, do your research. Look at the portfolio of past projects a designer has done and see if they align with your vision. Find someone who you are confident can deliver the professional results that you want as an established business owner with a reputable brand.

8. Don’t Do It Yourself

Unless you have training in graphic design, trying to achieve your vision by yourself will only result in stress and frustration. It’s easy to have a picture in your head of what you want, but without the skills to achieve it, it’s hard to make your vision a reality without help. As an entrepreneur, your driven can-do attitude has gotten you far. There’s a lot that you’ve done on your own. But graphic design doesn’t need to be just another item on your to-do list to make you feel overwhelmed. All of the best entrepreneurs have learned how and when to delegate or outsource complex tasks. Instead of spending dozens of hours frustrated at your computer, let a designer spend a couple of hours doing it for you. They have the skills to make your vision a reality in just a few clicks!

9. Spend Your Money Where It Counts

As an entrepreneur, you have to prioritize. You have a limited budget and a seemingly unlimited list of things you could spend it on. So how do you decide where to allocate those funds? Prioritize the items that will draw in more patrons and convert them to paying customers. A logo is often the first impression that people have of your brand. If it’s amateur-looking and clunky, they could click off your website without giving it a second glance. If there’s money to be spent drawing in customers, a professional logo design will be one of your greatest assets.

10. Hire a Graphic Designer

Once you’ve thought through all the elements that draw your eye, what colors you prefer, and what tone your brand portrays, hiring a graphic designer is the easiest way to upgrade your web presence almost instantly. There are tons of branding professionals and social media managers that can help with the upkeep once you establish your brand, but you should start with a solid logo and brand guide. A graphic designer can help you get started. Instead of spending the next ten months dreaming of what you want, why not hire a designer today and take real achievable steps towards your goals? As an entrepreneur, making feasible plans to move towards your vision will help you keep building momentum for your business. Turn that vision into a reality by working directly with a designer to receive a logo you can use on all of your web pages, social media posts and merchandise for years to come!

As graphic design professionals, we’ve seen people fall into the same pitfalls over and over. To help you avoid repeating these same mistakes, we compiled this top ten list to give you the easiest next steps to take. Follow these 10 tips and your business can be booming with customers who love your eye-catching brand. Instead of presenting amateur designs and clunky colors that make potential customers doubt your credentials, you can show up every day with graphics that build their trust and increase their confidence. As you navigate the tricky obstacles of running a business and establishing a reputable online presence, let us keep the graphic design process easy so you can focus on the things that matter most! If you have questions about how to get started with a designer, click here.