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branding

Do you need a logo when you first start a business?

The Quick Answer:

If you are a service based business, no. If you are beginning with a brick and mortar, I will say maybe. But at that point you are already investing serious cash into different facets of your business and you’ll most likely want some sort of signage on your building with your name and your logo.

Why Does a Service Based Business Not Need a Logo Right Away?

For you, my friend in a service based business, it is a different story though. What you need is a brand. Just to be clear, a brand is not a logo. A logo is part of your brand identity, or the identifying factors that help a client connect back to your business. So yes, a logo is important. But when you are first starting out, what you really need is to create an experience and a solution to a pain point that your client has and provides exceptional value. I always define a brand as an experience. It is the moment a person hears about you from their friend, through them researching, contacting and ultimately investing in your service, to the point of this client recommending it to their own friends. What is that experience like for them? Seriously. Stop and think about that for a moment. Maybe even write it down. People love to share what makes them excited. A great service and a great experience will do that! A logo is not going to be what creates that experience though.

Unfortunately, I hear from many people and see so many posts in Facebook groups, ”I’m starting a business, I need a logo.” If you are beginning to plan the start of a business, you most likely don’t have any clients yet. If that is the case, you probably also don’t have the capital to invest in a logo that is well thought out and completely in service of enhancing your brand. If you do, great, go for it then! But I’m here to tell you, it’s okay not to have a logo when you start. The experience and solution part I mentioned earlier is where you need to focus. Really! I’m a logo designer and I”m saying it is okay to start a business without a logo. You CAN start a business without a logo. Please do not let that hold you back.

What You Really Need is to Build Your Brand Focusing On Your Client

Here is why. When you are starting out your brand is not known and your biggest source for potential clients is actually the people around you who can invest or make referrals. Of course you can also be your own referral and directly talk with someone you’d like to work with. But at that point they don’t care that you have a logo. They want to know how you are going to help them. That’s important..how you are going to help THEM, focusing on them.

I also mentioned earlier that a logo is something that is used to connect to your business. If you choose to do a D.I.Y. logo on Canva (which I do not recommend for a variety of reasons, plus restrictions from Canva) or have a logo done for cheap that does not really relate to the brand you are building, it will still start to be connected to your business and your brand.

It’s Best to Be Patient and Invest in a Logo that Suits You Completely

Waiting until you have saved enough to work with a designer who will listen to what you are creating, how you are serving your clients and the experience you are giving them will allow you to have a quality logo. And ultimately avoid the hassle of having to re-educate clients and potential clients to recognize the new logo, change your business cards, website, signage, any printed material, social media templates, packaging, etc. It surprising how much it adds up! All that updating is also time and/or money to update.

My advice to you, as a brand and logo designer; it’s okay to be patient and set aside an investment for right logo. It’s also okay to choose a clean simple font to type your business name and put it at the top of your website and on business cards while you are being patient.

If you are still feeling like you absolutely NEED a logo before you can start a business though, I’m working on something for you: a series of semi-custom low cost introductory logos.

Want to learn more or be notified when it is ready? 

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