Design Your Image
Image is everything, and there is no better opportunity for a small business to mold its image than through the creation of its logo. Whether it appears on signage, the company letterhead or a business card, the logo should be immediately recognizable.
The memorable and iconic logos, from IBM to ABC to Ford, do not directly describe or depict the company’s products or services. They identify those companies and inspire trust and loyalty.
The creation of your logo is one of the most important initial investments you can make in your business.
Get your logo right the first time. An amateur looking logo puts you at risk of needing to give your business’s image a facelift in the not too distant future. Your logo should be:
- Simple. Easy to reproduce and easy to adapt to a variety of media.
- Unique. Think of the Nike swoosh. For aesthetic, as well as legal reasons, avoid stock art of any kind.
- Timeless. Is your logo design so trendy it will be begging for a re-do in 2 years?
- Appropriate to the business. What’s fitting for a toy store may not be suitable for a financial services company and vice versa.
- One that does not rely on a color or several colors. Does the logo hold up when reproduced in black and white?
Hiring an established, professional logo designer can be a good investment. Your logo designer should have experience, an ability to communicate with you, and a willingness to research your business and industry.With the creation of your logo, you can move on to your letterhead...
Your correspondences and the envelopes they arrive in should present a sense of professionalism on behalf of your business. In creating the best possible letterhead:
- Include all of your business’s contact information, including address, phone, fax, website, email, social media locations, and blog info.
- Pay close attention to paper quality, which can make or break the look of your logo and overall design. Consider linen, which has a rougher feel, or other specialty paper to set your letter apart from competitors.
- If several people will be using letterhead, keep it generic so that it can be used by all. If you are the sole proprietor, list your name prominently to let the reader know that you are the person in charge.
...and then on to your business cards.
Although the business world is becoming increasingly dominated by email and the internet, there is no substitute for face-to-face relationships. And those relationships usually begin with an exchange of business cards. An effective card:
- Is creative — or your card is likely to land at the bottom of a drawer or the circular file. For many small businesses, a logo won’t make your business memorable enough. Include a photo or graphic that helps communicate what your company does. Also consider printing a QR Code (short for “Quick Response”), which lets customers use their smart phones to link with your business.
- Lists all pertinent company information — company name, mailing address, phone and fax numbers, website, general email address — as well as the employee’s name and individual cell phone number and email address.
- Includes LinkedIn, Twitter or professional Facebook information, if those social networking sites apply to your business.
- Is the correct size. Wallets and business card holders are designed to fit the conventional size: 3 1/2 inches by 2 inches.