As soon as I typed that headline, my mind started singing the old song, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” — you know, from the Sound of Music.
OK, I’m old. I was only a few months old when that film was released. But like most classics, it reveals a lot of great truths.
And we have to start at the beginning (in business) to make sure we’ve got a good foundation. Here are the 3 Basics:
1. Vision. Every great entrepreneur has a vision. Either it’s a solution to a problem or it’s a path to helping people. But if you can’t clearly state your vision for your company, stop everything! Then work on a short (!) sentence that explains your reason for being. Perhaps you’ve lost your way in your business, and you need to align yourself with the original vision again.
2. Positioning. Every business/product/service needs a brand. And everyone’s product/service has competition. Of course, you think yours is the best. But how do you quickly let someone know THE thing that makes you the better choice? Start by listing your features, then convert them to benefits (in the minds of your potential customer). The hard part is next: choose the one benefit that is so compelling that your audience will convert to your product/service. It should then be edited down to 3-5 words and that becomes your positioning statement (or tagline). This is the fast way to your customers heart.
3. Consistent Brand. Then you need your logo. Simple, easy to draw, and most of all, easy to remember. It shouldn’t be an illustration, but rather a symbol that can easily be reproduced in black and white. But of course, you’ll want a color version too. And from those colors, you create a color palette that you use consistently along with the same fonts. Over and over until your customer feels comfortable with your brand. The design needs to be consistent so that the information is “larger” than your copy/text/words in it — but rather the feeling is professional and it “becomes” the look of your vision.