New Businesses

Necessary Versus Optional

“You don’t have branding? No logo? But you have to!!!” Is that really true?

A new business is just like every other new beginning.  We want to be as prepared as possible for the unknown.  There are tons of opinions, books, TV shows, lectures, articles, and more than a bit of confusion about what is valuable and what should be done first in order to reach the objective – a successful, thriving business.

From my experience as a business development consultant for both new and improved businesses, I encounter the following statement often: “But I was told it can’t be done without that!” I’m writing this post after seeing episode three from the third season of Ramzor (“Traffic Light” an Israeli sitcom) – in which a couple in the early stage of their first pregnancy are in a baby store (Shilav) and the saleswoman “abuses” their lack of knowledge, (“A baby on the fritz – not a pleasant experience for parents”).

At the end of the shopping trip, the naive parents arrive at the checkout counter with a loaded baby carriage and a huge bill.

The phrase most etched into my memory from that episode is: “The unknown shops that operate on intimidation.”

New businesses have many unforeseeable expenses in the beginning.  The hand moves quickly toward the wallet after sentences like “You have,” “Every business today has it,” “You still don’t have XYZ?” and many others with the primary goal of getting you to pull out your wallet and pay.

And so, as with many of life’s other challenges, there are also no magic solutions here. A business succeeds as a result of calculated, focused work with ups and downs along the way.  With every “down” you learn more and progress further toward the next “up” and the business’ success.

Recommendations for the future:

1. Build a stable foundation that will give you the tools to best present your business – Begin with a profile page, learn about your target audience and build your products based on research.

2. A business card is the only thing I recommend as an initial expense for businesses providing local services (with no need to present abroad), through which, of course, people will know how to contact you.  You can print preliminary cards without any special design.  The important thing is that the information on the card is correct and looks nice.

3. Your first website can be a free website, which also serves as a business card with preliminary content and contact details.  You can also use free social media options.

4. Get a consultant’s advice.  Today, there are many options without a large expense, such as: Consultant/coach from MATI (Business Development Center run by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor) with significant subsidies for consultation time. You can also offer to barter (exchange services) – your services to the consultant in exchange for consultation hours (by mutual agreement and with complete commitment on both sides).

5. Ask, examine, and clarify.  It is important to make sure that a cost is really important and essential to business progress before paying the expense. You can also ask your accountant, using his business experience to determine whether the expense is legitimate.

There are many developments and changes in the first few years of any business. And for that reason, it’s important that the branding – including logo, colors, letterhead, website and so on – is done once the business has really taken shape with a lot of content and a clear vision for the future.

Good luck!

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