At Intertype, we get to work on some amazing projects. One recent project involved designing and printing the inaugural edition of The Business Marketplace Magazine. We loved working with the 40+ contributors as they were all entrepreneurs who are passionate about their businesses and the customers they serve. However, the exercise highlighted an important business issue that over 80% missed the mark on and which will be costing them serious dollars.
On the surface, it seemed like there was a total lack of understanding of the basics of small business branding. The key issues I saw included:
No niche or target market. Many couldn’t even articulate the top benefits they deliver to their customers,
No logo files or file formats totally unsuited to print production. We even received logos that were created in MS Word!!!
No or crappy headshots. Selfies on your phone may be OK for social media posts but do you seriously think they are appropriate for a full-page advertisement??
A lack of images that support their products or services. We even received some images that were scraped off their competitor’s website…one even had the competitors watermark!!!
Digging a bit deeper the real issue boiled down to these business owners haven’t thought to pull together a marketing support team. I get that they can’t have a team on staff however there are many talented operators out there that know their craft. Why not leverage their skills? I recommend businesses build a collaborative team containing skills such as copywriting, photography, videography, web developing, graphic designing and printing. But be aware that you get what you pay for; “nickel and diming” these skills will only hurt your results.
I’m guessing that the problem is many entrepreneurs are trying to build a viable business on the smell of an oily rag BUT that’s the hard, slow and risky way. You work your butt off to build a business that delivers you an income stream and becomes an asset that you can flip later but for most it will only bring heartache.
The upside on investing in your business is enormous so stop wasting your opportunities by listening and paying hard earned money to these so-called gurus who espouse how you can do it all yourself with little or no investment.
Pull your Marketing support team together, have a modest start up budget from $2,500 – $5,000 then stand back and watch the magic happen.
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