Part 1 >>> Branding Your Business
Although it sounds easy enough, most entrepreneurs do not spend the time required to build a coherent brand.
This can have a massive impact on your business. Image is everything. A cheap logo, weak name or even a jarring colour scheme can be detrimental to success.
Poor branding can be the final nail in a coffin for an unestablished business. It gives off a terrible first impression to potential customers and can drive them directly to your competitors who have branded better.
It is very important that your business name, logo and overall branding concept, align with the products you are selling and the categories you are operating within. If you plan to sell products in different categories, you will need a generic branding strategy that remains applicable across the different categories.
Ideally your branding should be simple but significant.
This is one of the first and most important decisions you will make. Your business name identifies you to your customers and allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Aim to choose a name that is somewhat generic unless you plan to specialise. By keeping the name generic you can easily pivot your business into other markets and trade across multiple Amazon categories using the same business name.
To register a new business name, follow these steps:
1. Check the business name is available. In Australia go here.
2. Setup an ASIC Connect account here.
3. Follow these steps to register a business name under your ASIC Connect Account
It is not a long process and relatively cheap at $36 for 1 year.
In addition to your business name, you will also need a matching web domain. You should not purchase either until you have confirmed they are both available.
If you select a subpar web address because all the addresses relating to your business name are taken, you will hurt your customer facing image.
For example. Say you secure Golden Eggs as a business name. You then look online at the domains and goldeneggs.com, goldeneggs.com.au, goldeneggs.net.au, etc, are unavailable. What do you do? I’ve seen people settle for addresses like gldneggz.com. That is terrible. Never do that.
Although, in many cases you will not need to create a website straight away, you will need a registered domain in order to create a professional email. Do not ever use a Hotmail or Gmail address. These portray an unprofessional image, especially when negotiating with overseas factories or contacting customers.
Once you confirm both the business name and the web domain are available, purchase them at the same time.
There are many companies you can use to search for and register web domains. I personally use VentraIP as they are simple, cost effective and provide excellent support.
“Once you confirm both the business name and the web domain are available, purchase them at the same time.”
Once you have a web domain, you can create a business email. Most of the time the company you register the web domain through will also offer email services. Often they will charge per user. You should only need one email address to begin. I would start with something like firstname.lastname@example.org. You will use this to deal with suppliers.
I personally use Microsoft email hosting as it works beautifully on all of my devices and is very familiar given I’ve used outlook accounts for so many years. The Microsoft exchange is a very reliable email host and only costs around $57 per user, per year.
When designing your email template it is important to remain consistent with the rest of your business branding. This means using the same logo, fonts and colours. Make sure you include a well formatted signature block as well.
Once you have begun trading and established a customer base, you will need to create email campaigns to thank customers, provide them with follow up offers and request they complete reviews on Amazon.
The market leaders in this field are MailChimp. They offer free services up until 2000 subscribers or 12,000 emails per month.
Your logo will be utilised on your website, emails, packaging and most importantly your products.
The design should be unique, but not complex. You want to give it a professional touch and make sure it stands out.
For a high calibre, paid design, I recommend 99 Designs. You start by creating a simple logo brief. Dozen of designers submit their ideas. You pick your favourite and then finalise the logo directly with the winner.
For a less costly design, you can engage freelance designers on Airtasker.
For a free design, you can create your own using the software on Logomakr.
When you sign up for your Amazon seller account, you will need to create a store name. Under this store, you can trade using multiple brand names.
For example, you could name your store Golden Eggs and create two different brands to trade under, Egg House and Golden Medical Supplies
Consider how you want to sell your various products. Whether it’s under one umbrella brand, or multiple niche brands.
Business plans keep you on course. They are a way of holding yourself accountable and setting achievable milestones that you can work towards.
A business’s branding strategy should be clearly recorded within its business plan and completely mapped out before starting.
You can find a free business plan template here.
Remember your business plan doesn’t need to be over the top. Just ensure you complete the sections relevant to your business in detail.