Here’s a roundup of a few resources and tips for would-be small business owners and entrepreneurs. Please note that inclusion here is a not an endorsement and that you should thoroughly analyze any of the following that are web services before spending any money.
Start your company.
While incorporating is not something you should jump into without weigh all the consequences, if you want to do it, MyNewCompany lets you incorporate or form an LLC online. Please read their fine print thoroughly before signing up.
Get an identity.
For most consumers, a logo is what they use to start forming a complex opinion of a new business. If you don’t have a logo, it’ll be hard to be memorable. If you’ve incorporated, then a logo is one of the next steps in building your identity. There’s a lot of value in a unique logo design.
Have business card replacements.
Got a logo but don’t have any business cards on your person? If you have a personal website that uses your name, or know that your name ranks #1 in Google (or Yahoo), the next best thing to a business card is to say Just Google Me. Just make sure your name is easy to remember and spell. Having a unique name doesn’t hurt, either. When you do get some new business cards, consider getting some unique mini-cards from Moo, which allows you to incorporate one of your many social networking profiles. The Moo mini-cards simply have your name and your Skype username.
You’ve got your incorporation, logo and business cards. What next? A brand. Zoomstart is offering a free 15-pg PDF ebook on the basics of branding a blog, product, or service. This includes tips on how to define, design and promote your brand.
Now your business is all prepped and ready to go. Now you want to announce it, a product or service. Duct Tape Marketing offers a free online press release creator. Once it produces your nicely formatted press release, you can send use an online press service such as PRWeb.
What about our own identity?
While design companies are busy working on client identities, it is common to forget and or ignore our own identities. For example, we have not updated or worked on our own identity for more than 2 years before we updated it to the current on a month back. So what about our own identity?
When I say “identity”, I don’t mean just the logo design but other brand elements such as website design, newsletter campaigns etc. This also includes updating the portfolio, the marketing messages (both online and offline) and more.
Also, just as a doctor would have trouble diagnosing herself or a dentist would have trouble filling her own teeth (ok, perhaps this is a bad example), it is very difficult for a logo design company to design their own logo. Nothing would seem to work, nothing would be seem to fit etc.
However, I found the opposite to be true when you are looking at web designers. Their sites are almost always cool (may be even cooler then their client work) and they seem to show off their skill much more easily. Perhaps it is due to the fundamental difference between how logo designs are created relative to all other kinds of graphic design.
What do you think? I would like to hear your views on this topic. What about our own identity?