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Starting an Online Business From My Firsthand Pespective

So, you are kicking around the idea of starting an online business sometime in the near future, or you are curious about what all it might take before you pursue the idea any further.  I want to share some of the steps, events, adventures, failures, etc. that I have personally encountered on my path to starting Loyal To Greenville and Brewmiceter Hops Hunt.

Where do you start?  Well, all the articles, books, advisors and friends will tell you to make sure that whatever you are going to offer has a cliental that will need/want your product/service.  They will also tell you that it should be a definite PASSION for you because it is not going to be easy and unless you truly believe in yourself, your product and the process, it will be way too easy to quit before you get it off the ground.

Okay, so much for the regular information, let’s get down to where to begin.  A name for the company is such an important and major initial step.  Sounds easy enough, but is it really?  If you decide on a name, is the URL available?  You should have a matching URL as things can get pretty confusing as you go down the road and try to get your Facebook Page, Instagram account………DO NOT SETTLE on a name until you check out all of these avenues.

Now, let’s assume you have a name and you have purchased the URL, and started all the media pages and accounts.  You have taken the first real step to starting the business, but what about the logo?  You can find a large number of sites that will let you come up with designs using somewhat generic elements and many of them come out just fine.  What if you want an original design and you can sketch, but not really get a polished professional end logo?  You can invest in an artist/graphic designer, which is what I did.  I have worked in the retail world and with logos most of my working years and feel that they are one of the most important statements for your business.  I searched to find a local graphic designer, especially since my business is Loyal To Greenville (Be Loyal, Buy Local).  I then had to confirm that I would own the design when it was completed and what formats I would be getting the finished product in.  SIDE NOTE:  you want business cards to hand out to people as you are discussing you business and you will want to get moving on those cards and the logo as quickly as possible, but do not settle on a logo that you do not believe in.  REMEMBER that you can make an initial card to hand out that may not be perfect, and you can redesign it in the future, but you are trying to establish a brand identity, so try not to do this.

Another important item to consider when deciding on your logo is what it will be used on.  I have clothing, so it was important to have something that I felt would appeal to people of all genders and ages, and was limited in the number of colors because if you screen print your logo on clothing there are additional charges for each color used.  I also wanted a design that could stand on its’ own and be used on the website, while embracing what my project stands for.  Oh, do not forget that the font is a very important element as well.  Do you want something trendy and new, or classic and refined?  Will the font stand the test of time?  Think about that, as I know I never foresaw that cursive writing would be almost extent at this point and time, did you?  Retro is in and it may be the perfect decision for your brand, just think about how it will be perceived 5, 10 or 20 years from now.  

The above is just for the logo which sounds easy, but truly is not.  If you have partners, you have to be open to each person’s view and input.  Multiple people may make it a harder and longer process, but it also can save you from making mistakes that you yourself are not seeing when you are in the decision making process.  I will write more on that in a future blog.  I am not trying to make this sound hard or complicated, I am just sharing part of the journey that you will have to go through to get started.  Until my next blog……………