When you’re getting your small business off the ground, it’s important to make sure you’ve put into place the key pieces that can help your company stand out and attract customers. While there are many different ways a brand can stand, there are six essential things that every business should have in order to achieve success in their space.

1. Memorable name

One of the most important things that a business owner can do is come up with a name for their company. After all, the two things you want customers to remember most about you is your company’s name and how awesome your products or services are, so they can pass that info on to other potential customers. 

Make sure to pick a name that isn’t just memorable, it’s also easy for customers to spell and search for. There is no bigger brand mistake than making it impossible for your customers to find you online because you’ve spelled your company name in a way that isn’t intuitive and phonetic. The last thing you want to be doing is spending time telling your customers how to say and spell the company name.

Also, make sure to do some web research prior to picking a name. Are there other companies or sites out there that have the same name? Is there content online related to that name that you wouldn’t want your potential customers to accidentally affiliate or associate with your brand? Are there solid domain names and social media handles associated with your name that are still available? These are all questions you’ll want to answer before you decide what to call your company.

2. Strong logo 

Once you’ve got a solid name in place, the next thing you’ll want to focus on is your company logo. This is something I strongly suggest that business owners invest in because unless you’re a trained designer, you’re just going to end up having to pay someone down the line to rework your logo anyways. 

Invest upfront to establish a logo that you love and that resonates with potential customers. There are so many great designers and low-cost ways to get a logo today through sites like Fiverr and 99 designs, so take the time and spend the money at the start and you won’t have to spend energy rebranding when you should be focusing on growing your business.

3. Clear target audience

When formulating the vision for your company’s branding, it’s important that you filter your ideas through the lens of your target market. After all, everything you build and do in your company should be done and designed in a manner to attract the types of people you aim to serve. So who is that audience? You can figure it out by asking yourself questions like:

Who benefits most from our products or services?

What is the need or pain point that drives someone to seek out a company like ours?

What events or experiences make customers move forward with a purchasing decision?

Where would customers go to search for or seek out our products?

What type of person is most likely to recommend us to other potential customers?

These are just a few of the types of questions you can dig into to explore and understand the type of people you aim to attract. Once you have a clear idea of who you’re after, you can amplify your ability to connect with the customers you want through your company’s marketing. 
Business planning shouldn't be complicated. Plan, fund and grow your business with a simple, all-in-one platform. Get LivePlan.

4. Marketing plan

With your target audience in place, the next piece to tackle is building a marketing plan that is focused on getting your products and services in front of those types of people and converting them into customers. Every marketing plan should start with a clear goal in mind. Maybe yours would be to double your company revenue, or sign up 10 new members a month, or sell more of a certain line of products. Whatever that goal is, outline it clearly and then develop a marketing plan with the intention of achieving it.

There are lots of great ways to structure a marketing plan, and an online search will surface lots of instructions and templates. At Fearless In Training, we take a quarterly based approach to marketing with our clients, and you can check out a workbook we’ve designed to facilitate this process here.

5. Optimized website

Having a business website is pretty much a no brainer in today’s era of online businesses, but it is important to note that not all websites are created equal. In order to maximize your search engine exposure, it’s key to develop a site that is well optimized to show up when people look for you online. 

Some website hosters, such as Squarespace, offer automated and natively built optimization whereas other platforms require that you go through additional steps to make sure your landing pages are search ready. Make sure when evaluating where you’ll build your site and who is going to build it that these key steps[1] are going to be completed to properly optimize your brand online.

In addition to optimizing your site for search purposes, it’s also critical to optimize your site around whatever actions you want your customers to take within it. Research shows that 90 percent of customers visit a company’s website as a first action, so it’s important to think about what you want them to do next when they get there—your customer journey.

Do you want them to sign up for a digital newsletter? Make sure that your site can integrate seamlessly with an email marketing platform. 

Do you want your customers to be able to book online appointments? Make sure it’s easy for you to build in a calendar scheduling link. 

Should people be able to purchase directly through your site? Make sure it’s set up with streamlined eCommerce functionalities. 

Whatever action you want your customers to be able to take online, make sure to build a site that’s designed around them so that you can provide an optimized web experience to your customers.

6. Performance analytics

When building your business, it’s important that you make sure to put into place some key metrics or measures that you can reflect on to make sure your company is on the right track. 

In the case of your branding, you’re going to want to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that help you evaluate if you’re resonating with your target audience and converting them into customers. You should put tracking into place around things like the number of inbound leads or inquiries, the number of new customers, your sales conversion rates, and the volume of website traffic to name a few. 

These are all things that you should be able to track externally through your website hosting platform or internally as part of your sales process. The exact nature of your business will determine the most appropriate measures to be tracking but a quick web search for “best KPIs for [Your Type of Business]” is going to surface up additional content to support you in these endeavors. 

Similar to your marketing plan, your metrics and performance analytics should be based around a bigger goal for your company, and then you should measure what matters most when it comes to achieving it. 

Brand building is all about making your company memorable and accessible to the customers you aim to connect with. Set yourself up to make meaningful first impressions by completing these six must-haves to make your brand shine to the audience you want to attract. With clear business goals and these elements in alignment, you’re sure to stand out in your space and establish a customer base that feels truly connected to the brand you’ve built.

AvatarMadeline Pratt

Madeline Pratt is the CEO and founder of Fearless In Training, a creative consulting company that works directly with entrepreneurial women, progressive accountants, and technology innovators to help them start, grow, and scale successful enterprises. Built on a foundation of expertise in the realms of technology, marketing, education, and business development, the firm delivers collaborative consulting services and online courses to help clients achieve their wildest business dreams.