New Year, New Business? Here Are 3 Things You Need To Know Before Launching

If this is the year you’re bringing a new business to life, you’ve come to the right place.

As a collective of entrepreneurs, we’ve successfully planned and launched over ten businesses between us, including Bryony & Birch. We’ve done a whole lot of wrongs, a whole lot of rights and a whole lot of learning.

When it comes to business, everyone has their own style. Some people need fifty page business plans with clear objectives, milestones and a detailed projection of how their business can scale. Others opt for the more organic approach of – let’s just hit ‘go’ and see where it leads us. We’ve seen both of these models work, however, it’s because the founders all knew three very important things.

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1.) Assumptions Are Not Your Friend (However, You Need to Identify Them)

It doesn’t matter if you’re launching an app or are selling handmade macrame coasters, it’s easy to make assumptions about who your potential customer is, why they’re going to be satisfied with your product or service as well as your ability to deliver.

When you make assumptions, you can often end up limiting your success and/or leaving yourself vulnerable to unexpected bumps along the way. (Such as a global pandemic.) As soon as you start conceptualizing your business, become aware of the assumptions you’re making and question why you’ve come to that conclusion. Challenge yourself by doing market research, testing your brand’s messaging and looking at case studies of similar businesses.

One of our clients has an organic pima cotton clothing company. They made the assumption that they’d always be able to get their clothing manufactured ethically in Peru and shipped on time. 2020 proved them wrong. After realizing they had all of their eggs in a Peruvian basket, they’ve now minimized their risk of production issues by getting a US-based supplier and manufacturer as well.

Another client of ours assumed her customer base would just be on Instagram. It is one of the places they’re active, but do you know where else her customers hang out? Pinterest. By not sticking to the assumption that Insta was the place to be, she tested a handful of social platforms and discovered an even bigger potential customer base.

Don’t assume you know who your customer is.
Don’t assume you know how your customer will find you.
Don’t assume you’ll always have access to materials and labor.
Don’t assume that people will understand your offering.
Don’t assume that you can simply ‘set and forget.’

By consciously identifying your assumptions, you’ll push yourself to not only think bigger, but also find ways to minimize the risk of missing the mark with your communication and/or developing a kink in your supply chain.

2.) It’s Never Too Early To Start Gaining Traction

Just because your shop doors aren’t open or web sales aren’t live yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be creating buzz about your business or testing the market.

One of the ways we’ve done this is by creating a website with a blog so that we can start publishing informative, entertaining and share-worthy content to help spread our message. We’ve found that taking potential customers on our business journey can help them become emotionally invested and ‘sold’ even before we’re open for business. Blogs are also very good for helping optimize your website for search engines.

Another way is to start engaging on social platforms such as Reddit, Facebook or Instagram. So much of a brand’s success depends on a community so don’t forget to focus on how you’re going to cultivate an online presence that provides value to your business and your customer.

Of course, so many things can also happen online! It doesn’t matter if you’re working in a space such as sustainable fashion, tech or food – head to industry networking events, try to get on panels, provide commentary on podcasts or pitch an op-ed to a local (or major) newspaper.

While the major benefit is building a customer base before you even hit go, you’ll also be able to learn from your following and feedback things like: Is my messaging clear? Are customers accepting my price point? Will people help my product/service go viral?

3.) There’s More to Branding Than a Logo

When most people think of the word ‘brand’ they think of iconic logos such as Nike, Apple and McDonald’s. The truth is there is so much more than clever design.
When creating your brand, be sure to think about what your brand’s voice is, what your brand’s aesthetic is and how your brand can effectively communicate its values.

Are you formal or informal? Informative or opinionated? Playful or serious? Do you want your customers to know your political stance? What about social causes you care about?

While a logo and color palette is a must, don’t forget about brand photography. With so many businesses operating websites and on social media, it’s more important than ever to have strong brand photography. We’ve written about the importance of brand photography here, but essentially, you’re going to want to ensure that everything from your brochures to your billboards to your profile pictures tells the story of who you are, what you care about and how you can enrich someone’s life.

We feel so strongly about brand photography that we’ve actually created an all-inclusive package.

What is the Bryony + Birch All-Inclusive Branding Package?

At Bryony & Birch, we offer a lot of different services and products. From hairdressing to yoga to reiki to wedding prep packages, we have a lot going on and a lot to let our customers know.

Having brand photography that showcases our events, experiences, expertise and energy has allowed us to not only launch a retail space in the midst of a global pandemic, but also thrive both on and offline.

As a collective of people who’ve launched quite a few businesses, we know exactly what it takes to get a solid gallery of versatile brand photos, which is why we came up with the all-inclusive Bryony & Birch branding package.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • Hair and makeup
  • Product shots
  • Headshots
  • Catered lunch
  • Exclusive use of the Bryony + Birch studio space
  • Photos with Kate Donovan Photography

If you’re a business in the North Shore looking for brand photography, we’re your people. Click here to learn more and to book your package today!

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