A brand begins with a plan

Alex Hartle | 01.03.17

New Ventures in a New Year

As we approach a new year of challenges and opportunities, many aspiring entrepreneurs across the country will sit down to plan new ventures. The process is both exciting and daunting, and we encourage prospective business owners to seek out as much information as possible. The United States Small Business Administration’s website is a great starting place, but resources abound for those who want them. In celebration of the New Year and new beginnings, we wanted to take the time to discuss using the business plan as a way to distinguish your business, and highlight our in-house production capabilities as an example.

Any business, regardless of industry, needs to position itself as unique within its market in order to be successful. Doing so occurs in two ways: first by actually operating differently from the competition and delivering distinguishable outcomes to the market, and second by projecting those differences to the market through branding and marketing. As an example, Nium operates distinctly from other design and branding firms by incorporating production and finishing capabilities into its operation. This benefits our clients by making us more flexible and responsive to their needs. Furthermore, it reduces the costs that might otherwise be passed on and allows us to ensure quality from conception to completion. Whether producing menu banners, clings, or business cards, Nium has control over the entire process. In short, having in-house production makes us both more efficient and dependable than our competition.

It is this type of difference that can and should be outlined in a business plan. Of course, the difference does not necessarily need to be operational, as ours is. What is important is that the opportunity is taken to define in clear terms how your business is going to be different from its competition. Once this is defined, it is then important to highlight this competitive advantage in marketing materials and on your website. Marketing is but one part of a business plan, but one that we think is very important. As both a branding and marketing firm, we recognize the importance of having an identity and wearing that identity proudly on your sleeve. In the face of all of the other costs associated with starting a business, many people will overlook or undersell the importance of setting aside a marketing budget, but we think that this is an error. After all, it is impossible for customers and clients to engage with a business that they don’t know about.

As stated, there are a number of components to a business plan, and this short blog is not attempting to cover them all. However, we wanted to take the opportunity to encourage all of 2017’s newly minted entrepreneurs to consider carefully their identity, and how that identity will be broadcast after the business gets off the ground. As always, Nium will be happy to help with your branding and marketing efforts every step of the way.