Start Up. We hear the term more than we hear about the difficulties associated with it. The competition is fierce. The journey can seem like a never-ending, uphill trek. Money is tight. While you’re learning how to build a brand, time is always a scarce commodity. The good news? The rewards are unparalleled.
How to Build a Brand when your Brand is New
Knowing about, and being prepared for, the challenges that come with learning how to build a brand can be beneficial to every start-up entrepreneur. When you know what to expect, you can respond with agility and confidence.
Here are just a few of the challenges a new business might encounter as it learns how to build a brand:
- Financing: Put simply, it’s hard to get money. 54 percent of those aged 18 to 34 consider starting their own businesses, according to a study conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This means that financial institutions are inundated with pleas for financing, and investors have an overabundance of investment opportunities to choose from.
- Credibility: You know that your start-up brand is innovative, unique, and headed for success; however, without evidence of past success, you may experience difficulty with finding backers and/or loyal clients. This is where branding expertise, the communication of your passion for your brand, and the building of trust play gigantic roles.
- Risk: You, your investors, and your new clients will be taking a risk by investing time and money in a start-up; however, with great risk comes great opportunity. The challenge comes in finding people who really understand this notion.
At How to Build a Brand, we are not discouraged by these challenges – and you shouldn’t be, either. We believe that these struggles can be catalysts for learning how to build a brand, and for doing it well. Here are some key points to move you forward, through the challenges that will make your brand stronger:
- Get moving. The start-up road is an uphill trek. You will find yourself winded, and possibly exhausted of time, energy, and money; however, your hard work and dedication will prove that your brand is worth others’ time and money. After all, could there be a more convincing argument for the value of your brand than your own dedication to it?
- Cut unnecessary spending. Money will be tight as you discover how to build a brand. Cut costs by doing some tasks for yourself or working from home (instead of leasing an office), for instance. Question the need for anything that doesn’t directly contribute to your client relationships or the quality of your brand’s final product.
- Broadcast your needs. Help and investments don’t have to come from corporate entities. Make your start-up needs known to family, friends, and social media connections. Investments often come from the last place you’d expect.
- Apply for grants. Government grants are under-utilised as sources for start-up money. Research available grants, hire a grant writer if necessary, and take advantage of the money that others aren’t.
- Enter contests. Business coaching organisations and other entities occasionally run contests in which start-ups can compete for much-needed funds. Take advantage of these opportunities.
- Back yourself. Many small business owners choose to invest their own money in their start-up endeavours. If you wish to take this path (or if it’s your last resort), remember never to invest more than you’re prepared to lose. Additionally, commit to paying yourself back once you’re ‘over the hump.’
Learning how to build a brand as you get your start-up off the ground can be compared to an uphill hike. It’s difficult, no doubt. Nevertheless, you will build your branding muscles and strengthen your stamina and your brand health. Once you reach the summit – as a result of your hard work – you will finally have the opportunity to enjoy the view.
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