It can be really difficult not to become too invested in a project or business that’s special to you.

It’s a common error made by business owners the world over who aren’t from a design or marketing background – they style their businesses as they want to see it, not necessarily how it’ll best resonate or engage with your intended consumer base.

Now this isn’t catastrophic if the business IS about you because a reflection of your character in your branding and identity might help endear you to prospective clients who may be choosing you for your character such as in arts, crafts or particular cottage industry businesses and consultancies.

In most cases however it is important when considering your business identity to take a step back and put your personal feelings aside. This might mean having to go in a completely different design direction than you’d initially intended but if your logo, colour scheme and marketing assets only appeal to you then there’s a good chance they’re not going to assist in client acquisition and converting contacts to sales.

Think about your audience.

This issue is most prominent and has the the greatest potential for¬†impact in small and start-up businesses where those who are the most invested in an organisation also likely wear the most hats. As an indirect consequence of either being so smitten with your endeavour or just plain run-ragged, then the easiest or most natural option when addressing branding and image is to go for what looks good to you. It can also be easy to forget, or not even considered that a¬†businesses identity is also more than just a logo, it is a set of visual identifiers that invoke emotion, trigger cognisance of a message or ethos and imprint an impression – all of which require a degree of work to prepare for. Have you stopped to identify and define your target market? Do you have a communication strategy? what are your competitors doing? If you haven’t tried to at least ask these questions then are you certain you are best placed to be solely responsible for your businesses first-impression?

This article isn’t a hard sell but it is a reason why finding, speaking to and hiring a good designer is a long term investment. Yes there are designers that will draw or design anything you please for reasonable money but at the end of the day what will benefit you the most is a design professional who can provide an informed and objective opinion to help keep you focused on who a design asset is ultimately intended for.

Small and developing businesses by definition are also those with the smallest market share and so alienating your potential customers with your business image or branding from the first impression can be crippling when growth in pursuance of stability is your businesses main goal.

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