When people think of marketing a business, they think BIG MONEY. The cost of creating a logo, registering a business, opening a bank account, creating a website, and launching a social media page with content seems impossible. Here are a couple of tips to start you off.
Get the Business Basics Right
- Once you have established your product or service, decide on the business name and register your business (R3k). If you are drawing a salary, you need to register for PAYE as it has serious implications.
- Develop a corporate identity. Watch these two videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo069lyZn_Y and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA with Simon Sinek to provide some structure around developing your corporate identity. This will help you decide your purpose, what you want to sell, and the brand’s persona.
- Brief a designer to develop a logo (max R4K). Negotiate the costs, but also be clear on your brief. Give examples of logos you like, let the designer know what colors you would like, whether you want a square or rectangular logo, your business purpose, and what you are selling. When starting a business, keep the pay-off line simple so people know what you are selling. Make sure that you define the business terms with the designer. The artwork becomes your property once the fee for the logo has been paid. The cost from the designer should include providing a logo colour palette in HEX format, the fonts and the logo in a layered file, and PNG files with a white and transparent background.
- Once you have your logo, you can create your marketing material using www.canva.com. With the right subscription, you also have access to free stock photos and the ability to make basic videos. Remember, you can’t use images from Google in your marketing materials or content, as this is a copyright infringement.
- Get a GoogleMyBusiness account. Simply create a gmail account online, make sure you select the “Manage My Business” option (instead of personal), and use an appropriate name. For example, the Gmail address should be as close to your business name as possible. You can add “za” or “africa” after the name if it is not available. Don’t include birthday dates or anything personal. Create your business profile by following the prompts, then verify the business with the postcard request. Note that the address you put in needs to be a postal address so that Google can send you a postcard with a unique verification code to verify your business.
- Decide what social media platforms you want to be on, and create a business page for each platform. We advise you to start with a maximum of 2 platforms. If you are B2B, you need to be on LinkedIn and potentially Facebook to drive reach. If you are B2C, choose Facebook to drive reach and one other platform that aligns with your business proposition. Make sure you choose a name that is the same across all the platforms, so check the availability of your chosen name across all platforms first. Make sure you add the logos in a square format across all platforms, so it looks professional.
- Build a website. If you provide correctly sized images (from www.canva.com) and the copy (writing that’s on the page), you can have one designed for less than R3k. Ideally, keep it short and straightforward, with one page. This is to give your business credibility, as the website is the new “business card” for most organisations.
Once you have these basics in place, you can start marketing to start growing your business. For Social Media Tips for SME’s, go to Affinity Collective’s Blog Page.
Affinity Collective’s purpose is to help companies, brands, and business professionals realise their full potential. Because of this, we are passionate about helping SME’s establish their business and grow. Through our Blogs, we hope to give SME’s that are starting enough information that they grow into a thriving business.