Change is a beautiful thing, it happens all around us in the world: people, places, trees, seasons…
But where does this fit in to your business? Business is a living organism which thrives on effective change.
So what is “effective” change? These are shifts which correlate to growth and relevancy, allowing your business to build a personal connection with your customers.
This connection provides a doorway to understanding who you are as a business owner and the type of customer you feel called to work with. In traditional concepts, we call this connection your brand and “type of customer” your market, sometimes subsets are called niche or segments.
You don’t need to have a vast background in business or communications, but having a basic understanding of your market and your brand can help you to make optimal decisions around changes to your business practices. When we know who we want to work with and who we are, we can start to determine where we want to go, and if we can have our customers join us.
Young businesses need time to develop their personality almost like a toddler or child. Typically a business needs about a year of startup time before they are ready to really bring the brand forward globally. During that time, they may slightly adapt or drastically change their image. I often advise clients not to invest significantly in branding services/materials until at least 6 months (12 optimally) of a business, especially print materials.
Many people put a lot of focus into what their image is, without the same investment in their product or service. I am a firm believer that having healthy bones will be more sustaining than a closet full of fancy clothes, which make you feel good but are not as long-lasting as the foundation.
Playing with your brand/image is certainly a great pick-me-up during the ruts, when we start to second guess ourselves. You know, those “what the hell was I thinking” kind of moments? I like to think of it as though I were a kid with paints, free to explore my ideas.
Early on, this is a great way to discover your creative side. It becomes more challenging as your client base grows, as they build a bond with the image/brand. Not that established businesses don’t ever change an image, but it takes a more calculated approach so not to alienate customers.
So if you are a start-up, I say play a little, before it becomes harder to explore and figure out who you really are.