For a start up business, there are so many things that you need to consider, and for me most of it has been done on the fly. Yes, of course I have a business plan however, that is a constantly changing beast, as it should be, it should never be static because if it is, then I’m almost certain your business is too, would I be right?
I have spent most of the past few weeks looking at all my social media sites, reading and learning from the best of the best and then applying these learnings to my website, my documentation, my templates and my ‘business cards’ to ensure that they all tell the same story and I’m very happy to say they do (or at least I think they do, please let me know if you don’t, your feedback is so important). For example, the photo I have on my ‘About JMJ’ page on my website is the same one I use on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. My Logo and address details are consistently in the same format. The text all runs the same way; by this I mean it is always on the vertical for my documents, there is not a mix of vertical and horizontal. I use the same font where ever I can (sometimes this is not always possible due to font limitations in the program I am using).
I spend my time on the train to and from the office scouring my tweet favourites for their hints and tips on branding and all things social media and guess what they all say the same thing consistency, consistency and consistency with your branding. Why did I use bold for consistency, because I want to emphasise the importance of the word as in my dealings on a professional level with some small and corporate businesses they don’t get ‘consistency’.
This is the same for your stationery and your work templates, if you want my opinion (of course you do, that is why you are hanging on my every word), if you don’t maintain consistency, then in my opinion (I know, there I go again) you are only confusing your customer. Why would your letterhead, memorandums, reports, brochures and newsletters to name a few, all be different? I am ranting I know that however, I make no apologies after all it is about keeping a tidy house; it is all about first impressions and all that. If you don’t have consistency with your documents then you need to pick up your game and follow through after all, you could be missing out on business because your documentation does not look professional. Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean you have to rush out and have everything professionally printed, because you don’t. With the right templates in place, all you will need to do is press the print icon or ctrl+p and away you go.
So do yourself a favour, if you are not very savvy in the document department, then find someone who is (putting my hand up *waves*). You will find that spending a small amount of money to bring all your documents into line is going to be worth all the business that will come your way due to the ‘branding consistency’. To me (and because I admit I am anal and in my line of work I am sure it is a prerequisite) if your documentation is not professional then what do your customers think when they see your ‘non justified’, badly formatted and inconsistent documents, agreements or presentations?
I will leave you to ponder that last question and please don’t forget that I appreciate your comments and if you have any questions, just ask it is free; all it will take is the time to type your message.
I hope you have a wonderful week doing whatever it is that you enjoy doing.