What do you really need? - Avenir Thinking

What do you really need?


5 years ago

Starting a new business is exciting. It’s fun, adventurous and creative. It can mean thrilling brainstorm sessions, lots of research and getting your hands dirty. There are endless lists of things to choose between, decisions to make, and options for every step of the journey.
We’ve been there, reveling in the thrill of momentum. We also know that it can feel overwhelming. With so much to build right at the beginning, how are you supposed to know what’s important? What are the priorities? Where should you put your energy and creative thought FIRST? 

We get asked these questions all the time, specifically in three areas:

  • Brand Identity – How do I define or explain my company?
  • Logo and Visuals – Do I need a logo and website right away?
  • Social Media – How do I get to all the actual business of my business, and also tackle social media and email marketing?

There are so many different schools of thought out there – raise your hand if you’ve heard any of this advice:

Spend all your time and money on Facebook Ads!

Get off all social media and focus on your email list!

You need a logo and business cards and a fancy website before you even start breathing in the direction of a potential client!!!!

(Honestly, no one really says that last one anymore, but we bet your brain says it at least once a day.)

At Avenir, our philosophy is simple – maybe even frustratingly so. Here it is:

It depends.

Ok, that’s not enough of an answer. How about we explain a bit more.

Brand Identity:

When it comes to defining or explaining your company, you first need to figure out what you’re doing with it. And this means actually doing it.

This sounds obvious, but we’ve found that experience wins out over concept every time. 

Testing ideas in the real world and getting started, especially when you find yourself deep in what-if land, is a sure-fire way to determine what your business is really all about. So before you write your manifesto, write your first order. Before you put your five key value phrases up on the wall of your office, work with your first five clients. Until you get in deep with the work, it’s all theoretical. 

Logo + Visuals:

Here’s where ‘it depends’ really takes the cake. We could go the easy route and say, of course you need a logo and beautiful, expensive brand visuals. In fact, hire us to do it!

But that’s just not true for everyone. No, not every company needs a logo. Especially if you’re a service-based company and you’re running a solo show. Your name will likely suffice, and you’ll be able to save a bunch of time and money, and instead get to focus on the work itself.

What is important, however, is that your company develops an authentic look and feel. 

Alongside this, you want to make sure that your look and feel, and your branding, pass the test of time. The last thing you want is to sign off on a look that begins to feel stale, or goes moldy because you’re not attentive to the changing landscape of design. We’ve got a lot more to say on this particular topic, so hop on over to our blog and read more!

Social Media:

This is a loaded topic, with so many different viewpoints. There’s probably a Twitter feed out there dedicated to both the pros and cons of spending time and energy in the expanding universe of social media. As a social media management business, here’s our take:

You have to have a social presence, but it’s way more important to spend your time on your business.

Guess what? We know that’s a contradiction. So here’s what we recommend. Choose one or two social media accounts to focus on and ignore the rest. With those two, consider hiring someone else to manage them. Even though all of the tools you need to manage an Instagram and Facebook account might be free and easy to use, they also take time and effort. Like your business itself, anything worth building takes dedication. 
If you’re finding yourself working more ON your business – specifically on the 24-hour social media management side – than IN your business, you may want to outsource those responsibilities. Most of our clients find it challenging to maintain consistency – both of the look and feel/language of their posts, and the frequency of posting. So we’re excited to be able to offer this service to small businesses and take at least one thing off your plate.
We hope this was helpful for you, and now we want to know – do you have other questions for us about getting started with or running a business? We love offering advice and perspective to new business owners – and your question may find its way inside one of our next emails!