7 Financial Tips to Consider When You Launch Your Startup

So, you’re thinking about heading down the path of entrepreneurship and finally launching your startup.  Launching your own startup can be a very fulfilling and rewarding if executed properly.

It’s easy to have a great idea and imagine all the possibilities that the future holds. However, what’s more important than the future is making sure you’re taking every measure to set yourself up for success. There are many moving parts that make up a successful startup, and you’ll want to go in with as much insight and information as you can.

Financial management for startups can make or break your entire strategy. If you’re wondering “what is a startup budget” or clueless about what financial tips you should know about, here are some financial advice for startups that you should consider before launching:

Watch Your Expenses

Obviously, you’d want expenses to be low in general, but it’s crucial in the early days of your startup to ensure your business will be successful long-term. Keep materialistic things to a minimum.

Maybe you’ve been dreaming of setting up shop in that new high-rise downtown, or of catering lunches every day for your new team. These things may be feasible in the future, but in the beginning, keep expenditures low.

Consider having you and your team working remotely for a while – it’s becoming increasingly popular and can really help keep your early overhead low. This will enable you to allocate most of your capital to further grow your business. Many startups place too much emphasis on image and employment perks in the beginning and it can really slow down their success in the long run.

Having said that, there are certain things that desirable but not needed; while others are absolutely crucial. For example, deciding your brand elements and direction is crucial right from the start. This isn’t something you’d want to save on. If you get it wrong, it could have dire consequences down the road – you’d find that it’s a lot harder to change your brand.

Give Yourself a Reasonable Salary

It might seem like the best thing to do with that hard-earned revenue is to put it all back into the business, but don’t neglect your own financial comfort and stability.

You need to pay yourself enough to survive on. Living comfortably and not having to stress about your own finances will allow to bring your best self to the office every day and become more focused on growing your young business.

Aside from living comfortably and reducing stress, paying yourself reasonably can also be helpful for tax purposes. Consider determining a certain percentage of your revenue to pay to yourself. You can then decide what to keep in your business checking and business savings.

Set Boundaries Between Personal and Business Finances

This is so important and can be difficult to implement if you aren’t serious about it from the beginning. It’s also another reason why giving yourself a decent salary is so important – you don’t want to be dipping into your company’s money to buy groceries.

Make this easier on yourself by setting up a business checking account from the very start. That way, there will be a clearly defined line of what money is for the business and what money is yours to spend. If you are putting your own personal money into the business or covering any expenses on your own, transfer that money into your business checking account.

Track Your Cash Flow

One of the many mistakes made by new startup owners is not keeping track of their cash flow. This can lead to your worst nightmare coming true: running out of money. So, you will want to know exactly where every bit of money is coming from and where it’s going to.

Set a strict budget and start thoroughly logging your expenses early on. You can do this very easily by using a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel and record everything on a regular basis.

You can determine a schedule that works best for you, whether you decide to log in data on a daily or weekly basis. Knowing where your money is moving to and from will give you peace of mind and let you know quickly when any discrepancies come along.

Start with a Small Team

Managing your resources responsibly from the beginning is vital. Some startups may be a bit more complex than others and require more manpower, but the smaller the team you can start with, the fewer people you will have to pay.

Consider which people will be most needed and valuable to you for your launch. You’ll want to have the team necessary to make things possible and run smoothly. You can always hire more people in the future once the demand for your business is higher and you have enough revenue coming in to pay more salaries.

Your Time is Your Money

Even with all of your newfound freedom that comes with working for yourself, you still need to establish some type of personal schedule. Make sure that you are getting done what needs to be done daily, and not putting it off to do another time.

Especially when your business is young and your employee count is low, every minute not spent working on something business-related is costing you money. Stay disciplined and understand the value of your time and effort.

Set Realistic, Attainable Financial Goals

It is easy to start dreaming of your millions from the beginning, but what’s going to be most rewarding and gratifying is reaching realistic and measurable goals.

It’s easiest to track the growth of your business through daily, weekly, or monthly revenue goals. Seeing this constant growth and small wins will keep your confidence and motivation up.

Determine a larger milestone you’d like to reach in the next six months or year, and divide it into smaller checkpoints that you can meet and that are reachable.

Conclusion

Launching your startup is a truly exciting time. With so much to think about and to get ready for, it’s common for some new business owners to make really detrimental mistakes on the financial front. Financial management for startups is something you don’t want to neglect.

Consider our advice for startups to help you start strong, and watch your business grow from there. If you make sure to do everything possible to set yourself and your business up properly in the beginning, you’re sure to have a successful and prosperous future ahead.

5 Reasons to Choose Bespoke Logo Design

The logo is the window to your business’s soul. It is one of the most important aspects to branding and marketing your company. The main purpose of having a logo is simple: it puts a face to your business and instantly gives you the recognition you need.

Nowadays, many people claim that they can design a logo for you for a cheaper price than usual, which you can get instantly, too. However, there is a price to pay for a cheap cost. These fast solutions don’t usually bring out the results that you want and can threaten to cheapen the face of your company. Much like in life, anything worth having is worth investing your time and effort in. The best way to ensure a high quality product is to learn to invest in the process of making a design that is best suited to the needs of your company. Your brand is your identity and your logo showcases this. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should choose a bespoke logo design.

An example of bespoke logo design by our brand designers

1. It builds trust and credibility

Having a well-done and professional logo that speaks volumes of your brand creates trust between customer, client, and business.  When someone sees your logo as professional, you immediately earn a level of trust or a nod of approval. They will scour through your site and check out what you have to say.

2. You become authentic

Having a bespoke logo design means you are leaning towards originality and authenticity. You aren’t afraid to show yourself through your logo and that you are building something that is very you. Consumers and clients will appreciate this part of your business, and will be more curious about what you have to offer.

3. It’s a creative pursuit

Designing a logo that is tailor made for your business is a creative pursuit. It is a process that involves selecting the right typography, color, shape, etc. and is crucial to the branding of your company.

4. It looks intelligent

An agency or a professional have a serious amount of creative skillsets that translates to your logo. When it is professionally done, your logo looks intelligent, useful, and with a purpose. An intelligent logo resonates and speaks to your audience.

5. It is unique

Having a logo born out of your own mind is filled with a uniqueness that gives you an edge. A unique logo helps people remember you, therefore establishing yourself in a sea of competitors.

Another example of logo design and marketing collateral by our UK designers

Business Card Design

A successful man is distinguished by the level of impression he can create in his circles. Apart from personality traits and looks, there are plenty of accessories, gadgets and other products which reflect the person’s way of living. A sense of competition always prevails among the individuals or companies when it comes to creating the best impression in all places they are at.

A successful business is also majorly determined by its impressiveness. Many businesses try to seriously consider spending on branding and look for this very reason, to try showing off as successful. Whether the business is really successful or not is a different question, but a successful business would have surely created a big impression.

One of the key elements of creating such an impression is a business card. Most meetings are an introduction to people that we’ve never met before, and it is essential to exchange contact information on that occasion with the view of future prospects. A business card enables an easy exchange of contact information because it is just one small card which contains all the necessary contact information such as name, telephone number, address and email-id.

Business card as a gesture

Exchange of business cards conveys a good gesture on part of the people involved. It implies that the person would be willing to stay in touch or even extend the introductory friendship to some good business activity. A well-designed business card speaks of how much importance that person gives to making new contacts. In other words, a person with a well-designed business card can be considered as socially active.

What makes a good business card?

Basically, a business card contains contact information of a person. But various designers have applied their creativity and innovation to create some of the most interesting and visually striking business cards. The best business cards of today make use of minimalist art and color palette, with more emphasis laid on the typefaces with which the information is printed. The conventional rectangular shape of the card has been replaced by various innovative shapes. In some cases, the card material itself is replaced with transparent plastic or polished metals in few rare cases.

Thus, there are many options available for a business card design. Yet what is important for a good business card is to work in integration or uniformity with the general marketing plan of the individual or company. The theme used in the design and expression of the marketing and promotional elements should better be applied in the design of business cards as well.

Durability and quality

A good business card must be made of high quality materials which make them dense, thick and easy to carry around. It’s better to use standard sizes so that the business cards will fit into the containers or wallet compartments. Different materials come with different patterns and textures. For most cards, no work on the background design will be required because the pattern or texture on the card material itself would be interesting. It must also be noted that the inking or engraving method and the card material used should be more durable to stand extreme conditions.

DIY business card

Not everyone can afford to hire a professional designer to do the design work on business cards. In most professional designing firms, business card is one part of the several branding packages. It’s always good to have a professional to design a business card, but there needs to be a good reason to hire them from marketing standpoint. If a business card is not used in integration with other marketing plans, then there’s two options left for an individual.

One way is to go for freelance designers, or to hire a designer from relatively smaller designing firms. These designers could be Art School Grads or Self-taught, but they are relatively new to the field. Hence their ideas and capabilities are deemed as untested. Yet, some freelancers do a good job coming up with their design portfolio. If such a portfolio is impressive, then certainly get the freelancer to do the work.

Such freelancers are hard to find, and in that case there is a second option which is DIY (Do-it-Yourself). Good thing about DIY way is that it is not time consuming if the right templates are used. For using templates, the person must understand that basics of programs such as Photoshop or Corel Draw. Most templates are available on the internet for free, while some amazing templates can cost money. There are several companies out there who started out by using free design templates and basic design tutorials to even create their business logos, and some of them have turned out to be successful. So, it’s no bad to go the DIY way when one needs it.

Negative Space in Logos

Have you ever come across a logo, realizing that you liked it, or didn’t like it, but not sure why? What did you like about it? What did you not like about it? Most likely, one of the reasons why you liked, or didn’t like it was because of the negative space it had. So what purpose does negative space utilization solve for logo designing?

Defining negative space

 Space is a fundamental parameter while designing a logo for your brand and is often the most underrated as well. The term negative and positive space originated from photographers who refer refer to the subject in their image as positive and the background as negative. Simply put, anything in the image that’s not drawing immediate attention is negative space which can be the image itself, a patterned background, or just a block of color or text.

In layman’s terms, negative space is defined as the empty space around an object that determines how appealing it appears. It is the open space around your object in the logo. Since a majority of audience don’t really appreciate over crowded logos and artwork, giving your logo some negative space gives it a much more defining touch. This lets your audience visualize the whole design better and process the information easily in small discrete chunks. For instance, if you put a black logo on top of a white background, the white in the background is what’s referred as negative space.

Negative space – logo designers’ first love

 Designers love playing with negative space while designing logos. This is because logos that extend the boundaries of negative space are clever, and at the same time, creative. Even with the hidden creativity and a deeper meaning, logos that utilize negative spaces are generally subtle and simple. It is about hiding a shape or figure inside the logo or the icon. Its created in a way that people don’t instantly notice the hidden shape but after they do, it creates a whole new level of appreciation for the logo and the thought behind its design.

Reasons why designers consider negative space?

 Logos that utilize negative space intelligently do more than just providing a visual appeal. They tend to bring other factors to your brand like:

 

  • Simplicity: They adapt to different contexts effortlessly and are future proof.

 

  • Depth: They show your audience that your brand has a greater depth.

 

  • Connection: People who are able to figure out the hidden meaning of your logo feel connected to your brand.

 

  • Uniqueness: Once your audience start recognizing the hidden meaning in your logo, they would naturally tend to remember your brand more and it will always be memorable to them.

Does your brand need negative space in logos?

 Generally, deciding whether or not to go for a logo with negative space depends on the type of image you wish to create for your brand. It also depends on what you want your brand logo to communicate through to your audience, and how much do you wish for your audience to find out about your brand themselves. Depending upon what you wish to achieve with your logo, utilizing negative spaces can offer you many benefits:

 

  • Effectiveness: Logos that utilize negative space work effectively in catching your audience’s attention and generate a general curiosity about your brand. For instance, a brand logo like the one shown below will definitely make its audience curious about what it resembles. Apart from guessing, your audience will develop an interest in knowing more about what your logo is about.

This curiosity will lead your audience to investigate, and eventually notice the brand it represents, and the products you offer.

 

  • Subtlety: Sublime images are often created using negative spaces that relate to your firm’s type of business or tradition. For instance, let’s discuss one of the most popular brand logo displaying negative space utilization – FedEx. The ‘FedEx’ logo has won numerous brand logo awards and is lauded in every logo designing course. If you look closely, negative space between the letters E and X represent a directional arrow. This symbolizes FedEx’s business type and is a possible reference to transfer, movement or direction.

With such subtlety in your brand logo, you’;; be able to connect to your audience better and now, your logo speaks for itself. Your brand logo becomes your company’s identity.

  •  Straightforwardness: One of the primary objective of creating a brand logo is to be straight forward. By combining multiple layers of images inside the same space, designers achieve the straightforwardness they need. The ‘Wi-Fi technology’ logo is a great example of how to mix straightforwardness with negative space utilization.

 

  •  Recognition: Utilization of negative and free space in your brand logo can lead to a more recognizable and unique brand identity. When you have negative space to utilize, your brand will rely less on common images to create a brand logo. Hence, the uniqueness.

 

How to Design a Logo

We humans are visual creatures. We rely the most on the information we get through our eyes more as compared to the other senses. This is why many movies and games with excellent graphics and visual effects but a weak storyline manage to still captivate the general audience. The knowledge of our weakness to all things visually appealing can be used in your favor when you are trying to improve the popularity of your brand.

The logo of your company is the first impression it makes on an audience. Remember the saying “The first impression is the last impression”..? That is exactly how important it is to know how to design a logo. The logo should be capable of conveying the identity, the type of service or products you offer and the principles your company stands for. With time, when people see your company’s logo in an advertisement or a product, they should be able to relate it to the value and reliability of the brand. There are a few logo designing tips to keep in mind while you’re designing a logo.

1. What kind of people do you want to appeal to?

The target audience makes a big difference in the design of a logo. Think of how the “Walt Disney”
logo would look like if it was actually an investment banking firm instead of an animation company. The whimsical handwriting with the magical Disney palace at the background would immediately be replaced with bold, stoic font and classic color scheme.

Once your decide who your target audience is, it becomes much easier to decide what style you need to stick to.

2. How popular is your brand?

Usually, if you are designing the logo of your company, your company is just starting to gain popularity. If that is the case, it would make sense to show the name of your company in the logo. That way, it is easier for people to remember the name of your brand and associate the impact of the logo to the product or service you offer.

If your brand is very popular and you’re trying to design a new logo, make sure that you do not deviate too much from your previous logo. Alienating your present audience is a bad idea when you’re trying to make your brand more visible. Think about how the logo of “Apple” has changed over the years.

3. Does your company have a color scheme?

If your company has already decided on the color scheme, it would be wise to use the same colors while designing your logo. This little trick can help your audience associate the value of consistency in your company.

If your haven’t decided on a color scheme, now would be a good time to start thinking about it. People associate different ideas with different colors. For example, pink is generally regarded as a feminine color and blue is regarded as masculine (an association which is cleverly used in the the brand logos of “Lakme” and “Gillette”). While deciding a color scheme, you may refer to color charts to see what each color signifies and then you can try and use those colors to express the values of your company.

Once you have decided these parameters, you can start designing a logo. Experiment with different handwriting and drawings until you have made a few designs. Then shortlist the best out of those designs and now you are ready to test them.

4. Design multiple variants of your logo and show it to people.

Go to your friends and family and show them different ideas for your logo. Merely asking them if it is good or bad would serve no purpose. Ask them specific questions which will give you an idea of where you need to improve. Ask them about the color scheme, the readability of the name, and how easy it would be to remember it.

Most people may only stick to their target audience, but it makes sense to test your logo on people who lie beyond that group. If they are able to recognize what kind of audience you are trying to appeal to, you’ve done a good job!

5. Finalize your design.

Once you have tested your logos and eliminated the less popular ones, it is time to finalize the face of your brand. It is always a good idea to approach a professional graphic designer to do this for you as they will ensure that the work is well done.

If you know how to use graphic designing software, then you may do it yourself. Make sure that the logo is readable and scalable. Your brand may be advertised on many surfaces from billboards to business cards. You need to ensure that whatever the size of the logo, the quality of the image should not be compromised.

6. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Once your logo is out in the open, people will begin reacting to it. Keep a vigilant eye on your company’s website, blogs and social media pages to see if the correct message has been conveyed to the general public through your logo. There will be negative reviews, unfortunately. Instead of taking it personally, see what can be done to improve the effect of the logo. As your company grows and your customers or clients start to include different kinds of people, a more generic logo would help your brand welcome a larger target audience.