Creating a sustainable brand and image behind your business.
This I personally believe is one of the most important aspects of creating a long term, quality business.
1) You must have a name that is not like everyone else's.
I truly hope nobody takes this the wrong way. Please stop naming your business your first and middle name, your kids name, your dogs name. I think maybe a few might get offended by this- because so many people do this. I am only here to help. No judgment. I think your name needs to tell a story. Now, some boutique names that are a combination of grandma who loved to sew, and taught you how, so you combined it with your name and started selling hand sewn scarves. That is different. It has a story. If you want your business to be long term, it needs to have a name that extends past your generation. Don't decide to start your business today and pick a name tomorrow and then launch. Pray about it, think about it for a long time, run it past people. Find out how that name makes some people feel, what it makes them think of immediately, ect.
To give you the back story on our business's names:
First Harvest- I honestly almost named it the full version of my middle name, because I didn't have anyone to tell me this. Matter of fact, my first inventory order came with that name on it. Thank goodness I ran everything past my husband and a few other people first. Matt and I thought about it for a very long time, randomly bursting out random names throughout the weeks of ordering inventory and taking photos and making our website. We knew that we were going to give back, from the very beginning, so we started playing with the name from that angle.
We were in the car driving, and I don't remember who said it first (we both like to claim that it was us). One of us blurted out "First Harvest" and the other agreed immediately, and it was First Harvest. We knew immediately. There was no other question about it, only peace. It was such a cool feeling. We found the scripture that talks about giving the First of your Harvest to the Lord, and there was where our name came from. Boom.
Our second business was a bit trickier, although it really only took us one day to come up with it. Second-hand, luxury designer bags. Hmm. What do we call it. We both wanted to keep a similar theme from where our first business name came from. We were swimming in our backyard throwing names back and fourth to each other. I was scrolling facebook while on my pool float (I'm very brave haha). I looked over at him and said "I've got it, "Milk and Honey." Matt was on board immediately. The first thing I did was make sure there was not similar business named this, found a website domain and got the instagram handle. Not everyone can afford a luxury designer bag, and even some that can don't really want to spend $1,000+ on a purse. I was one of those. I'd rather invest that $1,000 into something that will make me money. So we decided we would take people that were very similar to me, to "The land of Milk and Honey" where they can still get the designer bag but not for the designer price tag.
Think long and hard about your business name. It takes a lot of time and effort to rebrand and it may cause some confusion for your customers. Be 100% happy with your name before you decide to jump in head first.
2) You must have a logo that can be noticed immediately.
When creating your logo- consider the font long and hard. Step back and read it from far away, from every different angle, can you still read it? Look away and look back at it, did you know what it said immediately? Run it past other people and get their opinion. In certain fonts o's can look like a's and p's can look like r's, q's it gets very confusing. Make sure that when someone briefly looks at your logo and name they know exactly what it says.
Choose your colors and stick to that same theme throughout your website, social media channels ect. everything must tie back together.
If you want a logo vs. just a name logo- make sure what you create is simple, sleek, and can be recognized easily. Think about some of the biggest brands on the planet. Their logos are simple, straight to the point and very recognizable: A check mark, two letters overlapping each other, a man riding a horse, an animal, a wheat that looks like the letter V (;
You must have a mission.
First Harvest's mission isn't the type of "mission" I'm talking about when I say that. By mission I mean: what are you trying to accomplish. We talked about this a little bit in part 1- finding your target audience. What does that target audience need? Why should they shop with you? Even if your mission is "to empower women to live their best lives and wear whatever makes them feel good" at least it is a mission and targets a specific audience.
Hope this helps! Now start brainstorming!
Owner, First Harvest and Milk + Honey Collection
This is only the third of the 5 blog series covering how to start your own boutique. Be sure to subscribe to our email at the top of this page to read next weeks blog!