How to Start a Small Business

Tips on how to start a small business

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Starting up your own small business is no small endeavor. Sometimes being a small business owner requires being a jack of all trades, so you might have some new skills you’ll need to learn, as well as unexpected challenges you’ll have to face. You could use all the help you can get! Let Adobe Spark eliminate stress when it comes to branding, marketing, and advertising for your new business, so you can focus on running a smooth sailing ship.

Creating an Eye-Catching Logo

Your logo is at the heart of your business’s identity. It’s the visual reference point people use to associate you with the products or services you sell. A powerful logo is as critical to your organization’s success as your business plan, mission statement and startup funding. Like a watermark, a logo can be applied almost anywhere to stamp your signature on your hard work. A logo allows people to start to understand the nature of your brand when they see your logo on your goods and services. Take a few days to think about what you do and how you enrich the lives of others, and how that might manifest itself into a visual logo.

Once you brainstorm some ideas, it’s time to get to work! You may have had “make a logo” on your to-do list for weeks, but sitting down and actually using graphic tools sounds like a complicated chore. Spark’s free online logo maker flattens out the learning curve and lets you create a logo as quick as possible. Spark’s logo maker walks you through the process, asking you questions and providing you with visual options. Choose the ones that resonate with you and your brand, and voilà! Your logo is ready to go.

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Create Strong Impressions with Your Business Cards

Having an impressive business card is important for many reasons. For one, you never know where you’ll meet the next best person for your business, be it at a networking event or in an elevator, and exchanging business cards is a great way to cement that connection and provide follow-up contact information. A business card also provides another visual element for your clients or customers to understand more about your brand. Allow your creativity to shine with your business card design so that it’s something your peers will want to keep in their wallets forever!

No doubt that design and printing services can be very expensive, but Adobe Spark allows you to make your own business cards for free. In just a few minutes, you can create something that will resonate with both new and prospective customers. The huge range of design options and templates available ensures your cards can be completely unique — which is essential when you’re trying to differentiate your business from the competition. Take your recently designed Adobe Spark logo and decorate your card with it, along with any other brand colors to complement. Only put the contact info that’s most relevant for you, so choose the select few ways in which you’d like your peers to reach out to you. Don’t overlook your social media channels, as that’s one major way in which consumers interact with brands.

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Market Your Business with Custom Flyers

In today’s digital marketplace, even small businesses often have a global footprint. Suddenly you can reach out to your local community, as well as develop a global one. Flyers, a form of marketed ads, can be shared both in real life and online, so you can connect with your customers wherever they are. It even saves you time to have a tool that makes flyers fit for both printed and digital formats, and that tool is Adobe Spark.

There are several ways you can create a business flyer with Adobe Spark. Using Spark Post’s business flyer templates and pre-selected sizes, you can put together a professional-looking flyer in minutes to save and share across all your channels. Or, try out the business flyer maker with Spark Page. Add links to coupons and special landing pages, embed videos and images, and tie everything together with your own logo and branding.

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Build a Media Kit

A media kit, also sometimes called a deck, is a presentation of your brand to potential partners or investors. Media kits are made so you can present yourself and your business in the best light possible, with facts, details, and press clips to back it up. When building your media kit, make sure you get right to the point of what your audience needs to know about your business and the goals of the meeting. You can also share your media kit digitally with an EPK, or electronic press kit, so you can leave a lasting impression with clients wherever you go.

Chances are your prospective customers and contacts receive several media kits every week. You can make sure your press kit stands out from the crowd by making it eye-catching and completely unique with the various customization options available for free with Adobe Spark. Create an electronic press kit that will set you or your organization apart from the competition with possibilities such as a combination of video, still images and text to communicate your unique selling points to the people who matter. With Adobe Spark Post, you can build a kit to print, or design it digitally with Spark Page. Get creative with Spark Video to create a more personal interaction with your audience.

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Start a Blog for your Business

There are endless ways to connect with your audience. Social media, YouTube channels, email newsletters, pop-ups and activations, are some examples to name a few. If your audience looks to your brand for compelling content and resources, you might want to consider a blog. Blogs are great for sharing updates, articles or writings that are relevant to your brand, and sweepstakes or sale announcements. If you have something to say to your audience, share it on your blog.

Adobe Spark is your professional content generator no matter how or where you decide to build your blog. Build a blog with no design skills necessary using Spark Page. With themes and premade layout options, it’s easy to navigate a web building interface with endless room for posting your blog’s content, be it text, photos, videos, or slideshows! If you need content such as banners, social graphics or hero images for your posts, get creative with Spark Post for all your needs of any size. Spark Video makes it easy for you to create video content that you can upload directly to your blog, or otherwise upload it to YouTube or Vimeo to then embed on your blog.

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Develop Viewership with Video Marketing

These days, a robust online presence powered by strong visuals is a must for any business looking to compete for customers’ attention and loyalty. Video content is one of the strongest means for getting the attention of your audience. Video streaming is ubiquitous across all platforms, and allows for richer, more informed, or transformative types of engagement.

Adobe Spark Video is designed to make mastering the art of video production a breeze. Using a simple drag-and-drop system, you can upload videos, add music and insert captions wherever you like. Create branded content by using your Spark-created logo on your video, or making a branded thumbnail artwork for your video. Save and share your videos within moments to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, to name a few, and watch and see how your audience responds!

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Create Paid Advertising Campaigns

Eye-catching ads can help to make your brand more visible, spread an important message, build a community – and even change the world. Effective advertising is key to helping you pinpoint your audience and share the messages with them that they need to hear about your business. Advertising can be informative, comedic, or wildly creative, so pick an approach that resonates with your business and get to brainstorming with Adobe Spark about how to bring your ideas to your audience.

Adobe Spark’s design tools were created with non-designers in mind. Spark Post is great for short, high-visibility projects such as signs, posters, social ads, and banners. Post includes all the design tools, themes and templates you need to produce ads that grab attention and get results. Spark Video can create content for all the same platforms but with high-resolution, compelling videos. When you have more to say than will fit on a poster, say it with footage, music, and graphics edited together to a shareable video.

Adobe Spark is made to help you create memorable ads that don’t take a bite out of the budget. With Spark’s free creators, you can design the ads your company wants in minutes without spending a penny. You will have to set aside budget for getting your ads out there, such as via social campaigns, Google Ads, or printed collateral. Rather than spending a little on every advertising stream, research the ones that best target your business’s audience, and then invest a lot of your time and budget there. Success will take time, with trials and errors along the way, so don’t be afraid of testing out multiple campaigns until you find the perfect formula for your brand.

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Get the Word Out With a Press Release

Press Releases are a great opportunity to tell your story to the media while arming the public with all the important details they need to know. Press releases aren’t common in every industry, so before sitting down to write one yourself, consider if it’s necessary for you. If you’re looking to share information that belongs in the public sphere, announce an opening or collaboration, or work in a field that gets reported on often, you might want to reach some of your audience with a press release. A press release makes a statement for you, while also giving journalists and reporters the facts they need to relay your story to their audience.

Create your press release and media kit with Adobe Spark. Spark Post features standard size canvases to get started with, and templates to help you organize your information in a professional way. Include images and branded content such as your Spark-created logo. Spark Page is great for making a digital, more interactive press release. Add text, photos, videos, and even hyperlinks for your audience to engage with, and get interested about your business and its exciting news!

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Treat Your Customers with Custom Coupons

Everyone loves a good deal. And what better way to let people in on your deal than with exclusive coupons made for your business? Coupons can be found on discount sites, social media campaigns, in ads in newspapers and magazines, and even as printed collateral handed out at an event. Coupons and deals are part of any business, especially in the e-commerce age. Coupons can be an offering for a product, a discount, or even an experience for your customers to get them intrigued. But if your promotion can't stand out from the rest, it will simply be static in a sea of discounts.

Enter Adobe Spark’s creative tools! Spark Post gets your started on your next coupon campaign with premade sizes and an array of coupon templates. It also gives you the opportunity to create something that meets your exact specifications and preferences, with no need to compromise. With a few strokes of the keyboard, you can change photo opacity, bump up your font size, change the font color, add a border or banner, or make whatever other changes you need to bring your coupon in line with your ultimate vision. By creating stunning, one-of-a-kind coupons with Adobe Spark Post, you're not just offering customers a discount — you're offering a passport to your brand community, and that's the real power of creativity.

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Host an Event to Make Memories with Your Customers

Events and activations are a crucial component of marketing and developing your brand. Events create an opportunity for your customers to interact with you and your business, and fall in love with what you have to offer. Provide them with a well-rounded experience of what your brand has to offer with an event that taps into all the elements of your business. Meet your customers, face to face, and establish strong connections with them to establish brand loyalty, as well as demonstrate your support for their personal development and how your business makes that possible.

Adobe Spark Post is ready to fulfill your event planning needs. Build a compelling flyer with Spark Post’s template options and customization capabilities to result in something perfectly on brand. Create a schedule for event-goers to know what they have to look forward to at your event. Printed out blank or personalized name tags, made with branded designs, for your customers to wear at your event. Treating your customers? Print out gift tags to attach to gift bags that feature your business details and a beautiful design. Putting your personal, creative touch on all the different elements of your event will be well-received by your delighted customers.

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Steps to Start a Small Business

  1. Identify Your Target Market

    You should know your customers as well as you know the ins and outs of your business. Before a customer even walks in your door, you should be able to know all the different ways your business can serve them best. Take time to identify your target market, and the more specific you can be, the better. Create boundaries to maximize your marketing efforts, and create standby plans for how you’ll eventually reach a greater audience over time.

  2. Craft Your Business Plan

    A business plan is like a dress rehearsal for your company. Before you put everything into action, you need to know every detail of how your business will operate, and what the operational scenarios will look like. Be as detailed as possible, including with finances, costs, products, business development, and points of contact. Save time, money, and effort in the long run by having a well-oiled business plan, with backup plans to support it. Additionally, a business plan can work like a compass, keeping you on track and oriented to achieving your long-term business goals.

  3. Achieve Administrative Success

    For some, the admin side of the business are more tedious and less exciting than other components. Don’t let it drain you! Staying proactive and organized will alleviate stress and set you up for success later on down the road. Some types of paperwork you’ll want to have finalized for your business include a business license, tax ID, and insurance, to name a few. Create a strong organization routine so that it’s easy for you and others to navigate your administrative and clerical needs. Lastly, know the laws that affect your business, and how you will operate in a law-abiding way.

  4. Brand Your Business

    As aforementioned many times, branding is one of the principal components of starting a business. Branding doesn’t have to mean hiring an agency and spending a ton of time and money on a fancy website and business cards. Branding is simple having a strong understanding of your brand’s identity so that you can best serve and inspire your target market. Knowing your brand also aids you in making decisions for your business over time: your brand identity outlines who you are, what you do, and what that looks like, so it’s easier to make decisions based on what you’ve already decided according to that. Branding also gives your business a personality that you can have fun and get creative with!

  5. Sing Praise by Promoting Your Business

    Now that all your ducks are in a row, it’s time to invite your audience to come enjoy what your business has to offer! Create ad campaigns that reach out to your target market. Greet them with enthusiasm and opening day coupons. Gather customer contact info to add to your email newsletters to keep them updated and in the loop. Pass out branded business cards to friends and family to get the word out about your new business. There are endless opportunities and channels for you to market your business, so take time to explore them! Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help if you find marketing isn’t your strong suit, as it’s important to promote your business. No matter what, rest assured that what your business has to offer is exciting for your customers, so take pride in your hard work and dedication.

Let Spark Help You Start a Successful Small Business

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of lessons to be learned while running a business. Staying organized, being a creative problem solver, how to manage troublesome clients, how to scale your business, what to do on days when you’re sick, or how to best serve your employees, just to name a few. But at the end of the day, you ultimately need to be passionate about what you do. Before you start, hone in on why you’re passionate about starting a business. As you go through the process of building and running your business, find ways to tap into that original passion, and keep it alive. Your passion will give you strength to overcome hurdles, and will radiate through your work to excite and inspire your customers. A great way to express your passion is through your creativity, in which case Spark is your trusted tool to unlocking your greatest success.

More Spark Templates for Small Business