And by Business Process I do not mean some bull that they teach you at the MBA colleges. Or its Wikipedia definition. What I mean is… literally your business process, down to its most realistic form. How does a customer know that you exist? How do they reach your store? How does the first phone conversation go? Who greets them at the reception? Who delivers their order? Are you dirt-cheap or OMG! expensive? What kind of people like to do business with you? I mean the whole deal.
In my experience, you need to cut the crap (although it applies everywhere) when it comes to the process that I talk about. What consumers like is really simple and predictable. They like ease. Proof: remote controls. They love ambience. Fine dining restaurants. They value it when you value them and their time. They value it when you value their money, which doesn’t necessarily mean cheap prices; It can mean the best of service, especially if that is the kind of people you are targeting.
I like the clients who do not bargain. (Who doesn’t?!) And I ask them to demand the highest quality of work. I am bound to provide it, no matter what it takes. I am liable to provide you a logo better than all your competitors, better than the biggest player in your industry, better than the most iconic logo you can name right not. That is my duty.
But I was not choosy when I started out (a business in a town where logo design was something totally unheard of!) I didn’t go to the market with a preconcieved notion. I didn’t have a rigid list of services, or a fixed rate list, or a T&C document. I tested waters first. I felt the pulse of the town. I had to give my first few clients a 10-minute crash course in the importance of original logo design followed by the news that, yes, it cost money. <Insert awkward silence here.> They’ll call me. Sure, they would.
To summarize it, every market is different and so is every business model. It’s you, the entrepreneur – who is closest to it – who has the most authentic first hand experience of it. And like I always say: if you have chosen the right business, you will find a way to grow it. You will.
Following is my business process, when I get a new logo design assignment.
1. Collect as much data about the client as possible. This includes their old designs (if any), photographs of their store of factory, a list of their closest competitors, their history, their vision and mission (finally, they are useful to me!), their desired customer profile, their business performance reports, the aim behind branding or rebranding… all data at this stage is good data.
2. After an in-depth analysis, I will send them an estimate of costs, deadlines etc. And I’ll ask for 50% of down payment. The bottom line.
3. Then I send them a questionnaire (which is very interesting to fill) which guides me as to which design possibilities to explore.
4. The real logo design work starts now. I start by drawing as many design options as possible. Sometimes more than fifty doodles. After much doodling, I have a better understanding of which marks / shapes stand apart, and are the best contenders for the final logo design. Top few options get designed on the computer and after finalizing (and further filtering) I share the first designs with the client.
5. After that, it’s all about client’s feedback, new options (if needed), rework on existing options, refining, cleaning, making it perfect… before the final thing is launched.
Finally, the advice at the end of this article is that: your process is at the heart of your business. No amount of advertising spend, SEO techniques, high quality content can match the effect the right process can have on your business.
Design it like your life depends on it. Because it does.