5 Questions to Ask Yourself (Before Speaking to a Designer) When Starting Up

By Lisa-May | August 30th, 2016


There’s a million things one needs to consider before starting their own business, but once you’ve established that you have a good idea and how you are going to achieve success, its important to know yourself as a business (soon to be brand) before speaking to a designer. If you don’t, it can create a very long, drawn out process in building your identity. Ultimately figuring this out is easy as ‘who, what, why, where and how’, seriously.

1 - Where do you want the business to go?

Global domination or weekly famers market sell out? It doesn’t matter how big your goal is, you just need to have something to aim for. Be realistic – plan stages for your business and allow for negative costs or setbacks, consider budget, time, resources etc. Talk to as many people as possible, in a subtle way, to gauge response and predict positive strategies.

‘Successful entrepreneurs understand that they must work on their business, not in their business. Getting caught up in the minutiae of presentations, phone calls, meetings, and emails can distract the entrepreneur from the heart of the business.’ - Neil Patel

2 - How do you want the business to be perceived?

Mercedes Benz or Suzuki? Either brand / car manufacturer instantly conjures up meaning and relevance. If you want to be high end you have to look and act it. The more confident you are with this, the more likely your customers are going to buy whatever you are selling. Be honest and open to flexibility. It’s important for your brand to grow if you want to keep customers interested over the long run. This doesn’t have to mean massive changes but that your business is aware of its surroundings and able to keep up with the market place.

3 - Who are your competitors?

This may help you with the how question if you are not quite sure yet. Determining who you are up against and why is very important. Direct and indirectly, take inspiration from those who have got it right and those who you know are easy to beat. Not sure where to start – here’s some great examples of companies you probably didn’t even realise are Aussie ideas…

4 - Why are you different?

This is the whole point of your business. If it’s not new then it already exists and there’s no point in your business. Once you know what this is, embrace it! This is something the designer will focus on in helping to launch your business, they will find a unique way don’t worry, one that creates desire and interest without being obvious. Often there is more then one reason your business is or should be amazing. These articles can help to get you thinking… Startupsmart, Resilium.

5 - What is your motivation?

There’s a reason this is so important to you, if you can explain that simply, you have your business’ strat line or ethos nutted out. Like your point of difference, a designer needs to be able to understand and sell this to your customers. You might not know how, but they will give you an ability to do this in a variety of ways. It will help summarise your business as a whole and in particular, #1, where you want the business to go. Still not convinced? Here’s some light reading on the topic.

If you don’t answer these questions before starting a business you really are doing it all on the fly. This works for a small percentage of people whose personality and circumstances fit just right. But generally, knowing that 90% of startup business’ fail, it’s worth spending some time thinking it over. Then when it comes to seeing a designer, it’ll be like meeting a family member – they just want the best for you – creating a brand / logo / identity that is a huge success reflects well on them too.

However if you just really don’t find the time… no biggie, the designer will cover the same topics in a meeting or ask you to fill out a form of some description to ensure you are on the same wave link. These key five questions allow the designer/s to best understand you and your business so they can provide the best visual outcome. One that shouldn’t be a surprise reveal but something you feel apart of from the beginning.