So, we got approved and finally got our business license. We didn’t have much time to talk about how to get customers and where we would sell our stuff, let alone discussing a logo or colors… It was clearly time to make a basic checklist and start working on our brand.
Yummy Paleo. The name was already a part of our daily vocabulary. Heck, the inspector that came to see our home kitchen even thought it was my business partner’s name! That really made us laugh, but at the same time, it worried us a little. So many people still didn’t know what paleo is, and have never heard about the Paleo Diet. There was not much we could do about it – we already had the name registered, and now that I look back, it really sounds funny how this worried us. With this name, we actually called out to people who understand what it is directly and those curious enough to ask and give our products a try. It’s a great conversation starter, too. But just the name is far from enough. We needed to think about the looks and voice, too. We needed a logo and a voice. Of course, right then the most important question hit us: Where are we going to get our customers? How will they find us?
1. The Look
We needed a logo and something to show to our potential customers. Logo was first. It took a while and a bunch of questions, such as: will it be a typographic logo or an image? Do we need both? What colors should we use? How will it work on our website? Will it work in black/white? On print? To be honest, I think we exaggerated. In the end, we picked the first idea that was simple and just worked with that. Since CFO means you’re starting small, you don’t need a full graphics team to make a simple logo for your business. At least not right away, that is 🙂
As for the color, there was no debate. Lea loves green. It is by far her favorite color. Everything she wears, buys, likes, is green. As a nice metalhead, I was reasonable enough to know that it wouldn’t be the best idea to use bloody skulls and all-black for a sweet natural bakery, so I went with it. Of course, I still decided to play around with my own line of dark chocolate – a black and bronze combination of deep and dark natural flavor …
It is beautiful how two people can put their differences aside for the sake of good business harmony. By the way, our spiral logo was inspired by petroglyphs.
2. Show Off
If you are going to talk to people about your business, you should really have a business card or at least a channel to direct them to for more information. We have a license to sell to resellers, so it was vital to have business cards with contact info. Also, we wanted to show what we’re making and how we started. So, we decided to put up our own website. Thankfully, we got a lot of help from our husbands (with design and programming) who were glad to help.
We took some smaller steps towards our potential customers. You see, it only takes a couple of minutes to create a group on Facebook, set up a Twitter account for your business, and you can reach so many people… So if you’re not comfortable setting up a website and all that – just do the simpler steps first – as a CFO, you’ll have to operate locally either way. But do what you can. Heck, we even published our short story just to show off: http://edgartells.me/embed/5413262c4288820b00bfd9e1.
However, none of the online accounts, posts and shares help if you don’t have a good product. It should go without saying that whatever you make, it has to be fresh, look delicious, and taste amazing! It has to leave people craving for more. But tastes are different, right? How to know you have a good thing?
Here is what I propose: Test your products, hand out free samples, get feedback and listen! Yes, you can start with friends and family as soon as possible, but try elsewhere, too. Family and friends are not necessarily the most objective crowd – I know my mom would eat almost anything I make and be ecstatic about it, even if it tasted like cardboard …
Find a local coffee shop or fair or just look for a Farmers Market and talk to the owner. Ask them if you can bring some goodies for people there to try. Here’s a secret: I haven’t met a person that would say no to a free sweets testing 🙂 Plus, this way you’ll get honest feedback (see how many pieces are eaten, if there are a lot of leftovers, and if people come asking for more) and even get an opportunity to get a new reseller or a place to sell (if the owner likes your product, of course).
We’ll talk about building customer and business relationships later on. Now it’s time to do the fun stuff. Bake, decorate, figure out the packaging and start handing out goodies! But don’t forget to give the customers a chance to get back to you, and remember (or write down) their feedback.