What should I invest in first, logo or website design?

Great question! Deciding whether to invest in a logo or a website design first is important as both are key elements to running a business. Before you decide, you need to have a business plan in place. Then, consider what a website and a logo do for your business and decide from there.

Before deciding if you should invest in a logo or a website first, you need a business plan

The first thing you need to do is have a solid business plan. Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup, has a one-page business plan that covers high-level things like:

  • what products or services you will sell
  • who will buy it
  • pricing for your products or services
  • strategy for getting the word out
  • metrics for knowing when you’ve succeeded
  • obstacles you face
  • a plan for dealing with those obstacles

A business plan doesn’t need to be as scary or overcomplicated as you might think. You just need to know what your business is and who it is for, and how to make money and keep making money. Honestly, you don’t have to have a logo or a website to have a legitimate business. All you need is a product and a buyer! That’s it!

Once you get clarity on these things and get a plan in place and maybe even a few customers, you’re ready to start thinking about a website and a logo.

Let’s take a look at how each of these things serves your business.

What happens when I invest in a website for my business?

At minimum, a website is essentially an extension of your business card. It provides a way for people to get in touch with you and know a little bit about what you do. The goal is for people to know what you offer and have a way to contact you.

What has to go on my website?

All your important information should be findable on your website: pricing, location, contact information, list of services or products, and upcoming promotions or events. You can add a lot more, but I certainly wouldn’t do any less. A basic four-to-six-page website should cover these things easily.

Do I need a blog?

Not necessarily. A blog helps build a communication platform that establishes you as the best business for what you do. But running a blog and creating content can easily consume all your time. (I’ll admit: this blog consumes more time than I’d like it to.)

What about E-commerce?

An e-commerce component can be added to your website to sell products and services online. It’s really up to you to decide if that makes business sense. At the very least, you can use some kind of third party or integrate your POS software and make it easily accessible from your website.

How does a logo serve my business?

A logo is often the most recognizable part of your brand. It establishes the visual tone for your communications. Most of the time, the rest of your brand’s visuals complement the logo. Since the brand becomes a signifier of your business, the right logo can support your brand. The wrong logo will sabotage your brand and contradict your message.

A visual brand is easily built from that branding strategy, so that’s a great place to start. From there, you can build all the marketing elements that support that, such as a website, brochures, and more.

Think about where your logo will go

The first place most businesses put their logo is on business cards and stationery. Then their logo goes on their door or sign. Some businesses display their logo on vehicles or shirts or menus. And of course on their websites and social media.

So which should I invest in first for my business? A logo or a website?

Check your business plan and use that business plan to build a brand strategy. Keep in mind who your customer is and how you will serve them.

Your brand strategy will inform both your logo and your website

Having your brand strategy in place will answer a lot of the questions that both of these projects fulfill. Brand strategy will touch on things like color schemes, mood, and tone, all of which play important roles in the logo and the website. (Remember: your logo is not your brand.)

The truth is, your logo and website often go hand-in-hand. It’s hard to do one without the other. Sometimes, working on a logo project will reveal the need for an updated website, and vice-versa. Often it is a good idea to work on both projects at the same time, once the brand strategy has been worked out.

If your business is centered primarily around an online presence, a website is probably the thing you need to invest in first. If your business is centered around a physical presence, a logo might be your first concern.

What has your experience been?

What’s worked for you? Did you invest a website or a logo first? If you did it all over again, would you change that order?

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