So if ‘the thing is to begin…’ HOW do you actually get started?

Just don’t over-complicate things for yourself in the beginning. Here’s a SUPER-SIMPLE business plan to help you get underway and start making your dream business a reality.


Actually, it doesn’t even have to be GREAT (as in unique, or unusual or never before seen). Just decide to create or do something that is the answer to a problem that you KNOW some people have. That’s the absolute key.


Which means:

Map out WHAT you plan to offer, to WHOM and HOW MUCH it’s going to cost.

This is called your ‘offer.’

Think about WHY you’re doing it (and how it will change life for others).

This is called your ‘Core Purpose.’

Plan WHERE you want to take your business – describe what success looks like this year, next year, in a few years and in a LONG time (like 20yrs).

It DOESN’T matter if you actually do all of the things you describe. A plan is a basis for change.

As part of your strategy, think about HOW you want to come across to your audience (friendly/professional/funny/cool/calm/exciting). This is called ‘Brand Personality.’

To guide what you do in your business and to help other people understand a bit more about what it’s like to do business with you, also think about the things you believe in strongly.

These things are your ‘Values.’

Once you’ve thought about all of these things you have a strategy!

Now put yourself in the customer’s shoes and imagine what they’re going to type into Google, that will lead them to find a business like yours. When people are searching for answers on Google, it’s because they have a problem.  You need to let them know that you have the solution to that problem. So create a set of messages that talk about problems you think your customer is trying to solve and how you can help them do that. DON’T use your messages to talk about yourself, or your product or service.  You’ll get a chance to do that later.  First you have to get your potential customer interested.

B is for Brand with Ailsa Stanson Brand Tips


Now you have a Brand Strategy (see above) you’re in a great position to brief creative people to help you create your image.  DON’T attempt to do this all by yourself (unless you happen to actually be a graphic designer/web designer/photographer). Choose people to help you who are producing work that’s a bit like what you already had in mind. Use the things you have written in your strategy, along with a description of who you think your customers might be and what you think they might like, to help your graphic designer bring your brand to life.

If you haven’t found a name for your business yet, you’ll need to do that first. More on HOW to go about doing that in a future blog.

Your website will need professional photography. Use these on your social media too, to help you set the tone for your brand. It’s a good idea to work with the same graphic designer and photographer on a long term basis so that your style is consistent. You will need:

  • photography
  • brand identity
  • some guidelines

in place (which your graphic designer will create for you). Then you can start to play around with Canva to make your own tiles for social media.


Every lead counts when you’re a new business.  Make sure you think about how you will communicate with and look after your lead at every step of the journey before, during and after they become your customer.

Again, use your brand strategy to guide this.  Create an experience that reflects the personality and values of your business and helps your customer to understand and grow confidence in the fact that in choosing your business, they have chosen the right person, product or service to help solve the problem that brought them to you in the first place.


Let’s face it, there’s no point in having an amazing ‘offer’ and a beautiful image if you don’t take it to the world. Well, not actually all 8.1 billion people of course.  For most businesses (even the massive multi-million dollar conglomerates) that would be too many!

Before you unleash your amazingness on the world, you should try to narrow that down just a bit. You may not know EXACTLY who your niche (or niches) are until you get going and start learning a bit more about your customers. But which came first, the chicken, or the egg?

In the beginning, you need to at least decide which type of people (give them some characteristics – this is called a Customer Avatar) you’re talking to before you start talking, or risk that nobody at all will be listening.

As you go along, you will for sure start to learn a lot more about who your ideal customers are – who’s interested in the thing you have to offer and also who you like working with.

Expect pretty much nobody to be knocking at your door straight away (well, maybe your Mum and a small handful of friends). Sorry if I’m the first to tell you that. Well done if you become inundated in the first week (lucky you planned that experience in advance)!

It can take time to get noticed. Then once you’ve got some attention it can take more time to persuade people to take action.  That action might simply be following you on social media or joining your mailing list. If you’ve met in person they might email you, call you or simply give you their business card. That’s good though and means you’ve made progress towards having some customers – because now you can talk to them more regularly.

Add lots of value and keep showing that you have the answers to the questions your potential customers might have, showing how you, your product or service can help and how they’re going to feel and soon they might begin to trust you.

Once you’ve been talking to this ‘warm audience’ for a while – it’s time to ‘go for the ask!’ Explain what’s so great about your product or service, remind them of the problem it will solve for them and tell them what great value it is.

Then, once you have some customers – not only must you keep up the good work but in fact you must do EVEN MORE to make your customers feel like they like and trust you and want to keep doing business with you, recommending you to their friends and generally becoming your biggest fans.

This takes some thought and some careful planning.  One of the biggest mistakes that small companies make is to keep on looking for more and more new customers until they reach the point where they are not actually looking after the customers they have already got.
Don’t be that guy.

If your customer has further problems that you can also solve for them – also make sure you take the opportunity to let them know!

Other than this blog, I have a few FREE ways you can get more branding tips and advice:

  1. If you haven’t done so already, sign up to my mailing list via this website
  2. Join my FREE Facebook Group Build Your Brand – Grow Your Business
  3. Follow B is for Brand on Instagram or Facebook and Ailsa Stinson on LinkedIn.

And if you want tailored one-to-one advice about your business, head to my contact page and book an ABCs of Branding call TODAY!

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