Occasionally we turn away clients.  Not very often, but when it does happen, it’s because we can tell they’re not ready to work with us yet.  They haven’t fully fleshed out their business ideas, or they aren’t sure what their message or mission is.  If we signed them on as clients, we’d be wasting their money, and that’s not what we’re about.

Instead what we do is encourage them to do a little soul searching. We provide them with resources, so that hopefully, when they have a rock solid idea of what they’re doing, they’ll come back. THEN we can make their message come through loud and clear.

But just because you don’t have ALL the details figured out on your new business venture, doesn’t mean that you don’t have opportunities to network and make important connections. You still need to look put together, even if you aren’t quite ready to make the investment of working with a designer.

We’d love to give you a few of our favorite resources, tips, and tricks to make your new business look it’s best, even if it’s just out of the gate.

Pick a font and stick with it.

And now that you’re an actual business, it needs to be a licensed font- lest you conjure some unsavory legal issues.  One of our favorite sites for fonts is Myfonts.com. When picking a font, make sure it’s easy to read! (You may think that point was obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people select a beautiful font that no one can decipher.)

Spring for some nice printing.

Free cards from Vistaprint do not cut it in the professional world. That being said, you don’t have to drop a pretty penny to get some quality, awe-inspiring business cards. We love MOO.com.  They have beautifully designed templates (if you’re not artistically inclined), or you can upload your own design. Either way, their print quality is top notch and their paper is to die for. (Look for the 10% off promo code in your mailbox when you sign up for your account!)

Use professional stock images.

People love pictures, they say so much more than words could on their own. So if you’ve started a blog for your new business, you better be using an image in every single post to draw them into your words of wisdom.  It’s oh so tempting to use images of the Google, or free images, but again, we run into copyright issues, and let’s just say it, crappy pictures.

Depositphotos.com is great for finding images for your blog posts- for as little as a dollar per image.  If you’re looking for high quality images with some staying power (for things like brochures), may we direct you to IStock Photo?

Claim your spot on the web.

If you haven’t purchased your domain name yet- jump on it now. You’d be amazed at how quickly those things go, and it’s more than frustrating to have someone who isn’t even using the domain buy it, sit on it, and prevent you from having it.  We like HostGator for both domains and hosting. They’re on the right side of SOPA and run their business in an environmentally sustainable way. (And they give our readers discounts. Use promo code “BusinessBetties” when checking out, and you’ll get 25% off your purchase.)

If you’re a DIY kinda gal, take a look at SquareSpace. They provide easy to use, beautiful website templates to get you up and running. And, it’s only $16 a month for the Professional website package. Not too shabby for your very own website.

There’s nothing wrong with doing things on your own until your plan is a little more clear. Everyone has to start somewhere, and we’d rather you start and figure it out as you go, than to have your brilliant ideas stuck in your head forever.


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