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38 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2019 Starting a small business is hard. I woke up one morning in 2013 and realized, with great trepidation, that after 40+ years in manu- facturing, I now found myself in sales. What follows is an account of my personal journey transitioning from a career of making stuff to having to sell myself and my services. What Now? When I woke up that day, I thought, "I have a company, I have services, but I have no cus- tomers. What now?" Coming from a family of entrepreneurs and sales professionals, I had di- rect access to a vast amount of experience to draw from. I was also fortunate to have a good colleague and friend in the business I had just hung my shingle in that provided—and con- tinues to provide—invaluable advice, counsel, and guidance. Company Name The first decision to make was the company name, which may seem like a no-brainer, but was a struggle for me. Do I leverage my name recognition in the industry or create an auton- omous name? After much discussion with fam- ily, friends, and colleagues—plus market re- search—I ignored all the feedback and advice and named the company after myself. After a year, I rebranded the company with a name that reflected what the company actually does. Best decision ever. The takeaway here is don't take this task lightly, and focus on what you do—not who you are. Logo This decision is just as important as the com- pany name because it is the first thing people see and one of the sticky things people remem- ber. Just like the name, it should be a visual representation of what the company does. I would advise that you don't try to develop a logo by yourself. The last thing you want to convey is a logo that was clearly self-devel- oped. Hire a professional graphics or branding company to develop it for you. Branding: A Small-business Perspective The Right Approach by Steve Williams, THE RIGHT APPROACH CONSULTING

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