“Branding” is a hot-button word, not to mention a concept that may seem difficult to define. Everybody and their brother wants to build a brand. And it’s especially important for a business, regardless of whether it’s a small company or a large one.
After all, branding is a big part of what makes a small business actually grow!
On the other hand, branding—especially if you hire a consultant or an expert—can get a little expensive. One site estimates that a startup company can expect to pay as much as $5,000 for branding right off the bat and that’s working with a freelancer or a small branding firm!
But don’t panic! There’s good news. The increased interest in branding has led to user-friendly, simple-to-understand branding software and programs. The best part? Many of these are actually free.
So, whether you’re just starting out with grooming and a few pet clients, or you’re branching out and taking on an employee to help keep your leashes straight, you’re sure to benefit from these five branding resources that can get your branding done without breaking the bank.
Free Logo Design
A good logo design is one of the elements of branding that really shouldn’t be skimped on. After all, logos are what many consider as the “definition” of your business.
Your logo, for better or worse, is who you are.
But, again, no need to panic! You can get the perfect dog grooming logo design without having shell out what some estimate to be as much as $300.
That’s where sites like LogoDesign.net come in. This software offers customizable logos, searchable by the type of business or graphic feature. With a host of talented designers behind the site, there are plenty of styles, too.
Mascot logos are a popular choice for a dog grooming business, or for any pet-oriented company.
But a lettermark or wordmark logo could be a classy option, too.
Or you could simply opt for a sophisticated shape with a silhouette logo of a dog breed.
Meanwhile, we adore a paw-based logo icon just as much.
Free Branding Templates
Several sites offer marketing design templates that can be used for branding. One of the most popular is Lucidpress.com, which has templates that cover everything, from social media posts to business cards.
Lucidpress even bills these templates as “brand kits,” which means that they cover a lot of the individual portions of branding as a whole. Considerations like color palette, font choice, spacing, and the general layout of the pieces are cohesive across each set of templates.
You may even find a set that works with your brand personality, with a little adjustment.
These templates are a great place to start, simply because they cover a lot of the options. After all, branding has a lot of different factors!
Number 31 on the list may especially lend itself well to a dog grooming company, with its bright, happy colors, lots of space, and user-friendly type.
Free Website Development with WordPress
As with some other free options on this list, there are plenty of “free” website builders out there. But for a professional-looking dog grooming website that is easy to set up, adapt, and maintain, WordPress is hard to beat.
Of course, there are extra features and plug-ins that you can opt to pay for, should they turn out to be necessary.
But for a simple site like a dog grooming business, your setup cost should be nil.
As a bonus, WordPress offers branding/SEO features, as well as tutorials on how to use them to get the most benefit.
Free Business Cards
The classic go-to for free business cards, and the standard in the business for many years, is VistaPrint.
VistaPrint still offers free business cards, though their parameters are tighter than they used to be—there is much less ability to customize, for instance. But for a starter, they’re still a good deal. You just have to pay for the shipping.
Of course, if you opt to spend a little more, you can customize your cards with a free logo design that you’ve already settled on.
Free Image Sources
Finding the stock photos that will work for your business but won’t cost an arm and a leg is not an easy task. But here, again, there are plenty of websites lining up and clamoring for your attention!
In terms of family and pet-friendly stock photos that can be used for branding and marketing purposes, I’d recommend the following:
Pixabay has largest database of stock photos available, at almost 500,000 images. And they don’t require attribution, regardless of whether they’re used in digital or printed format.
Branding for Free
With a small start-up like a dog grooming business, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to pour in a bunch of money into branding right at the beginning.
And that’s not only understandable, but it’s also perfectly okay!
After all, with resources like the ones listed here, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to get your brand off the ground.