Strategy and communications for start-ups

man holding a rocket - Cecilia Unlimited Start-up services

Starting out

Consistency and planning

Questions

 

Starting a successful business relies on telling people all about it: and getting your story straight from the beginning will make it much easier to attract the customers, partners and suppliers you need. It will also save you time and money down the line.

I’ve worked with start-ups, SMEs and large organisations and offer pragmatic advice and support. Take a look at the packages below, or drop me a line for a chat.

 

Package 1: We’re just starting out and not sure where to begin

Practical no nonsense consultancy to help you identify who you should be talking to, what you should be saying to them, and how. I’ll work with you to figure out what makes your business unique, and how to express it clearly, consistently and effectively. 

What’s included? 

  • A working vision – things change very fast in the average start-up, so you don’t need to spend precious days refining every word
  • A ‘what we do’ boilerplate company description – being able to describe what you do succinctly is really important – and can also be really hard.
  • A set of high-level messages to use throughout all your communications
  • Target audiences, how to build them, and audience-specific messages
  • Recommendations for appropriate communications channels and how to manage them
  • An outline content strategy with tips for creating and planning content

 

Package 2: We’re up and running but our communications are inconsistent

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” – John Wanamaker

Before you end up ploughing more time and effort into your communications, let me help you take a step back and evaluate what’s working and what isn’t.

What’s included?

  • A review of your current vision, messaging, audiences and channels to identify gaps and inconsistencies
  • An assessment of return on investment for each of your communications initiatives to date
  • Strategic insight into how your communications are currently positioning your business
  • Recommendations for refocusing your communications strategy

 

Questions

Don’t we also need a brand and values?

You’re right – brand is important. But when there’s only one or two of you, you are your brand. Your brand is you. You don’t need to identify and write down your values because you’re living them every day. Your audiences don’t need to read them, because they’re present in every interaction you have with them.

When:

  • you start delegating responsibility for sales and marketing materials to someone else;
  • you no longer directly manage all your people;
  • you’re no longer involved in every touch point with your audiences:

that’s when you need to articulate and write down what your brand is about.

(See my services for growing businesses for more details).

 

What about a logo – isn’t that our brand?

No, that’s your corporate identity, and it’s an expression of your brand, but it’s far from the whole story. Just as important to your brand right now are what you say and how you behave, as a company. As far as corporate identity goes, at this stage, you only really need the following:

  • A logo, in colour, b&w and reversed out versions
  • A standard font (ideally websafe), or one standard font for print and one websafe font
  • A corporate colour and two or three secondary colours to use
  • A template for documents and presentations
  • Three or four images you can use on social media headers, websites and other places for a consistent look and feel.

There are many fantastic designers who can help you with these at decent rates for small companies: if you don’t know any I can recommend some excellent ones I work with regularly (see next question).

 

Can you help us deliver our communications?

Yes. I focus mainly on strategy and planning, but I work with trusted partners who can deliver high quality communications services for you, under my management if required:

  • Digital marketing
  • Content writing, from print collateral to on-line
  • Thought leadership and PR
  • Website design and build
  • Website management
  • Social media management
  • Corporate identity and design
  • Video/animation production
  • Photography

 

We’re bigger than a start-up but don’t have any in-house communications people and need support. Can you help?

Yes, absolutely. Take a look at my services for growing businesses for more details.