Logo design always seems to be one of the first things entrepreneurs and small business owners worry about. After all, a nice logo design is an inexpensive investment and is necessary for a new business. It helps you articulate your style and your vision (if only to your graphic designer so they have a better feel for who you are and what you do), and it serves as a great base from which to develop the rest of your sales and marketing materials. Your logo also shares that vision with prospects and customers.

The problem comes when you go from wanting a nice, clean, professional logo to obsessing over the minutiae that nobody but you cares about. The thought process always seems to be "I have to get this absolutely perfect right now to get my business off on the right foot and get people to buy from me." This is the thought process that creates big problems.

Ultimately, what your logo looks like has nothing to do with the quality of your product or service. If you have a beautiful logo but fail to deliver on the promise you sold to a customer, you will lose that customer. If you have a brilliant logo design and zero sales ability, you'll never acquire that customer in the first place. If your logo design is the greatest the world has ever seen but your product or service doesn't solve a real problem, nobody will ever care that your business even existed and all that time, stress, and effort you put into your logo design is a complete waste.

I touched on this point a couple weeks ago in my article about using large logos in your web design. The gist is that for a lot of small business owners, your logo turns into a point of vanity rather than what it should be: A small, quick, recognizable representation of a brand that is built on top of quality products and services and best-in-class customer service.

I've seen so many small business owners waste incredible amounts of time tweaking their logo design to an obsessive extent. Move this 1/16 of an inch to the left, make this font size 1 point larger, that blue is just a little too black, that red is just a little too pink ... The bottom line behind all of that obsessing? Nobody cares! Seriously, they don't.

Not one potential or current customer will care that you lightened or darkened that color, moved that image to the left just a little bit, or made the font size slightly larger or smaller. They want a quality product at a good price and a vendor that is responsive to their needs.

By all means, spend a little money on a quality logo designer - a little. A good, quality logo design should cost you no more than a few hundred dollars if you're just starting out. If you've gone past that you're either obsessing or you're dealing with the wrong designer. Then spend most of your time figuring out how you're going to deliver an outstanding product or service to your customers.

Get to a point where you have something that looks good and represents your style and the brand you're trying to create, the move on. You can (and should!) revisit your logo design every few years and tweak it as necessary. And remember, the logo doesn't make the brand, the brand makes the logo.

Chris Searles is President of Searles Media and specializes in helping small businesses maximize their available resources to market themselves effectively using a wide variety of media. Visit Website

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