When you dream of launching your own brand, one question immediately comes to mind: how much will it cost me? What are the costs related to the proper running of my business, beyond the purchase of raw materials and the production line?
To help you define the budget required to launch your brand, I reveal the “hidden” expenses, which a creative entrepreneur does not necessarily think about but which must be taken into account before making the leap!
The foundations of your brand
It’s not something you usually take into account when budgeting for your brand launch, yet laying your foundation properly can be your first expense.
By “foundations”, we mean the following: conducting market research; defining your ideal customer, your positioning, your unique value proposition, your “why”; creating your business plan… This is the first and most important step to building a clear strategy and developing a sustainable brand.
There are two different options available:
- Do this part by yourself and in this case, spend nothing (except your time!)
- Call on an expert to guide you. throughout the process.
Due to lack of time or to limit expenses, most entrepreneurs undertake this step on their own.
Unfortunately, many of them realize – after three or four months – that their brand is at a standstill and – after 10-12 months – that their sales are still not taking off the way they hoped! On top of having lost time, they also ended up losing money because their business did not grow as expected.
I can only advise you to be accompanied over several weeks by an expert who will review with you all the crucial aspects of your brand. Results and efficiency guaranteed!
The costs it entails: it’s hard to give you a precise amount as it depends on the person you’re hiring (agency, freelance, their level of experience…). Honestly? You can find someone at any price! A freelancer with 5-7 years of experience will help you for 400-500€ as a daily rate, while an agency will work with a fixed price (package) that may amount to 5 000€. When I first started out, I hired the services of a friend who was a branding consultant (even though it’s my job too, I needed a “mirror effect”) and it costed me 1 500 euros.
Your brand’s visual identity
If you don’t have solid graphic design skills, you’re better off hiring a graphic designer to design your visual identity. I advise you to work on your visual identity once the foundations of your brand are properly in place.
A visual identity includes:
- Your logo, i.e. the gateway to your brand, the first thing people see with your name. It must reflect your brand, its universe and values.
- Your graphic charter, which can be used on your website, your social networks and any other communication and presentation medium. The graphic charter includes the typography (fonts), color palette and graphic elements.
Hiring a professional guarantees you a unique visual identity, which will reflect your brand universe. It is an important but indispensable expense if you want to stand out from the crowd.
The costs it entails: Similarly to the previous section, there are many different types of graphic designers available with all sorts of price ranges… I have worked with excellent graphic designers and in general I would say that it is necessary to count 800€ for a logo and a graphic charter (typography, colors) qualitative. If needed, I can definitely recommend some great names!
A website & social media
When creating your brand, you will need to consider the issue of distribution and communication channels.
Launching a brand without a website is possible but it is strongly recommended to create one when your brand is expanding. A website allows you to regroup all the relevant information about your brand, your “why” as well as (and especially…) your online boutique or e-shop.
The costs it entails: For a showcase site built with a template (without any e-shop & payment options), you will have to spend around 2 500€. A price that increases depending on the features (how many languages, number of pages, etc.) and especially with the inclusion of the e-commerce section. Again this is an indicative price! With an established agency with customized design, price would be around 8 000-9 000€ for instance.
The same goes for social networks: they are essential to make your brand known and constantly attract new customers. Although the creation of an account is free, you can easily outsource this part to a professional or train yourself to manage your various social media in a 100% autonomous fashion. For the launch of your brand, sponsoring certain posts can also be highly recommended.
The costs it entails: Coaching dedicated to social networks (Instagram primarily) costs at least 800€ for several weeks of guidance and assistance. If you wish to hire a Social Media Manager for a monthly follow-up, prices also tend to start at 800€ for a freelancer.
Registering your trademark
Once you have found your brand name (and if you’re still hesitating, I suggest you discover my article on finding the right name for your brand), you still have to register it with an accredited institution (the “INPI” in France).
This is a step that you cannot afford to overlook as it allows you to validate your name and know if it has already been registered and, above all, to protect your brand. Be careful, the protection is only valid in your category (or class) of products.
The costs it entails: The price varies according to the country. Expect to pay 190€ and 40€ per category in France and between 225$ and 250$ in the US.
Few entrepreneurs like to deal with this task. If you have chosen the status of auto-entrepreneur, the steps are relatively simple and do not necessarily require external assistance.
On the other hand, other statutes (EURL, SARL, SA…) require a more detailed understanding of budgets and, above all, a certain mastery to avoid making a fatal mistake when dealing with various amounts and figures. Hiring an accountant is thus strongly recommended!
The costs it entails: between 100 and 120€ per month.
While some expenses are essential when you first launch, others can be postponed to a later date. It’s up to you to prioritize based on your needs and budget but remember that these expenses are investments to get your brand off the ground and developing it much faster!