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April 2015 A4 Monthly Planner

Wednesday equals the first of April, so if you haven’t got a game plan for the month then it is time to get started.Download our April 2015 A4 Monthly planner and get started!

Our A4 monthly planner is ready for you to print out and mark up.  Schedule in upcoming events and appointments or create your social media plan and milestones.

Want to plan ahead? No worries, we’ve got you covered, download May and June and check back soon for the release of July and August.

Take an Instagram pic of your monthly planner and tag us @welovestartups_design or use the Hashtag #LoveMonthlyPlanner, so that we can follow your plans.

We use our A4 Monthly Planner in studio to track our social media plan for the month, it shows our planned activity for instagram and pinterest each month and it helps us to spot where will not be active. We have it stuck on the wall in studio, so that any time you have any idea you can jot it down.

Download it here, then print yours out, stick it up it on the wall and get planning!

April

Looking for some more free downloads? Get more done with our custom designed To Do List.

Startup Stories: Best Body Supplements

This weeks edition of Startup Stories is by David from Best Body Supplements. David started his BeSt Body Supplements in 2012 and has been moving from strength to strength ever since (pardon the pun!)

Q: So tell us, what is ‘Best Body Supplements?’
A: Best Body Supplements is a retail outlet that sells dietary supplements to  people trying to change their body composition or increase their performance levels in sport. Our staff all hold nationally accredited and recognised qualifications relevant to their role and we have a friendly, relaxed environment that is welcoming to most demographics.

Q: Why did you start your own business?
A: From a young age I had the urge to try and make money. My 1st business venture was in year 1 at  7 years of age buying and selling marbles in the playground.

As an adult I could see the money that my sales ability and work ethic was generating for my employer. I thought about the success I had in every other job and realised there was no reason why my own business should be different. I had never put my employer out of business.

At the time I started my business, I was training at the gym and using the products I now sell.  I saw an opportunity. I only intended for this business to be a learning platform or training ground for bigger and better things. Hopefully I achieve them before I go marbles

Q: What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
A: People. I have found people the hardest variable to control.  Just before I started my shop I would dismiss any doubts I was having, by reminding myself of the types of incompetent people running successful business, and if they can do it surely I can. The problem I forgot to factor in was that these people at some stage are either staff members, suppliers, customers or community stakeholders. People are all different, all present their own set of problems, all have different emotions and a different understanding of life. They can be the unpredictable time bombs  that are capable of destroying the best of plans.

Q: Any tips for other Startups?
A: Money is a representation of time, and business is an investment. Business quite happily accepts either form of currency being time or money, but the return on your business will only  be relative to your investment. Pick and choose your battles wisely so you are using your time effectively. Do not try and take on all the work yourself as a cost saving measure. Don’t be scared to pay a professional. Their quality of work comes from the time they invested in their field and the return on their work will often be greater.  Either way you are paying the same in the end.

Q: What’s next for ‘Best Body Supplements?’
A: Best Body recently opened its 2nd location and has introduced healthy, café style foods. Once we iron out the creases we will assess how it can be duplicated at other locations.

Best Body Supplements currently has two store locations Warners Bay and Muswellbrook. Follow Best Body Supplements story via their Facebook  and Instagram accounts.

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success story from best body Supplements

Success Story from a Best Body Customer

The Best Body Supplements logo was designed by our sister company Neon Zoo in 2012.

Read more Startup Stories via the links below

Home office inspiration, via Pinterest

Working from home is often a necessity for many business looking to get off the ground and start their business lean! Check out this home office inspiration, via Pinterest.

We did it when we started our big-sister business, Neon Zoo. We worked day and night in our little sunroom, just so we could give our business idea the ‘legs’ to get off the ground! For some businesses a retail or commercial office space isn’t required, a lot of businesses have to fit their schedule around home and family commitments and for others, they simply can’t afford it. Often it’s startups, sole traders, freelancers and new businesses that fit into that last bracket whereby it’s all about starting businesses lean. But just because you need to start your business out on a budget, doesn’t mean you need to compromise on creating a cool, creative workspace that motivates you to get out of bed each morning and whip your goals into shape!

We are always looking for ways to make our studio more inviting, inspiring and motivating and Pinterest is our go-to resource for creative space inspiration. Checkout these ‘drool-worthy’ home office set-ups that we found via Pinterest below.

Home office inspiration for new startup businesses, via Pinterest

1. Image source: Bodil Bergqvist för Trendenser.se via Pinterest

I love the subway tiles on this.

working from home inspirational offices

2. Image source: Upcycled Treasures via Pinterest

Add a pop of colour like this table and ditch the cork board and use some textured fabric instead.

beautiful home office setup

3. Image source: Ultralinx via Pinterest

Drool worthy home inspiration  for start up businesses

4. Image source: The Glitter Guide via Pinterest

Have plants around you helps to clean the air and gives you some beautiful pops of colour.

Home office nook for startups

5. Image source: Desire to Inspire via Pinterest

Only have a small space to work with?

How to Name a Business

One of the more exciting steps of starting a business is deciding on it’s name. But naming a business is easier said then done, see below our guide on ‘How to Name A Business’ and some of the things that you should consider.

How to name a business

First off, think about what you want to communicate, what will appeal to your target market, what will have longevity and be easily recognisable.

When deciding on a name are a few different types names that you can choose from:

  • Abstract or made up names from which they create your own image e.g Neon Zoo, ebay, Apple
  • Descriptive names that tell you exactly what they do e.g Pizza Hut, Post it, Internet Explorer
  • Suggestive Names, these names relates to feelings, actions or emotions e.g Yahoo, LinkedIn, Greyhound Australia
  • Compound or blend names, combining two words/ideas to form a name e.g Mailchimp, YouTube, Wikipedia
  • Family e.g Harrods, Johnson & Johnson, Disney
  • Acronyms e.g IBM, BBC, HSBC
  • Geographical references e.g Bega, Singapore Airlines, Nokia

Then there are particular qualities, that should aspire to and avoid, such as choosing a name that is:

1. Unique and Memorable

2. Avoids Unusual Spelling

3. Easy to Pronounce

4. Check for any cultural insensitivity’s. Do not pick a name that could have negative, insulting or unlucky meanings in another language.

5. Check that a matching domain name is Available.

6. Check that it is available on the Business Name Index.

7. Allow for some flexibility, don’t pigeonhole yourself in too much. If you plan to move or expand, then Geographic locations and names that are too descriptive about the product/service you offer can do this.

8. Test your name out. Ask some potential customers what they think.

9. Offer a hint. If you you go down the path of an abstract name, consider have a tagline that gives a clue about your product or service.

 

Co-working Spaces

When starting up a business it is important to keep your overheads low and remain flexible. which means taking on a long commercial lease is out of the question. So you can hop into your pyjamas and set up on your kitchen table or lease a spot in the growing market of commercial co-working spaces.

The growing trend of co-working spaces is not surprisingly in step with the growing trend of people going out on their own as freelances, entrepreneurs, startups, creatives and consultants. This group of people are ditching the big business structure in favour of a more self directed and independent future.

co-working spaceImage via Pinterest

When tossing up the pros and cons of a shared office space vs working from home, you need to consider more then just the dollar value. Working from home is free however a co-working  space brings with it many other benefits including;

    • Community support and networking opportunities
    • Meaningful conversations, (your cat can not help with brain storming sessions). In a co-working space you can easily bounce ideas of someone over a cup of coffee.
    • The internet is set up and ready for you to plug in
    • Most co-working spaces will package all their costs into the one monthly fee so that your not locked in.
    • Swap your kitchen table for a board room for those important meetings.
    • Some spaces have access to mentoring services and workshops.
    • No fit out cost, that’s right they all come with chairs. And most of these spaces understand that a great environment conducive to great ideas so they are usually pretty funky.
    • They are more fun. Sitting at home all day can be kinda boring. Some of these spaces are even decked with in ping pong or foosball tables

Shared Office SpaceImage via Pinterest

So ditch the cabin fever, get dressed and take a look at some of the co-working spaces available in Australia.

1. Tank Stream Lab, Sydney

2. Fishburners, Sydney

3. York Butter Factory, Melbourne

4. Inspire9, Melbourne

5. River City Labs, Brisbane

6. Space Cubed, Perth

7. That Space, Adelaide

8. Hub Australia, Adelaide

See more examples of co-working spaces here or find a space using using the Creative Spaces Website.

Co-working Space Image via Pinterest

Startup Stories: Jude

We HAVE had the honour of knowing Ali wanchap Wood, founder of ‘Jude’, throughout her journey of bringing her business to life. So we WEre super excited when Ali agreed to share her Startup story with us.

Q: So tell us what is ‘Jude?’
A: Jude is a knitwear label that evokes a wholesome & idyllic way of life, encapsulating modern Australia, while nostalgically saluting Australian heritage. Carrying on a family history of wool producing and design, Jude has Australian wool at its heart, using only the finest merino to create its core range of high quality Australian designer knitwear. All Jude products are proudly made in Australia and carry the coveted Woolmark approval. The range includes fashion-focused knitwear for woman, man, baby and home.

 

Q: Why did you start your own business?
A: I had always wanted to create a brand that champions Australian wool. I had been working in PR and marketing for many years and was craving my own creative project. So I took the leap.

 

Q: What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
A: There are so many challenges that present themselves when starting your own business. Managing cash flow is the challenge that has the most pivotal consequence on the business. However hard work, determination and often plain stubbornness to not give up are good remedies for this challenge, and any others that arise.

 

Q: Any tips for other Startups?
A: My tip would be to simply go for it – follow through with your plans and don’t give up. Also don’t compromise on your individuality. It is what sets you a part from everyone else. Once you have tapped into your true individuality, be sure you allow it to flow freely into your endeavours.

 

Q: What next for ‘Jude?’
A: I have just launched the new season at the online store, and getting ready to do a few retail events in Newcastle and Melbourne over the coming months. I’m also currently seeking beautiful stores looking to stock products like Jude. So its all just about continuing to grow and create!

 

 Ali Wanchap Wood Jude Australia, Startup stories jude
Shop for Jude on her online store and follow the Jude story through Instagram.

 

See below for more startup stories:

Q&A with Alexa Shearing, Junior Graphic Designer

Next up in our ‘getting to know you series’ of the staff at We love Startups, is Alexa Shearing, our Junior Graphic designer. Originally from Melbourne, Alexa has been living and working with us for over 3 years. We love having her in studio so I think you’ll also enjoy getting to know her better.

Q: What’s your favourite type of design
Design that’s innovative and eye catching, and doesn’t try to be something that its not. Simple bold colours that ooze sophistication…I’m not sure if I’m talking about dresses or logos, but I always consider the above when deciding on either option.

Q: What do you do to get around a creative block?
Grab a coffee, walk away from my desk for a few minutes and start fresh

Q: Got any tips for Small Business Owners?
Be sure of how you want your clients/customers to feel upon their first impression of your business or brand and instill that ‘feeling’ within your team.

Q: What websites do you look at for a bit of time out?
huh
yatzer
EllenTube 

Q: Why do you love start ups?
Let’s face it nobody likes an ugly logo… We love start ups provides a unique, grass roots opportunity for those who want to engage in a professional looking logo design and get there business out there quickly, and looking good on a budget…ohhh yeah!!

ALexa-Shearing, Junior Graphic Designer

Did you catch our posts in or getting to know you series of Q & A’s?

Meet Clare Gleeson, one of our senior Graphic Designers here and Abby McCarthy another of our senior Graphic Designers?

Startup Stories: John Lechner Fine Art Prints

It is so perfect that we talk to John from John Lechner Fine Art Prints this week, as this week is the businesses first birthday. Read below as John talks us through his startup journey.

Q: So tell us, what is ‘John Lechner Fine Art Prints?’
A: We focus on selling high quality framed photographic artworks from my travels around Australia and the world.

Q: Why did you start your own business?
A: Because I have wanderlust and this was one of the few sensible ways to satisfy my wanderlust and passion for photography.

Q: What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
A: Believing in our vision, sticking to our guns and knowing that it will work as long as we stay true to ourselves.

Q: Any tips for other Startups?
A: Everything takes time, be patient but at the same time dream huge!! One of my goals, a real pie in the sky goal, was to have a New York City exhibition in 2015. I am going back in June for a solo exhibition in the gallery district of Manhattan.

Q: What’s next for ‘John Lechner Fine Art Prints?’
A: We have recently launched an offshoot to our business called Artwork Rentals. Essentially we have made the majority of our prints available for rent to local Hunter businesses. Our focus is on making high quality local and international artwork available to businesses in the Hunter Region, to add value to their operations.

We put art within reach of most businesses large or small, helping transform their office or reception areas. Renting art can be the fraction of the cost of purchasing artwork and makes good business sense.
Every four months we come in and swap the artworks, giving the space a refreshed look and helping portray a warm and welcoming environment. We also offer a rent-to-buy option. If a customer particularly likes a rented artwork they can buy it out for a discounted price that takes into account their rental.
Follow John’s works and travels via his Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.
John Lechner Fine Art Prints
The branding for John Lechner Fine Art prints was developed by our Sister Studio ‘Neon Zoo‘ . we are pleased as punch to see how well he is doing one year on. Congratulations John, we can’t wait to see what the next year brings 
Want to read more ‘Startup Stories?’. Jessica from She Invited Her tells her story here.

What makes a good logo design ?

Having a logo designed is an exciting time, however it can be easy to sometimes loose sight of the main objectives of logo design. Keep yourself focused by going through the main characteristics of good logo design.

what-makes-a-good-logo-design

Simple
This may be one of the most important qualities of a good logo. Don’t have an overly complicated logo, it makes it harder for a viewer to remember and understand it and you risk losing quality when you  need to reproduce is for various applications. This may also mean not using too many colours, most iconic logos use only 2-3 colours.

Scalable
Think about all of the different situations you will need to use your logo in.  It should work equally in a large and small format.

Memorable
For a logo to me memorable your target audience should be able to recall something about it.

Unique
Your logo should be unique to you and your business. Don’t let your potential clients get confused between you and your competitor and don’t try and copy a competitors success through mimicking their brand.

Targeted
Think about who your target audience and what appeals to them. Don’t get carried away with a design just because it appeals to you personally. Your logo design should be appropriate for your Industry and your target market and say something about your business.

Timeless
Don’t get too caught up with whats currently trending. Your logo should outlive any trends, aim for longevity.

Versatile
Your logo won’t just be used on your business cards and letterhead. Think about all of the applications your will need it for.

You may need to:

  • Have it embroided onto uniforms
  • Reproduce it in black and white
  • Blown up really large for a billboard
  • Reduced to a very small size for a web app
  • Reversed out onto a dark background and a light background.

For more tips on how to get a good logo design read our post on How to Brief Your Designer and How to Give Good Feedback.

How to give a designer good feedback

Graphic Design is all about a partnership between the designer and the client. To create a great logo design, designers need to give feedback that is accurate, descriptive and inline with the original brief set. Read our tips below about how to give a designer good feedback.

how-to-give-a-designer-good-feedback

1. Start with a good brief
When filling in your job sheet have a good think about what it is your after. This means trying to look at it from the point of view of your customers and not just your perspective as a business owner. Think about what you are trying to communicate rather than trying to follow a particular trend. See our post her on How to Brief Your Designer

2. Having trouble finding the right words?
Pictures can help, try finding an example of something similar or drawing a rough sketch and sending it to us. If we haven’t quite got the right colour or font, an example can be really helpful.

3. Be specific
Explaining exactly what you do and don’t like about a design is extremely helpful to a designer. It means we can expand on what you like and focus less on the aspects you dislike.

4. Be honest
Designers can only work from the information that you provide, so be upfront and honest. The more information and you share the more we have to work from.

Below are some helpful prompts for when your speaking to your designer:

  • I’d prefer you to use title case in my business name ie; Capital ‘J’ for John and ‘S’ for Smith.
  • That font is too traditional, can you try something more modern?
  • These colours are too bright, can you tone them done a little?
  • I like the icon, but could you do it in green tones instead?
  • Can you make the logo mark 50% bigger?
  • I really like the font you have used, can you try it with the logo mark from the second concept?