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Tips for Branding on a Limited Budget

July 5, 2023

It’s no secret: the foundation of every successful business starts with a strong and compelling brand. Professional branding and web design may feel out of reach for small business owners, especially if you are branding on a budget. 

I would argue that starting with a strong brand is actually the best investment you can make for your business – but that’s not what this blog post is about! I’m here today to give you some practical advice on tackling your branding needs, regardless of how big (or nonexistent!) your budget may be. Read on, friends! 

Embrace the Power of Strategy and Planning

When working with a limited budget, starting with a solid strategy and plan is crucial. The last thing you want to do is spend time and money on something that doesn’t get you closer to your ultimate goals. 

It’s like building a house. You don’t start picking out paint colors and area rugs before the walls go up. You focus first on the foundations and structure that will keep those walls standing for years to come. 

For branding, this means focusing on your foundational messaging and “why” before hopping into Canva to DIY a logo or launching a quick site on GoDaddy. To work strategically, you’ll want to take a step back and assess the reasons and driving forces behind your brand. Before anything else, you should clearly define your brand’s mission, values, target audience, and unique value proposition. 

Once you have these critical building blocks, you have a compass to guide your branding journey. By clarifying your “why” and what you want to achieve with your brand, you can approach design and content marketing with clarity and focus. The result? You can prioritize your resources and efforts on the areas that will have the most impact.

I’ve outlined the 7 key questions your brand strategy should answer here to get you started. 

Focus on Core Brand Elements

When resources are limited, it’s crucial to focus first on the core elements of your brand. You’ll want to establish your core brand foundations, messaging, and visual elements and pull these all together into a single brand guidelines document. 

But don’t overcomplicate things! Establishing the basics is critical when you are just starting, but keep in mind your brand will continue to evolve and develop over time. You don’t have to start with a 100-page document that outlines every. single. thing. 

To simplify things, I’ve outlined all the essential elements that you should include in your brand guidelines here

Prioritize Incremental Progress

Rather than waiting until you have a substantial budget for a comprehensive brand and website design, prioritize incremental progress. One of the best ways to do this is to forgo traditional branding and web design projects and retainers in favor of a Brand Intensive. 

Sometimes called VIP design days, design sprints, or intensives, Brand Intensives is a service model that uses a streamlined process and timeline to complete branding and design projects in a single day rather than over the course of weeks or months. 

While this model isn’t for everyone, one-day Brand Intensives allow you to break up your project into smaller chunks that can be completed over the course of a few months, depending on your time and budget. This approach provides flexibility and customization that would be out of reach for solopreneurs and other small ventures working within a small budget. 

You can learn more about Brand Intensives and how they work for small businesses here.


Branding on a limited budget doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or effectiveness. By embracing strategy, focusing on core brand elements, and prioritizing incremental progress, you can create a powerful and memorable brand that resonates with your target audience, even on a budget. 

If you’re branding on a budget and need a guide to help you along the journey, I’d love to connect. Feel free to drop me a line anytime. I can’t wait to hear about your brand! 

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