Are you interested in starting a small business? Do you have an idea that you think is almost guaranteed to make money? If so, you might be interested in the following five basic tools, which will help your business open its doors with a good chance of success.

A Logo. Many businesses begin without a logo, but this is a mistake. A company logo is as important as your name because it is how your prospective customers will recognize you. Your logo will be the face of your business, present on business cards, stationery design, and even your office door. It is so important that there is no way to be successful without it. If you are starting a small business, getting a professional logo is the first step.

A Website. Many people view a website design as an option, but in the modern world it is a small business necessity. In the modern world, your customers are just as likely to turn to the internet to find a business as they are to look in the phone book. Having a website—a professional one that will interest your target audience—is one powerful way to keep the customers coming. As a side benefit, this website will allow you to have a more professional email address:

An Audience. You may know a lot about your products and/or services, but what do you know about the people who will be buying them? You must know your target customer’s age, income, and aesthetic tastes so you can know what they want to buy, how they want to buy it, and what kind of shopping experience will bring them in as a customer and keep them coming back. Knowing your audience will allow you to better reach your future customers without wasting valuable time and money on people who aren’t interested.

Product Literature. In order to sell a product, you need to have a brochure design, marketing materials or other literature describing exactly what you are selling. This literature should include your business name and logo along with pertinent information about your company and product specifications. Although this may seem unnecessary, you won’t think so the first time you have the opportunity to hand your professional brochure over to a potential customer or vendor.

A Marketing Plan. Once you have your small business ready to open, you will need a marketing plan. This can be an expensive plan developed by a team of marketing consultants and graphic designers or simply an outline of how and when you will get your message into the hands of your audience. If you have an interesting story behind your product or another aspect of your business that is interesting and unique, you may want to market your business to news stations and other media.

Did you think this list was going to talk about accounting logos software or the latest telephone systems? These things are important, but they will not affect your business’s success in the profound way our top five will. The reason many small businesses fail is that they don’t pay attention to these five key areas. Giving your business the right start will ensure that you don’t become just another statistic and infinitely improve your odds of accomplishing your goals in a competitive market.

Posted by Mash Bonigala

Mash is a Brand Differentiator & Strategist, Film Maker, Traveller, Author and Zen Practitioner. He loves mindfulness, branding, online marketing and startup business challenges.