Black and white girl is stepping over from one dynamic circle graphic design to the other, representing the ideas process at ipulse design creative agency web design services

Serious Start-Up Checklist 2021

You’ve got an idea. Maybe it’s one you’ve been mulling over for years, and now it’s time to action it? Perhaps it’s an idea dreamt up after a few beers with friends, and you want to know what it’ll take to bring it to market?

We’ve helped countless business start-ups, companies looking to re-brand or change their marketing direction. Generally speaking, whatever your business, objectives or background, we have some ideas that can help shape your next steps. There will be some stonewall “do’s” and some flexible “it can wait’s” in this checklist.

Everything should be considered; you’re never too early to think about the end goal. You can approach every creative consideration using this checklist, knowing you haven’t left anything to chance.

Launch your business the right way!



Branding insights

From a creative agency perspective, Branding is a multi-layered service that can either be a long process if done correctly or a shorter, more streamlined one.
What it can never be is a quick job.

Below is a checklist we have put together to highlight and explain the different elements of making a truly great brand.

Brand Activation
Brand activation is creating an experience between your customer and your brand.

Brand Content Writing
You’ve heard the saying, ‘Content is King’? Well, it still is, so don’t overlook it!

Brand Guidelines
An integral asset to your company, ensure your brand consistently delivers the right message

Brand Identity Design
The face of your business. Usually, it is the first interaction people have with your brand.

Brand Naming
Having a unique brand name can significantly contribute to the success of your company.

Brand Positioning
Identify personas and clear messaging that will target your audience in the right way.

Brand Strategy
Analysing a clear brand strategy helps you understand your current market position, long-term goals and formulates business growth.

Corporate Branding
A clear corporate brand sets your business out from your competitors and attracts the right clients.

Hospitality Branding
Hospitality branding is a powerful tool from which your F&B project can reap the rewards.

Sometimes companies need to re-align their business objectives to understand how they fit into their ecosystem of competitors, stakeholders, and customers.



Web-design insights

Web Design projects can seem incredibly confusing. If you don’t have a foot in the digital world, this work can seem light-years away from your understanding, but it doesn’t have to be.

Below is a checklist we have put together to highlight and explain some core functions, practices and considerations your business may benefit from.

Google Ads
Google Ads saved our business. When times were tough, they gave us online exposure!

SEO Search Engine Optimisation
An essential component of the website build. Good SEO executed with knowledge and strategy.

Support & Maintenance
Necessary for any digital project out there in the wild. Security, maintenance and keeping up to date with industry practices is an important one.

Web Hosting
Your website needs a home. Somewhere safe and sound where it can be regularly checked in on.

Woo Commerce & E-Commerce
Does your website need to sell products? Are you looking for automated systems, sales tracking and options around payment gateways? If so, you’ll need an E-Commerce platform.

40% of all websites built are on WordPress. It’s scalable, cost-effective and looks great when in the hands of the right people.



Graphic Design must-haves.

The world of graphic design is indeed incredibly vast, and with the increasing amount of DIY design platforms like Canva, satisfactory design work is everywhere! It’s important to know what’s valuable to you and your business now, what can wait and what elements won’t add value to your strategy.

Keep in mind that none of these services listed below can make or break a business. Nor do they work independently of each other. They are part of your brand, your strategy and should be the final execution of your marketing efforts.

Annual Report Design
Showcasing your company’s achievements clearly, concise, and creatively can ultimately be a powerful marketing tool.

Book Design
Books can mean so many things to so many people. Sometimes a book within a business can be a great way to communicate company values, campaigns, partnerships or success stories.

Brochure Design
Never underestimate the importance of a company brochure design to support the launch of any new brand successfully.

Business Card & Stationery Design
One of the first things people think of when they think of graphic design. Most likely, you’ll need some.

In a digital world where content is absorbed so quickly, infographics are fast becoming the go-to medium for delivering company information, campaigns and statistics to their audiences.

Menu Design
For an F&B business, a menu is an integral element to a successful operation. A beautifully designed menu that supports your vision, brand strategy and objectives require deeper thinking.

Packaging Design
Consumers are 30% more likely to buy your product once they pick up the item from the shelf. Making them pick it up is the job of a good packaging designer who understands these triggers.

PowerPoint Presentation Design
From internal presentations to client pitch decks, PowerPoint documents have been around as long as word processing. They aren’t going anywhere, so it’s wise to arm yourself with the sharpest tools.



Marketing Strategies

The most challenging part of the business planning process. It is strenuous to identify whom you’re targeting, via what medium, and why your audience will respond to your marketing. The unknown of whether your marketing efforts will be a success will come down to the early work behind the scenes. 

How much is too much for advertising spend? Should you be looking at partnerships to help endorse your services or products? These are all tactics to consider at this final stage.

Copywriting is one of the essential elements your business needs to execute branding, sales, and marketing strategies successfully. If you can’t do it yourself, outsource it to someone who can.

Marketing Campaigns
Understanding the objectives and why a marketing campaign can strengthen your companies position in the market to ultimately drive sales is important.

Market Research
Who is my target audience, what problem am I solving, who are my competitors? Are all questions often overlooked by business owners.

Marketing Strategy
Putting together the “what, why & how” your marketing campaigns will be created, implemented, executed and analysed will be down to your marketing strategy.

Online Marketing Campaigns
With audiences becoming more digitally savvy, it’s widespread nowadays for companies to focus their marketing efforts solely within a digital sphere. Like it or loath it, it’s a part of our lives.

You may not need to hire a photographer to convey your services but to build a solid brand; you need to develop a relatable lifestyle. Photography helps to bridge the gap between you and your audience.

Printing Services
Widely considered a dying art within the design industry. However, there is still a space for quality, design-led printing that helps bring a product, advertisement or piece of literature to life.

Social Media Content Creation
Creating consistent and engaging content requires a continuous flow of ideas. Once you push off from the edge, you better be in it for the long haul to get the most out of many platforms on offer.

It may be a non-negotiable at launch, or it may be one that you can phase in down the line. Generally speaking, any successful business will need to consider translation at some stage.

By far the most engaging medium to communicate to your audience at this moment in time. Short, concise, exciting content delivered through video is the holy grail of content marketing at this point.



There are many resources out there that can help you through the early stages of your journey.

Here are a few we recommend and use ourselves: 

Web Design
Domain Registration – GoDaddy
DNS Information – DNS Checker 

Google Analytics – Set Up Analytics
Keyword Research – Google Keyword Planner

WordPress Hosting – Cloudways
WordPress Free SEO Plugin – Yoast

WordPress Free Analytics Plugin – Monster Insights
SEO Chrome Extension – One Click SEO

Branding & Graphic Design
Research & Reference – Pinterest
Research & Reference – Behance

Photography – Unsplash
Photography – Pexels

Colour & Theme – Adobe Color

Typography – Google Fonts
Typography – My Fonts
Typography – Adobe Fonts

CRM Platform – HubSpot

Digital Ads – Google Ads

Email Marketing – Mail Chimp

SEO Analytics – Ahrefs

Writing Assistant – Grammarly

Handy Applications – App Sumo

Let’s Talk

Hopefully, you’ve found some of this information helpful.

Drop us a message, and we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and discuss your project.


Download our free “Serious Start-up Checklist” by simply filling in your details below.


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