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Starting a small business in New Orleans

By August 26, 2008law practice, websites

Picture_11Since I started my own law firm a few years ago I’ve gotten a handful of calls from lawyers who want to either start their own firm or beef up the web-presence of their current firm.  Being a small business owner presents many challenges, and marketing for the Internet is certainly one of them.  I was fortunate to stumble into blogging at a time when you didn’t need to know much in order to be successful.  But things are different now.

Well, things are different in some ways and exactly the same in others.  A small business needs a couple of things: (1) A logo or brand identity (doesn’t have to be an image, but some kind of font or typeset with the business name); (2) business cards, and possibly brochures; (3) a website, and (4) photographs of people and maybe the business.

When I started my firm I made up a corporate letterhead by choosing a standard font and color scheme.  I did this by trial and error, mostly relying on what looked good to me.  I would have been happy if I could have hired someone to do this for me (or at least help me) but I didn’t know any graphic designers that could take on a small job like that.

I made up my own business cards using the same approach, using the font and color scheme that I chose for my letterhead.  My website was a blog, since that’s what I knew how to create.  And I have yet to create business photographs.  So, to be perfectly honest, I kind of went about this in a sub-optimal way.  Which is why I always cringe when people ask me for advice on marketing their small business.

But that’s about to change.

The other day I was at Lakeside Camera, a local New Orleans camera store that has always had an excellent reputation for service and quality.  When the world started tilting away from film, toward digital imaging, they didn’t hesitate to embrace that change.  Their digital imaging services are amazing, and their customer service is too.

Therefore, I was quite intrigued when I saw that they were offering small business services such as: logo creation, business card and brochure printing, as well as web-design.  Their tips on creating a business logo are spot on.  It appears that Lakeside Camera is offering the entire package that small businesses need, and the nice thing is that they offer on demand printing which means that you can order small batches at first and then replenish as you need to.

Oh, and in case it isn’t obvious, they can also take portraits for use in promotional materials.  If there is a one stop shop for small businesses in New Orleans then I’d say that Lakeside Camera is it.

P.S. If you're a practicing lawyer, check out this Law Practice Assessment . After answering a few questions, you'll get detailed recommendations for improving five key areas of your practice.
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