What To Do Once You Upgraded Your Business Branding: The Small Business Machine

graph of dogs and the world

We like to think of a business as a machine. A machine has gears and gadgets and cogs that, when all pieced together, builds a successfully working piece of equipment.

One of those cogs in the machine? Your visual brand. (That’s where we come in!)

And obviously, as designers, we know your visual brand is essential. It’s what evokes the proper emotions when potential customers view your website or see your booth at an event. It’s what gives your business a personality that builds trust, rapport, love, community – you name it. It’s also what helps give your brand recognizability and growth.

However, everything we just mentioned above is just one cog in your business machine. We’ve had a client or two think that their new brand will solve all their business problems, but without each cog working properly, you won’t see the results you’re looking for.

So, if you invested in a #droolworthy brand with us (or even with another agency), we wanted to take some time to walk you through some of the other important cogs in the brand and marketing machine.

Because what good of a designer would we be if we didn’t set your WHOLE business up for success?

So this month we are going to be diving into the cogs of business going through each one. Giving you our go to people, tips and tricks.

The Cogs in the Small Business Machine

The cogs themselves: visual branding, business strategy, copywriting & content, SEO, social media, marketing, digital presence, organization, and community.

document inside a cog wheel

Visual Branding

Not to toot our own horn, but we just gotta start with the visual branding. Because without a proper visual foundation for your brand, you’re left without identity and tangible purpose. We’re probably biased here, but we’d go as far as to say that this is the most important aspect to nail down before heading down to other cogs. Your branding will set you up for success by capturing the essence and personality of what you’re all about. It creates emotional responses, personality, feelings, opinions, judgments, etc. It’s powerful stuff, Fur Friends.


How to weld this cog into your machine:

Invest in a rebrand with us

– Check out our tips for finding the right designer for your brand

– Browse through our resources to master your pet brand

computer in a cog wheel


Once your visual brand is complete, it’s time to develop your business strategy. Because once you have the visuals, it’s time to get them implemented in a way that can help your business grow. Thus, your business strategy. A strategy will help you figure out your action plan. Where do you need to focus your time? What are the best methods to implement? How do you implement them? What words, actions, and steps do you need to take? That’s strategy!


How to weld this cog into your machine:

– We highly recommend getting strategy help from Katrina from Pet Boss Nation. This woman has over 20 years of experience in advertising, marketing, and branding. She works with businesses to “help them build their brand, content, product and partnerships strategies as well as help lead and develop teams to execute it all.”


notebook in cog wheel


There’s a real science behind the words you use on your website and the magic that flows is when you’re able to capture the essence of your visual brand through the words on your website. Because sure, we can give you the best visual identity and brand, but if you’re using words that don’t mesh with it, it’ll cause confusion and distrust. 

Not only copywriting but also blogging on your website is KEY to getting more eyes on your brand, building more trust, and converting more customers into buyers (not to mention assisting with your SEO, which we’ll talk about next).


How to weld this cog into your machine:

– Work with an expert copywriter like Natalie. She helps with brand, web, & launch copy and has worked with us on many projects (in the pet industry and beyond)!

– Learn how to blog properly for your pet business. Or, if you simply want to outsource this, consider working with our friends over at Pet Marketing Unleashed.

magnifying glass in cog wheel


As we make our way through each cog, begin to realize how they each work together to build a successful machine. Let’s imagine that you had the best visual brand and you invested in copywriting. But… SEO wasn’t implemented on your website. So, you have the strategy and best-looking brand and the words to go with it, but you’re still hearing crickets. Well, has anyone even landed on your website yet?? Are you ranking on Google so that when customers search for what you have to offer, you show up on the first page? (Better yet, as the first result?)


That’s where SEO comes into play. Sure copywriting and blogging can assist with your SEO, but there’s a lot more to SEO than meets the eye.


How to weld this cog into your machine: 

– Work with Pet Engine Marketing to boost your Pet Store SEO. They help you get your pet store to rank #1 on Google as well as optimize your other Google assets to keep you in that spot! 

speech bubble in cog wheel

 Social Media

This cog is a huge endeavor and one many of our clients get overwhelmed with at the thought of mastering each and every platform out there! Our advice? Start with 1-2 platforms and go from there. Social media can be such a powerful tool but only if you’re using it properly, so it’s worth the time to learn how to use each one with strategy and purpose!


How to weld this cog into your machine:

– Work with an expert copywriter like Natalie. She helps with brand, web, & launch copy and has worked with us on many projects (in the pet industry and beyond)!

– Learn how to blog properly for your pet business. Or, if you simply want to outsource this, consider working with our friends over at Pet Marketing Unleashed.

megaphone in cog wheel


Marketing is a broad term. What we’re talking about here is influencer marketing, traditional marketing, social media marketing, etc. As you can see, some of these facets encompass other cogs. That’s the beauty of working together to create a beautiful machine, am I right Fur Friends?! Because again, without integrating your visual brand and business strategy into your marketing, you’re missing out on much business growth and probably ultimately hurting your bottom line.


How to weld this cog into your machine: 

Check out our list of printing resources for your business

– Head back to your overall business strategy and figure out which marketing avenues you want to start with and why. Don’t forget – all of this boils down to what makes sense for your brand and message.

text message in cog wheel

Digital Presence

Okay, we realized we’ve covered different areas of your digital presence already like your website copywriting, your visual brand (like your colors, logos, website), your social media content, etc. What we’re talking about here when it comes to digital presence is making sure that your digital presence across all online platforms and third-party platforms are consistent, utilized, and overlapping within each other.

How to weld this cog into your machine

– Make sure your website is in tip-top shape (we can help our branding clients with this)

– Claim your Yelp, Google My Business, and any other business listing account

– Make sure your social media pages are all consistent (they use similar colors, imagery, typography, messaging, words, etc.)

– Link your website to your social media and business listings (all of these items in your digital presence work with each other – don’t forget that!)

to do list in cog wheel


 Oh my. As a business owner, you are probably well aware of what happens when you don’t have the proper systems and processes in place to allow your business to grow. This is an ESSENTIAL cog in the machine and probably the one that most flows in and around the other cogs. Think of it as a cog binder, shall we? 

How to weld this cog into your machine

– We cannot recommend Business Laid Bare any more than we already do! Dox Design is currently working with Veronica on this exact cog and it’s working big time!

– Check out our client Start. Scale. Sail and their automation genius here

three dogs in cog wheel


 Community is everything when it comes to building a business, especially in today’s time. From in-person or digital events to fostering a community through your content and how to show up in the world. All of these aspects work together to build a community around what you offer and why you offer it. Your visual brand can certainly reel in and attract your dream customers, but your community will keep people there and will help convert your viewers into buyers.

How to weld this cog into your machine

– Attend or host events (whether in-person or virtually)

– Ask questions of your audience and truly connect to them. Make sure you’re responding to every comment and message and starting genuine conversations.

– Listen to our interview with Tori Mistick on all things community, content, and social media for tips on how to build community!


By now, we hope you realize the impact each cog has on the ability for the machine to work. If you have one cog missing, you may have a faulty machine. It may still end up running, but perhaps it’s running slower or something’s leaking out the back without you realizing it.


All puns and metaphors aside, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the things we need to master as business owners in order to grow your pet brand. Our goal is to assist in bringing that overwhelm down even just a little bit by pointing you in the direction of ways to tweak and work on each of these pieces.

You’ve got this, Fur Friends!


Ready To Command Your Brand?