Branding a Small Business- Helpful Links

Entrepreneurship can be messy.  Especially when you are a one-woman-show-wearing-too-many-hats kind of small business.  I’m the first one to point out that in my on-going journey of building D. Franca Designs, there are things I’m great at and there are things at which I’m definitely not the most qualified.  But when the need arises and the budget falls short, you do the best you can with what you have to make sure your dream venture keeps moving forward.  You get your hands on all of the information you can (hallelujah for Google and YouTube) and you get to work.  You build that website, you take those product pictures, you create that social media strategy and scramble up those SKU numbers and barcodes.  Because even though the end result may not be perfect and exactly like you had envisioned, it is the best version you could have delivered at that very moment based on your skill set and limitations.  It is the best you can do until you further develop your own skills or get the budget to hire a professional.
I recently had to get scrappy in order to take my branding to the next level.  Not the “badly organized or put together” definition of the word.  But the “having a strong, determined character, and willing to argue or fight for what you want” definition of scrappy.  Regardless of feeling completely out of my comfort zone when it came to writing a cohesive and effective brand strategy, I knew no one was going to do it for me (not without a very high-priced invoice to follow, that is).  So, I learned as much as I could in the time that I had, reached out to the friendships I trusted both on a personal and professional level for help, and did the best I could.  What you currently see on the website is the end result.  Definitely not perfect and definitely not final; hopefully constantly evolving for the better.  But the best version I can deliver at this point in my small business journey.
Through that experience and the countless hours of digging deeper into the information I encountered, I compiled a list of resources I wish I had the access to without having to have spent so much time looking for it.  So, in the chance that this information can be helpful to a fellow entrepreneur, here is a quick and dirty list I wish someone had given me with some of the resources for branding as a small business.
*as an added bonus, there is a link about Barcode and SKU generation.  I recently had my first experience dealing with a large-retailer which resulted in a lot of confusion and questions about inventory tracking.  This link was a life saver.