I don't mean to sound tacky but developing a logo isn't simply creating something appealing and functional. At it's heart, logo design is about understanding the brand and the business that the logo is going to promote. Often overlooked during the creation process but these things tend to play an underestimated role in the future of a company.
1. What does your brand stand for?
What's it all about; big savings, listening to your clients, quality? The companies mission I believe should be on full display within the design in some form or another. More often than I'd like to have seen, people walk into these situations thinking the majority of their clientele either read the About Us page or don't care - fact is people have a tendency of judging a book by it's cover. Your success is in turn my success and why I stress significance in this step.
2. If you had to describe your brand's personality to any given client, what comes to mind?
It should be no surprise that a good portion of us have a tendency to personify companies we encounter. Chances are that down the road any number of your customers could easily describe your business with 5 adjectives - what are they? Only once you know them are you able to decide whether it's being conveyed by your brand or not.
3. What's the story behind your business?
Symbolism is a powerful tool, undeniably so when the assessment of people (most of which will not likely have met you yet) is the collective force guiding this effort to success or otherwise. The more you can tell me, the more I can tell them essentially.
4. What's specific about this business in particular?
Doesn't really matter what field you're in today, there always seems to be an abundance of competition. Simply enough, what's your edge? This question goes unanswered more often I find and it is undoubtedly getting harder to stand out - but in my experience; that is in itself all the more reason to.
5. Lastly, why was the name chosen?
If the name has any special meaning or significance - all too often it's easy to forget that words mean very different things to different people, incorporating visual cues helps to bridge that gap and in turn you are more likely to invoke a sense of connection which of course will never do the flow of business any hindrance.
I am passionate about small business. It's no easy task to succeed in today's market and I respect the role I am allowed play in obtaining that success. I by no means expect an essay or even an answer to each question above, simply enough you will find I am a bit meticulous - but purely out of respect. These questions can really simplify the design process, once you have the answers laid out everything else just tends to fall into place.