The first step in my design process is sketching out multiple iterations of logo possibilities (typically 5 - 10). This phase provides direction for the logo.
The next step is taking the one or two of the most highly desired sketches and turning them from idea to a basic graphic development using the brand colors or recommended color palette. This step provides better context on which design elements are working, and what isn't.
Final step to the logo design process is selecting the logo that best represents the brand and refine it until it is exactly what is envisioned to be.
I always create a secondary logo of the primary logo. Trust me, you'll need it eventually.