Establishing an online brand is essential. A brand, according to the American Marketing Association, is a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Ranchers put a hot iron on their cattle to affix a unique symbol—their brand. From a marketing perspective, the idea of a brand is much broader. Your brand is your identity and is the underpinning of your business. Creating Your Online Brand Recognize That a Brand Means Money A brand is a type of intellectual property that can have significant [...]
Creating a business name is one of the most exciting and important startup tasks that entrepreneurs must tackle. The name you choose for your business will serve to distinguish you from your competitors and give customers insight into the experience they will have with your company. You will want to get it right and follow the necessary steps to ensure you have legal rights to use your name before you start publishing it on all of your documentation and marketing materials. Tips to Help You Create and Protect Your Business Name 1. Consider the Brand Personality You Want [...]
As an entrepreneur, my business name is my greatest asset. I have invested countless hours promoting my business. I have untold articles hoping people respond favorably when they hear the word "CorpNet." I have traveled across the United States, away from my husband and children, promoting my business name and its products and services. Thus, preventing others from using or "stealing" my brand name is of utmost importance to me. And, the quest to protect a business name should be important to you. Registering a Business Name Offers No Protection After speaking with several other entrepreneurs, I have [...]
One of the key steps to starting a new company is creating a strong small business brand. Do it right, and you’ll have a memorable brand that customers line up to do business with. How can you get your brand off on the right foot? Here are 10 steps to creating a business brand. 1. Understand the basics of a small business brand To craft your brand message, start by asking yourself (and answering) these questions: What does your company do? Can you distill that down to a few sentences or bullet points? Why does your company do [...]
The name you choose for your business will be one of your most powerful and valuable assets. As one of the primary ways customers distinguish you from your competitors, your business name wields a lot of power. The right name can help propel you to success; the wrong name can put you at a disadvantage. Besides choosing a business name that: Projects how you want people to view your business (e.g., edgy, professional, high-tech, academic, approachable, etc.) Makes it easy for customers to identify what you do. Is simple enough to be memorable. I encourage you to have [...]
With a passion for helping entrepreneurs work toward fulfilling their dreams, it thrills me to welcome you to join the new Business Startup Experts group that I’ve started on Facebook. Its purpose is simple: To serve as a hub for startup experts of all types to exchange knowledge with one another and with new business owners. I invite anyone who either has or is looking for insight on starting and growing a business. The following types of professionals and many others will find it an engaging place to showcase their expertise and make valuable connections: Accountants Business coaches [...]
You’ve developed an attention-getting business name and a logo that reflects it—and trademarked them, of course! Now how do you use these elements to brand your business? When you start a business, first, it's important to understand what branding is. Often misunderstood, branding is different than marketing or advertising, but marketing and advertising are used to brand a business. Confused? Think of your brand as the "personality" of your business—the feeling you want prospective customers to have when they think about your products and services. Your brand might be homespun or sophisticated, all-American or exotic, cutting-edge or retro.
As of September 30th, there will only be about 90 days left in the year and Q4 will be a reality. Rather than worrying about what you haven’t done, take time right now to research, prepare, and launch your Q4 marketing. So what do retailers need to be doing now to be ready for Q4? Here are 11 things you can do to to get your business ready:
You probably didn’t come up with the perfect business or product name overnight. Most likely, you brainstormed. You sought the advice of colleagues and friends. You tested out a few options, and checked what domain names were available. In short, you’ve invested a lot of time to create and build the brand. How well are you protecting this valuable asset? Do you know if you’re legally allowed to use the name you picked, and what will prevent someone else from using the same name? Whether you just launched a business, have been running one for years, or are [...]
Starting a business can be an exhilarating time, where everything seems full of potential and purpose. But amidst the excitement, navigating the logistics of launching a business can be daunting for the first-time entrepreneur.
I fully believe that every entrepreneur has the potential for success. But sometimes, unfortunately, we get in our own way. Here are a few ways you might be limiting yourself from becoming that superstar business owner we all know you can be.
As crowdsourcing evolves, brands are getting more creative about using it as a tool for marketing. For a small fee, businesses can rely on the power of large groups of consumers to make their campaigns successful. By working directly with customers, brands build real audiences for their products, with those audiences likely passing the word to their own friends and family members. Here are a few ways you can utilize the power of crowdsourcing in your own marketing campaigns.
Some husband/wife entrepreneur teams want to kill each other. After all, working together can put a strain on your relationship, as well as not do any favors for your small business. I’m one of the lucky ones who actually thrives in working with my spouse.
6 Things You Should Know About Trademarks
Now that you've started your business blog, it's time for some advanced tactics to attract more readers, beef up your content, and become known as an expert in your industry.
When you get to a point in your business where you need help, you’ll probably come up against the question: what type of help should I hire? Factors like how much help you need, your budget, and the area of specialty you need assistance with will all factor into your decision.
Social media often blurs the lines between personal and professional, and nowhere is this truer than the very public world of Twitter. If you’re like many users, Twitter is a space to connect with friends and develop your online brand.
Have you dreamed about being your own boss? Do you have a passion (maybe writing, cooking, or landscaping) that you’d love to turn into a business? If so, you're one of the fortunate few who has the opportunity to start a business doing something you love. After working with thousands of entrepreneurs over the past decade, I’ve learned some important lessons when it comes to turning a passion into profit:
When you first start a business, it’s tempting to over-diversify in what you sell. A customer suggests you add [product or service somewhat like what you already sell, but not entirely] to your inventory. You think it sounds like a great way to make more money, so you expand your offering.
When I speak with people who are interested in starting a business, one obstacle they often feel they have is that they didn’t go to business school. They believe they’re not qualified to be entrepreneurs without that formal education. While certainly, having a business degree will provide you with knowledge that will make running a business a bit easier, it’s certainly not a requirement to go back to school. In fact, there are some components of starting and running a business that a degree simply can’t teach you.