Tips About Brand Strategies

How To Create A Brand?

There are four effective steps in brand development strategy to create a brand:

  1. Choose the brand name and logo
  2. Establish the brand in the minds of customers
  3. Brand Sponsorship
  4. Develop the brand

What Is Brand Equity?How to create a Brand is no way different from founding your business. It takes time. Gradually you can create Brand Equity. Brand equity is the differential effect when consumers react more favorably to a brand than to a generic or unbranded version of the same product. Whenever we think of buying a smartphone the very first name strikes us is – the iPhone. Ask why? It’s because of comfort and authenticity delivered by iPhone to its users.

Apple throughout their years of research and experience has created a state in our mind of ultimate luxury and comfortability in using their products. There may be a few more similar products of others in line with Apple iPhone and may be superior to that, but the identity of iPhone gives it the edge over others- no matter what the price tag is. This edge is the Brand Equity.

4 Steps of Brand Development Strategy

1. Choose the Brand Name and select the Logo:

While building a brand development strategy name plays a vital role. A good name and style can add positives to a product’s success. It is the most difficult task to start with. Simplicity is the first step. The name should be easy to pronounce, recognize and remember. Moreover, it should suggest something about the product’s benefits and qualities.

Names like Google, Nike, Facebook, Apple, KFC etc. are among the most established brands all over the world. Interesting fact about those names is that they are easily translatable in different languages around the world. Hence the meaning of a particular word should not be something which indicates bad, wrong or negative.

Again the name should be extendable to cover up multiple product lines. For example, Amazon.com started its business with bookselling and now has been extended to multiple product categories.

Once chosen, the brand name should also be protected. Means in many instances brand names were eventually mixed up with the product category and people cannot differentiate the brand identity from the product category.

For example, Xerox is a company builds copier machines, but doing a photocopy is often termed as doing xerox.’Xerox’ is to be pronounced as a noun and not as a verb. Many people find it hard to distinguish between the product and the service which ultimately hampers the brand name of the Company.

2. Establishing the brand in the minds of customers:

An interesting saying by a marketer- Products are created in the factory, but brands are created in the mind. This can be done in multiple ways- At the basic level, it starts with introducing the target customers the product and its distinguishing characteristics.

Let’s took the example of Amazon’s Kindle- e-book reader. Amazon targets its customers, saying that it’s an e-book reader having a distinguished feature of reading books in a virtual format. In this stage, they are simply introduced with the product and has a very low level of impact.

The more effective way a brand can be positioned by associating its name with desirable benefits. Thus, Kindle is beyond an e-book reader- it is lightweight, on the go dictionary, stores thousands of books which are easy to search, no glare and zero distractions.

The strongest brands go beyond establishing features and benefits in customers’ mind and positions itself on strong values and beliefs, rooted to a deep emotional bonding. Like reading books in Kindle is an absolute pleasure and presents itself as booklover’s new best friend. When placing a brand in human mind, the marketer should establish a mission for the brand and a vision of what the brand must be and do.

3. Brand Sponsorship:

Brand sponsorship can be of three types:

  • Private Brand sponsorship
  • Licensed Brand sponsorship
  • Co-branding

Private Brand Sponsorship:Lots of advertisements and social marketing strategies work behind the big brands to emerge and are termed as National brands. But for smaller Companies, it may not always be possible to endorse brands with a huge out of pocket expenses. In those scenarios, brand sponsorship is very important. As against National or Manufacture’s brands, there are Store brands. In recent decades store brands are gaining more from the market. Here’s why?

Big shopping malls like Big Bazaar, Walmart resale products at significant discount rates especially the generic or no-name brands. They endorse the products citing its advantages or putting side by side comparison with the top brands. The association of the big resellers with less known products works as an aid in uplifting the brand value of the product once termed as ‘no-name’.

Private brand sponsorship is also followed in online shopping too. As we can see small or lesser known mobile manufacturers are recently tying up with Amazon to sell their phones. In fact, this strategy is working great as the ‘no-name’ brands are getting the support of the big brand stores be it online or offline.

Licensed Brand Sponsorship:

In this brand sponsorship, some companies buy the names and symbols of other manufacturers or creators with a fee and endorse its products under such brand name. This is a common thing in the fashion industry like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Armani etc., where the Companies are using the names and initials of well-known fashion innovator. This type of branding turns out as an added fillip but with a pinch in the pocket.

Co-Branding:

Under such a brand sponsorship strategy, to established brand names of different companies are used on the same product. Because each brand dominates in a different category, the combined brands create broader consumer appeal and greater brand equity.

For example, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance where Bajaj is a dominant player in the automobile sector and Allianz is a German financial service major. Now since Bajaj wants an entry in the insurance sector and Allianz wants an entry in the Indian market, they jointly made a brand ‘Bajaj-Allianz’ to reap the fruits of the Indian insurance market.

Co-branding carries some limitations too. Such relationships usually involve complex legal contracts and licenses. Co-branding partners must carefully coordinate their advertising, sales promotion, and other marketing efforts. The onus lies on both the partners to carry the co-brand with trust and dignity.

4. Developing Brands:

To augment the brand equity it is very important to prepare a brand development strategy incommensurate with changing business scenarios. There is no hard and fast rule to dictate over.

Line extensions:

Brands name of a product can be extended to an existing line of products to accredit new forms, colors, sizes, ingredients or flavors of an existing product. However, line extensions involve some risks. An overextended brand name might cause consumer confusion or loss some of its specific meaning.

Brand extensions:

It happens when a current brand name is extended to a new or modified product in a new category. For example, Nestlé’s popular brand of noodles Maagi has been extended to its tomato ketchup, pasta, soup etc. A brand extension gives a new product instant recognition and faster acceptance. But one should be careful while extending brand as it may confuse the image of the main brand.

Multi-Brands:

Multibranding offers a way to establish different features that appeal to different customer segments, lock up more reseller shelf space and capture a larger market share.

For example, a reputed company sells multiple varieties of soft drinks under different brand names. These brands are fighting each other to reign the market and as a result, they individually may have a smaller share of a pie, but as a whole, the Company is dominating the soft drink market. The major drawback here is the individual brands obtain only a small market share and may not be very profitable.

Ideas For Your Booth Design

You don’t have to be an artist to share your concepts with exhibition booth designers. The more you can share with them, the easier it is for them to create something you fall in love with and you are proud to stand behind. When possible, create some sketches, and don’t be intimidated with how they look. The visual aid can allow them to add their creative flare to the mix.

The best exhibition booth designers aren’t going to be outrageously priced. You may be thinking you can’t afford their expertise. You need a remarkable image in place for people to stop in their tracks when they see it. Consulting with possible providers is free, and it can help you to see the true value with what they can bring to your image and the set up you have at the trade show.

Communication

When you work with any exhibition booth designers, the goal is to get the results you want in the least amount of time. However, this only works well if you both communicate efficiently. Make sure you consult with the possible provider early on and get a feel for the connection you have with them. You will have a huge barrier in place if the two of you can’t openly communicate.

Share your feedback about what they have on the table. Don’t accept a concept you aren’t really fond of because you don’t want to hurt their feelings or you want to hurry the process along. What is on display at the trade shows is a solid representation of your business. Make the most of it rather than settling!

Be Patient

The exhibition booth designers may be experts, but they aren’t going to get it all right the first time around. Be patient and give them the time they need to work on it. When they do show you concepts, share what you like and what you don’t. They can go back and make some changes and come back to you again. Each time, it should be moving closer to the finished work.

If you have questions, ask them so you can stay on track and be in the loop. You don’t want to make assumptions or you may become frustrated. Find out what the process will be so you can understand the flow of the project from start to finish. With a projected timeline for the finished work, there should also be milestones within that timeline for you to check what is done.

Keep Moving Forward

To do your part with the time and processing, make sure you are available. Return phone calls in a timely fashion. Carve out time to meet with the exhibition booth designers if they are local to go over what is being modified and to give them your input on the next steps so they can get working on them. If they aren’t local, keep an eye on your email for images to be received.

Start the Process Early

Avoid the stress or feeling backed into a corner by looking at exhibition booth designers early. It will take time for them to schedule your project and to get it done by the time you need it. If they have to rush, it can compromise the value of what they are able to deliver. It also reduces the time you have to ask for any changes to be done. The overall quality of the project is essential.

Finding the best provider of such services is important. In addition to the skills for job, they need to be customer oriented, creative, and willing to give your project the dedication it needs. Find out what others have to say about their business and how they were treated before you hire them.

Create Your Own Private Label

Private label rights products (PLR products) are popularly known as the products that are owned by you though not created by you. Purchasing PL rights from real owner means that at an agreed price you buy products from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and are then free to sell/ promote/ modify/ edit/ or resell those products as they were your own. After selling PLR to someone, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) can no longer claim any differences in opinion that may arise due to product being modified/ sold by a PLR buyer. Intellectual property can also be a part of private labels.

There are various articles available on the Internet informing about the advantages of private labeling, but no one shares the cost of private labeling when import from China, or their own experience about “how to do”.

On this page you will read the top solutions for adding your logo/ label on products coupled with our own experiences. Ultimately, you will learn various ideas about “how to add your own brand on products”.

What is Private Label and its Importance for New Business?

Private label is the pattern or logo on products manufactured by a contractor or third-party manufacturer and then sold under a retailer’s brand. This represents the seller as well as helping in building customer loyalty.

People that are willing to import items from china and then sell them online like Amazon, are advised to:

· Find a good product niche with limited existing competitors

· Choose only quality items from China

· Add your private label on the product, and;

· Start to market that product under your own brand.

The followings are the top solutions and they will also let you know about the estimated cost for every solution in China. After learning these solutions you can stay safe from overcharged rates by Chinese suppliers and also get ideas about how to add private label on your products.

Screen Printing/ Silk Screen

This is one of the most widely used methods for adding a private label on the product as well as packaging. This can be applied to almost every type of material e.g. plastic, glass, stainless steel, rubber,

PPE (personal protective equipment), etc. Screen printing is the cheapest and easiest way to add private label for buyers that are purchasing over 500pcs/item.

If you can buy over 2,000 items, most Chinese factories can offer you free of cost screen printing service. However, some of them may charge you around $50 to $60 fee for creating a printing plate of your logos. You can easily find printing suppliers in China, even if your supplier doesn’t offer printing services.

There is only one drawback of screen printing that it is not suitable for multi-colored patterns. If you are willing to print your gradient color logo on the products, you have to consider thermal transfer or other solutions.

Thermal Transfer

This process is more complicated than screen printing and it requires a temperature of 140 degrees to 180 degrees. It is a little bit more expensive compared to silk printing and also has some restrictions on materials. Thermal transfer is applicable to leather, wood, stainless steel, glass, ABS, PE, PP, and EVA, disposable respirators, etc.

Thermal pattern is the best choice for people having a really fancy pattern with gradient color. The cost of creating a printing plate is around $100, and a printing fee for a 7x7cm size gradient color logo is $0.04.

Laser Engraving/ Laser Printing

Laser engraving or laser printing, gives products a high-quality appearance. Almost every gift store is filled with items that contain laser printed logo.

Usually this method does not has huge MOQ because it does not require any plate. Its rate can vary from supplier to supplier, but for mass production, it can cost you around $0.01-$0.15 per unit, depending on the size and quantity.

Molding

This solution makes your private label in the product mold. This means your logo will be there when the product comes out from the machine. It can be applied to all rubber, reusable half masks, dust masks, coveralls, disposable clothing, metal, or plastic made products.

Although this solution makes your private label looks more natural than printing, but it is a high cost solution because it requires to change the supplier’s mold. The price depends on products, but usually it costs $1,000 to $3,000. Moreover, creating molds requires 15 to 20 days and that is a time taking solution.

Customized Box

This solution works for every product. Undoubtedly it is the most expensive solution amongst other ways, but a nice fancy box can certainly make your product look great. You can add extra value in your product and sell at a higher price.

Since box packaging is a large industry, its price varies from different material, technique and machinery. The cheapest price for a 8″x4″x4″ corrugated case with pattern on it can cost around $0.16 per unit.

Printed Poly Bag

This actually is a type of packaging and also a way to add private labels. Printed poly bag is very simple solution for large quantity goods as compared to other solutions. The printing plate costs around $80/color, and manufacturers usually demand tens of thousands as MOQ.

Hang Tag

This is one of the most economical solutions for private label. Usually it is applied to categories like toys, apparels, tools, fashion, and jewelries, and Handanhy, etc.

Most jewelries and clothes brands select this solution to present their label. These tags are usually made of kraft or ivory cardboard, and sometimes they are even made of plastic or metal. Most people choose “300 gsm ivory cardboard” because that is very economical.

Sticker Label

This is absolutely the simplest, most widely and cheapest solution amongst all. There is almost nothing which cannot be sticker labeled. You can easily find sticker label vendors and the MOQ costs you only $40 to $50 for one design.

Woven Label

Usually woven labels are sewn at the edge of fabric made items such as jeans, hats, bags and shoes, etc. The price of this solution depends on the size and quantities. The MOQ is normally 1,000 pieces with a price around $0.1 per unit.

Machine Embroidery

This solution is applied to items made of cloth like bags, garments, and caps, etc. Machine Embroidery is very durable and a 4x5cm size private label costs around $0.20.

Concluding Remarks

The above mentioned are the best solutions for people that are willing to make their own design, but are unaware of where to start. You can download your favorite elements from the internet or get the help of specialist designers to design your private label.

Why Logo Is Important For Your Business

A picture speaks a thousand words – the idiom is not new to anyone. It is the reality, which most of us deny accepting, but no matter what, you cannot run away from the fact that visual effects leave a monumental impression than the words or saying. Therefore, when it comes to the branding of your company, so, having a logo is important to stand yourself apart from the crowd. It’s an undeniable truth that at some point, we can forget the name of any company, but, we recognize them with their logo. Do you still think it is not worth to invest in? Well, if yes, scroll down and learn the importance of having a logo for your branding, so, you won’t deny investing in it.

  • First Impression: You’ll never get a second chance to make your very first impression, so, you should grab it. A logo will help you leave a first as well as the lasting impression of your brand in the customer’s mind. Without this, you won’t be able to communicate your ownership because it is the only thing that helps your clients understand who you are and what benefits you are trying to offer them.
  • Distinguishes You From The Competition: Well, we all know that, it takes nothing to join the crowd and do what they all are doing, but it takes everything and courage to stand-alone. And if you want to make yourself a brand in the cut-throat competition, you need to get out of the couch and do something that gives your clients a reason to choose you over your competitors. Also, it will help them distinguish you from the competitors.
  • Win Customer Loyalty: Customer loyalty is very much important for your branding, as they are your true asset and having them on your list will reflect the growth of your business. A logo will help you win that faith. It’ll help you stay close to your customers, so, you can understand their needs better and serve them accordingly.

Do you still have any doubt? No, what are you waiting for? Before your competitors take your customers away, go and design a logo for the branding of your business. Confused from where to start and how to start? Hire a professional website designing company that also serve you logo designing and help you create an identity over the internet or intranet. You need to do it correctly with care because your brand image is connected to it.

Trying Making Start Up For First Time

It can be easy to lose sight of the very reasons why you wanted to open your business startup. You can get wrapped up in the day-to-day operations, leaving little time to focus on what makes your business startup standout in the market. Having a strategy in place that allows you to keep you motivated can ensure your business stays on a path of success.

Fall In Love With Your Business

Any business that you invest your heart in soul in should be the great love of your life. You need to nurture it and watch it grow. Having a real passion for what you are doing and the products and services you sell can make your business startup a real labor of love. You should have a real hunger that drives you to do well. Making your business startup idea one that you can stand behind and love to eternity is the first step in achieving success.

If it seems that you are losing that connection with your company and not really feeling the love, take a step back and allow yourself to remember how it all started. This can spark your emotions for your business and allow you to fall back in love with what you are doing. Your passion for your business is often times enough to get you through the challenging times.

Surround Yourself With Good People

From your employees to your professional network, the people that you surround yourself with can have a strong influence on your business startup. These very people can give you new ideas and help educate you on your business’ operations.

Having positive people to lift you up can be a strong motivator and allow you to have someone to bounce thoughts off of when you feel uncertain about a decision. Use your network to gain valuable information and learn from your peers on what mistakes to avoid. They can prove to be a big part of helping you run your business and ensuring it is successful in its endeavors.

Don’t forget your employees; they can be a big part of keeping your focused on your business startup on a daily basis. Good employees will drive your customer service and in turn your revenue. When your employees believe in your business and the vision you have set for it, it makes it that much more important that you deliver now and into the future.

Create A Marketing Strategy

Having a marketing strategy in place to promote your business is necessary to help achieve strong revenues. You should have prepped and planned a strategy that you want to adhere to market your business startup to your customers. It doesn’t have to be a large portion of your budget, but it should include some effort on your part.

Think about where your customers go for their information. Be visible to them and make sure you use every opportunity that is available to you to market your business with both new and existing customers. Try social media, check into local advertising, hold and an event, and use what is available to you to reach your customers and introduce your business’ products and services to the masses.

If you stay aggressive with your marketing plan, you are sure to garner the attention of your current customer base as well as a new group of potential clients. This can bring in more revenue and keep your business startup on a path of success.

Get To Know Your Customers

It is your responsibility as a business startup owner to know everything there is to know about your customers. You should have a strong idea of who they are, what their likes are, and where they are located. When you truly understand your customers, the more effectively you can serve them with your products and services.

While your attention may be turned toward gaining new customers, don’t lose sight of your current clients. They are the bread and butter of your business, and you want to make sure you are not replacing existing customers with new customers at a losing pace. Show your loyal customers how much you appreciate their business. Without them, your business will only see marginal success, and you want to make sure to grow your business startup rather than be stagnate in its approach.

Take Time For You

It may be difficult to imagine, but you need time away from your business startup. You may think that you can’t take time away or that your momentum will crumple without you, but taking a vacation every now and then is one of the best things you can do for your company. When you step away for a moment, you allow yourself the opportunity to recharge and refresh. You’ll be able to see your business in a new light and be surging with motivation when you return.

You’ll be surprised at how much a vacation from your business startup can do for you. You’ll be filled with new ideas and solutions to problems that you previously thought unsolvable. Being able to see your business from a new angle can be just what you need to take it in a new direction, move it forward, or reach to new heights. Your business startup will appreciate the time you took, and you will be ready to take on new challenges with a fury as your drive will be restored and you will feel anew.

Plus, you have good people surrounding you that you can trust to steer the ship when you are away. Rely on your employees and allow them to do what you hired them to do. You’ll be pleasantly pleased with how quick they are to pick up the slack when you are away and the positive results you’ll see upon your return.

Having a strategy in place can ensure your business stays on track and experiences great success now and into the future. It is important to stay focused, think about your customers, and take a break when you need it. By embracing your business startup and trusting in yourself, your business will reach the success that you deserve and have always envisioned.

Understanding Failure On Your Business

A business plan is the blueprint that guides aspiring entrepreneurs as they build their new business ventures. From 2008 – 2010, I taught a 20-week business plan writing course at an SBA-affiliated women’s business development organization. We met for three hours each week and students wrote their plans week by week, guided by the lessons.

When evaluating a business concept, unrealistic expectations or flawed thinking could creep in and undermine the planning. Excitement about the idea might distort one’s ability to see potential obstacles. What follows are scenarios that entrepreneurs-in-the-making should beware.

Unrealistic expectations

While it is sometimes true that using yourself as the ideal customer is a smart idea, since you understand the value and availability of that product or service, you might misinterpret the size of the market and the traction that can be achieved beyond a select group of true believers.

Insufficient information

Confirm the need for your products or services when you research and verify the number of potential customers who have the money and motive to buy from you.

Furthermore, make sure that you understand the buying process. Who green-lights the sale? What is the sweet spot price range? Lastly, where do potential customers obtain these products or services now?

Access to customers

Access to customers is everything and some industries or target customers seem impenetrable. You may identify the right customers, understand how your products or services fit their needs and know how to price and deliver. But if potential customers do not have the confidence to work with you because you lack an endorsement from a trusted source, you’ll starve.

Overestimating cash-flow

Usually, businesses won’t achieve desirable gross sales and or show a net profit in the first year of operations. Businesses that require high start-up costs especially will require long ramping-up periods. The business plan must acknowledge the potential for negative cash-flow and demonstrate how fixed and variable expenses will be met during that time. One must know how inventory will be financed, payroll will be met and office rent will be paid.

When writing your business plan, conservative financial projections are strongly advised. Customer acquisition may take longer than expected and the size of their purchases may initially be small. Moreover, it’s possible for a venture to be profitable on paper and still suffer from cash-flow problems, if customers do not pay on time.

Underestimating start-up costs

Developing a reasonable estimate of how much it will cost to get the venture up and running is essential. You must be prepared to meet the cost of all permits, equipment, inventory and staffing necessary to conduct business. If you plan to hire employees, it’s important to have a good idea of your minimum staffing needs up front (you can hire more as revenues increase).

“Magical thinking” business model

The business model illustrates how your venture will become profitable. Well thought-out interactions between marketing, financial and operations processes will promote and sustain profitability and you must map out how these will occur. The business model describes the core functions of the venture.

Likewise, the value proposition of your products or services must be articulated. The overall marketing strategy and selected tactics and resources that will promote the value proposition—intellectual property, patent rights, key relationships, or capital—will be accounted for. Sales distribution channels will be detailed.

Getting to Plan B (2009), by Randy Komisar and John Mullins, details the key business model components and advises business plan writers to segment their models into sub-headings:

  • The Revenue Model, to describe what you’ll sell, your marketing plans and how you expect to generate revenue
  • The Operating Model, to detail where you’ll do business and how day-to-day operations will function
  • The Working Capital model, meaning the business cash-flow requirements. Understanding cash-flow helps you know when money will be available to meet expenses like rent and payroll (it is distinct from revenue). A business can generate adequate revenue (sales) and still suffer from cash-flow problems.

Your business model will keep you organized and your priorities realistic. Matters such as quality control, collecting accounts receivable, inventory management and identifying strategic partners will mean much more than your number of Facebook followers, for example. Best of luck to you and your new business!

Reason You Need Blueprint On Your Business

Businesses, like buildings, require a blueprint or a design plan. Could you just start building and putting up walls? Sure, you can start enthusiastically and creatively, but there will come a point where parts aren’t coming together as they should and your efforts begin to feel unproductive, confused or even wasted.

Entrepreneurs begin businesses in many ways based on their personalities and belief systems. Some need detailed, well researched plans. Others jump in, get clients and are rolling before they’ve even decided what business they choose to be in. Then there is everyone in between.

For some, planning dampens their enthusiasm, for others, it’s an absolute necessity. Regardless, the planning process itself is a great exercise, pushing the business owner to develop clarity and goals in key areas.

Where it gets interesting in my opinion, is after the plan is finished. How is it used? Is it used at all? Does it prove to be a guiding light or a rigid limiter?

For one to adhere to very detailed plans, the business owner, the organization and the plan have to be well aligned. The plan should be reviewed and revised regularly, quarterly or monthly, so that congruency remains intact.

For the non-planner types, a business blueprint provides vision, structure and general form. It’s a useful framework, providing structure, direction and purpose, while leaving plenty of room to shift and create over time.

Here are some key components of a business blueprint that can serve as the foundation for your developing business:

1. Your Vision – There is something you envision when you go into business. Capture that vision on paper. Why are you driven to be in business at all? Who do you serve and how? At its future best, what does it all look like as it plays out?

Specificity in your vision is key. This is the “down the road” snapshot that you hold in your mind as the prize. The plan is designed to help you reach this vision, so the clearer the vision, the more helpful the plan.

2. The Why – Document and regularly remind yourself of why this vision matters to you. Your “big why” is any reason you have that is meaningful enough to drive you through challenges and difficult times. Identify your most significant reasons for being in business and remind yourself of why you are willing to do what it takes to recommit each day.

3. Unique Brilliance – Your unique brilliance is that special life force that you bring to your business that makes it authentically you and gives it power. If you examine what you have always loved (from childhood), attach words or qualities to it, you have something truly special that brands and differentiates your business because of the qualities you bring.

Your brilliance isn’t a technique or skill, it’s a talent that emanates from you and permeates your work. For example, a unique brilliance statement might be: “I spark innovation.” Keep it simple yet powerful. Think of Walt Disney. I believe his childlike imagination was his unique brilliance, and look how that played out.

4. A Stand – What is an overarching principle of your business? Are you taking a stand for something in your business that transcends the products and services? State what you stand for that is expressed through your business. For example, “I am a stand for people communicating effectively to make the world a more harmonious place.”

5. Expertise – What are you an expert at? This is still aimed at the business owner, but is more related to the work he/she is doing. What expertise do you have (and should your team have) that will drive the business forward. An example might be, “I am an expert at making people beautiful.” This expertise will be used in the business and in the branding.

6. Brand Values – Identify the brand promise you are making to the market you serve. This is the promise of an experience they can expect to have when working with you regardless of the product or service. What values are necessary to provide that consistent experience? As an example, consider Four Seasons Hotels and the experience you have there whether you stay in a suite or just have dinner in the bar.

7. Target Niche – Who specifically is your ideal customer? Choose as narrow a niche as you can so your marketing can be very targeted and specific. This is not intended to turn people away, but to give you as clear a picture as you can get of the client or customer who is best served by what you have to offer and your expertise. These are the people you need to speak to in your messaging as they will be most willing to engage.

8. Products/Services – Define and describe exactly what you are offering to your niche audience. What products or service does your business provide and why? What is the intention for each one? What results should customers expect from what you offer? What differentiates your products and services from similar ones on the market?

9. Marketing and Sales – Provide details of how you will market your products and services and what your sales process will look like. Regular attention should be paid to the optimal ways of reaching your audience and turning them into paying customers. Identify mechanisms for tracking what works and what doesn’t. Great communication and consistent branding is key here.

10. Delivery System – How will customers receive the products or services being offered? From beginning to end, there is benefit to designing and implementing good systems for efficient and high quality product/service delivery. Consider detailing this out for every category of service or product.

11. Operations – What are the front and back office activities that make the organization work seamlessly and efficiently? Who are the players? There is a flow of production, communication, information, transaction, and follow up that happens in every business. Design the best operational systems for each area of your business and document the desired flow and the team necessary to make it work.

12. Pricing – Identify pricing structures for your goods and services that cover costs and provide reasonable profit margins. This requires that you do your research into the cost structure of your business in all areas, as well as gaining an understanding of the range of comparable pricing in the marketplace.

13. Financial Goals/Tracking – Every business must have financial goals to strive for and ways of tracking key financial targets. Identify five to ten key revenue drivers and set up tracking and reporting mechanisms to see where you are headed and if your strategies are yielding results.

14. Personnel/Team – Whatever your current size, plan how your organizational chart will look when you reach your goals. In your future vision, how many people are working in the organization and in what capacities? Assign a value to your time as the business owner. If you can hire someone for less than the value of your time, you want to work to that end. Continue that analysis throughout the organization. Prioritize future hires, and plan how delegation can take the business to new levels of growth.

A plan, written in this manner, will automatically combine critical mindset pieces with more practical business strategies. This gives you a solid foundation from which to ramp up. It’s your best shot at building a solid, sustainable business. At that point, you will be rewarded with the opportunity to add those creative details not shown on the blueprint.

The Key For Successful Business

Money can’t buy us happiness, nor poverty can. So it’s crucial to earn money even if you are not inclined towards being a rich person. As grown-ups, we all think to make money. Some opt for jobs, while rest try to do business. Jobs are easier, have fixed monthly income with predefined office timings. No headaches as such. So why people turn towards doing business?

Broadly there are two categories of people who start a business viz.

  • Not interested in doing job
  • Want to do something of their own

People of both categories initialize a start-up business at some time in their life. But, do you know that 8 out of 10 businesses fail in their first 18 months. They fail because most of the businesses are fueled mainly by money. When the money runs out, the business takes its own course and lead to failure.

Business is loosely defined as busy+ness. If you know your product and do improvisations in your product, you are going in the right direction. This article deals with three basics of business, hierarchically. If you follow these basics, a successful business is guaranteed.

  1. Product
    Are you completely aware of the product you are doing the business of? Are you proud of your product? If you are one of the persons who thinks that his/her employees will do all the work and he/she will enjoy the profit, then it will not work in the long run. Most of the big businesses today, started in a backyard with enthusiasts about that product. They succeeded because they loved what they were making, they were proud of what they were doing. You need to be passionate about the product you are doing the business of, and it should be something original. If you want to start a business and still don’t know what to do, then find your passions and you will find the product. A good product can never be denied by a market. Everyone likes to have good things.
  2. Packaging
    A market behaves like a herd. Once a product has been seen as a garbage, it takes a huge amount of time, money and tactics to re-establish itself. Don’t let your that awesome product be seen as a garbage, just because it does not have a beautiful clothing. Give it your best or hire someone who can help you with that. Packaging is how you present your creation. You definitely do not want it to be seen as a garbage.
  3. Marketing
    This is the easiest part of any business. Today in the era of the internet this part has become quite easier. Almost 25% of total money for marketing of various businesses is spent on internet. Your that awesome product and its beautiful packaging will go in vain if no one knows about your product.

Tricks To Try New Business

Keeping up with all of the new tools promising to make our business lives better, more successful, easier, and do it all or less than the other guy’s new thing is impossible. I Googled “new tools for business” and the G-ster returned 863,000,000 entries. Now let’s say that 99% of those are not high quality offers, not from a reliable resource, or simply not a match to my needs. The remaining 1% is many thousands more than I care to read.

My search was not specific enough it’s true, just like most days in the life of an entrepreneur. Most days we don’t go looking for a new app or platform, but between emails from people I like suggesting their favorites, FB ads, and promotional emails from partners; stuff finds us, right?

You know how you go to a new store for one thing and you end up with a cart full of things you didn’t know you “needed?”

Since part of my job is to stay on top of what makes business and marketing more effective and easier, down the rabbit holes of research I go so I can recommend and be up to date on what’s worthwhile.

One of the downsides of research as you probably know is that it is a bottomless pit into which we gladly throw our time. Not only does it serve to educate and entertain us it is an important diversion from the work we don’t like to do.

I wish I were kidding and you know exactly what I mean.

Back to the subject at hand. There are times when a promo for a tool or new software wasn’t something we were actively looking for but does remind us of a problem we have that we’ve been meaning to do something about. Taking out the credit card could be warranted and a smart idea sometimes and others where you are advised to step away from the buy button.

Here are a few questions to ask before you click “buy now.”

  1. What problem are you looking to solve?
  2. Is this the right tool for the job?
  3. Is buying a tool the right answer or is it time to hire a human?
  4. What is the ROI you want from your investment?
  5. Is it the right expense right now?

Question 1 is the most important thing to get clear on, and the trickster of retail therapy wants you to get it wrong. Let’s say you get a promo for social media scheduling software and you think “This is it. I’m going to finally get out there and be consistent with my social marketing.” Not so fast. Platforms like Hootsuite, Social Queue, Buffer, and the rest are only as good at getting you consistent as you are with filling the pipeline. If you aren’t willing to invest an hour or two per week to load the system up, you’ll be paying for something you don’t use.The question of the right tool can be simplified by knowing how you like to work. I need an interface that’s pleasing and easy to navigate. Drag and drop suits me fine and I need direction. (This is why I cannot for the life of me figure out Asana.) Customer service is also high on my list of requirements. Do you care if you only get email support within 48 hours, or do you at least want chat at least during business hours?

The answer to #3 might just be a person. It will probably cost you more money, but money shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when you make business decisions. Is the thing you “don’t have” the money for the thing that will allow you to get more clients or do something in half the time? Never make a decision only based on money.

#4 – Will investing in this tool pay you back so the expense is warranted? You have to think about your return on investment whether you are investing money or time in every aspect of running your business. If the software costs you $20 a month but it gets you 5 new leads or saves you 5 hours because you are automating, that’s great ROI.

And finally, is this expense – even if it’s “only” $20/month – the right one right now, or do you need to conserve cash for something down the road with a bigger impact? Resources are precious in our businesses and we can always find a way to spend them. Weigh every expense against the long-term goals you have.

There is no way to keep up with all the cool new apps, software, and platforms that promise to help us be seen. And many of them offer a free trial or don’t have yearly contracts so you can test them with little out of pocket. Before you even start trying things, get clear on the problem that needs solving. There is no use playing with social scheduling software if you have a bookkeeping problem. And, no reason to play with a tool that requires time you don’t have to get the desired result.

Do some homework around your pain points and plans for your business before setting off down that rabbit hole of research and I promise you’ll have more time for the things you love about your business – and some left over for that stuff you don’t.

Between Profit And Small Business

What was the most recent net profit margin of your business? Were revenue and profit projections achieved? Is your venture comfortably able to manage its accounts payable? Were you, the owner, able to provide comprehensive medical and dental insurance to yourself and any employees? Were you able to substantively fund your retirement account last year? Were you able to afford a vacation?

If the answer to two or more of those questions is no, I respectfully suggest that you evaluate the future viability of your enterprise. More than a business model tweak or a pivot, you may need to explore another kind of business altogether, one with greater profit-making potential.

Take heed—Sageworks, a financial data services company located in Raleigh, NC, analyzed the net profit margins of 16,000 small businesses that earned less than $5 million between October 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017. The average net profit across all industries in that time period was 8.4 %.

Note that the list of top performers consists almost entirely of Solopreneur-friendly service industries. Despite the challenges of selling services, especially intangible services, to either B2B or B2C clients, Sagework’s list demonstrates that it is possible to make money as a self-employed service provider.

Some industries are more Soloprenuer-friendly than others. Accountants and bookkeepers, real estate sellers, attorneys, landlords and certain healthcare practitioners are all able to operate a one-person shop quite well, perhaps with a single employee to provide administrative help.

Educational requirements and professional credentials pose a formidable barrier to entry for several of these high-yield business opportunities, most notably dentistry, chiropractic, law and accounting (CPA or certified financial analyst). In contrast, real estate sales requires only a license to do business, the right relationships and no real selling skills if you are in a hot market. If someone with a broker’s license brings you into the business, you can work under the umbrella of that person’s credentials.

I look askance at the stated prospects for attorneys, however. There have been many mergers between big law firms and as a result, many lay-offs. From a former employee of a very prestigious law firm who was let go six or seven years ago and eventually started her own boutique firm, those who venture out on their own can encounter stiff competition in certain legal specialties. Welcome to the new normal. Below are the small businesses that on average have the healthiest profit margins.

Business Net profit margin

Accounting / Bookkeeping 18.4%a

Landlords 17.9 %

Legal services 17.4 %

Management of companies 16.0 %

Real estate sales 14.9 %

Dentist’s office 14.8 %

Health practitioners (chiropractors, etc) 13.0 %

Medical & diagnostic laboratories 12.1 %

Automotive equipment rental or leasing 12.0 %

Graphic and industrial design 11.4%

Warehousing & storage 11.0 %

Management, scientific, or technical consulting 10.3 %