TSBSE logo

The Small Biz Success Express

How to Create a Powerful Corporate Brand

By Susan Friesen

It's a content war out there--only the strongest brands win. Here's how to join the mighty. Branding your business is one of the most important steps in building a company. It gives your company a unique personality, and establishes a differentiated position in the market that attracts the right customers.

4 Questions to Ask When Creating a Brand for Your Small Business

Whether it’s a large corporation or a small business, branding is one of the most important aspects of marketing.

Your brand differentiates you from your competitors, and it tells your customers what they can expect from you.

According to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. Corporate branding is one of the best ways to build and keep your customers’ trust.

Not only that, but proper business branding can also lead to an increase in sales, word-of-mouth referrals and advocacy for what you’re selling.

Here are 4 questions to ask and answer as you’re creating a brand:

1. Who Are You? - You can’t be everything to everyone. As you grow your corporate brand, you need to whittle down who your target customers are.

If your customers know you for your low-cost products, your brand message and brand strategy will reflect that. If your customers perceive your company as innovative and cutting-edge, be that to them.

Let’s use an example. A relationship therapist who offers marriage counselling will focus on brand development strategies to appeal to a target audience of married couples, not troubled teens or bereaved pet owners.

2. What’s Your Mission Statement? - One of the first elements of creating a brand is defining your mission statement. Your mission statement is related to what your company is most passionate about.

Some of the questions you can ask in this business branding exercise include:
• Why are you in business?
• What do you want for your customers?
• How do you differ from your competitors?
• Where do you see your company going in the future?
• What underlying philosophies or values do you have around your business?

Take a look at Nike’s mission statement. While you may be most familiar with their “Just Do It” tagline, here’s their mission statement. "Bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world".

Your mission statement will influence everything from your tagline and logo to your tone of voice.

3. What’s Your Brand Message? - When you’re creating a brand, it’s important to start with your brand message. Your brand message can be boiled down to your value proposition and the tone of your content

Brand messaging is what inspires and persuades buyers to buy your product or service.

MailChimp has a simple, three-word brand message: Send better email. It’s direct and tells you exactly what you can expect if they use their service.

Let’s use the relationship therapist as an example again. He or she might create a brand message that’s bold and direct: Save your marriage. Or, he or she might focus on compassion and listening, and create a brand message around that: I’m here for both of you.

4. What’s Your Brand Strategy? - Your brand strategy refers to how, what where, when and to whom you deliver on your brand messages.

First, you need to determine your overall goals when it comes to your corporate branding. Are you trying to reach a new audience or steal market share from a competitor?

Included in your long-term brand strategy may be:
• What you communicate, such as your logo, tagline and language in website copy
• Where you advertise. Do you use Google AdWords, social media marketing, brochures, bus shelter ads…
• How you’ll reach customers, whether it’s weekly emails advertising sales or seasonal contests to keep them engaged with your brand

Corporate branding is a process.

It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight, or even in a few months. However, the ongoing effort can result in better relationships with your customers, increased leads and sales, and more trust in your product or service.

It can be very challenging to focus on brand development strategies on your ownComputer Technology Articles, and the risk of not doing it correctly can be devastating to your business.

Article Source: http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/business/how-to-create-a-powerful-corporate-brand.html

How to Make the Right First Impression with Your Homepage Headline

By Susan Friesen

Headlines are the single most important factor when creating great content. Why? Because headlines determine whether or not your target audience is going to read your article. A headline is the only impression you can make on an Internet surfer that can turn them into a potential reader. This is why it is so critical to create headlines that will grab the attention of the audience you are trying to reach.

A new website user needs to know they’re at the right place, right away!

Earning a new lead is great, and for many small business owners, every site visit makes a big difference.

If your website’s home page doesn’t convey what you’re all about right away and assures the user they’re at a site relevant to their intentions, you risk that lead bouncing to your competitors.

What do you need to effectively show a user they’re at the right website?

The perfect headline.

Is your website continually converting visitors into leads?

The perfect headline might not seem like a big deal but without the right one in place, this can lead to a user instantly clicking back or visiting another website.

Your headline needs to be clear, encompass what you provide, and how you differentiate yourself from your competition.

Have you had any professional search engine optimization done? If you have, you’re ahead of the game. But if you haven’t then it’s time to brainstorm!

SEO is when you are trying to rank for terms related to what you do in Google’s search engine results. These should be intuitive terms vetted to see if they align with how users see your product or service.

Whoever provided you with keyword goals will have checked to see if those terms are searched a lot and provide you with a list.

Don’t use the terms targeting deep pages. Look at what your overall goals are to see what phrase(s) you should include. If you’re trying to rank for 1 specific phrase above all else, then ensure you include those phrases in your headline.

Without those key phrase goals, it’s up to you to assess what best describes what you provide and why a user should commit to your business.

For example, if you’re a lawyer you know where to start. You will want to make sure your headline includes that you’re a lawyer.

Now look at the specifics of what kind of law you practice and what differentiates you from the competition.

If you’re an intellectual property law firm who have been practicing for a long time, you can put together your headline fairly easily: Example & Example - Intellectual Property Law Since 1966.

Not a lawyer? Not a problem.

Another example would be a professional speaker. What makes you valuable?

If someone asked you plainly why they should hire you, what would you say?

If you’re a great morale builder and team motivator, you could try: Example Name Corporate Speaking – Energizing Businesses to Build Their Own Success.

In both examples we state what the business is and its unique selling position.

If you were a completely new user and had found either website through an organic search in Google or via an ad or social media postFeature Articles, you would know everything you need right away about whether or not you should proceed further into the website.

Don’t treat this lightly!

Take some time and adopt the user’s perspective when evaluating what language to use.

The golden rule is you have 3 - 5 seconds to grab your user’s attention or they’ll bounce. Websites are all about the user experience so don’t start yours with the wrong message.

Article Source: http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/marketing/how-to-make-the-right-first-impression-with-your-homepage-headline.html

7 Keys to Sticking to Your Goals and Achieving Anything

By Susan Friesen

Change is the hardest aspect of your business. If your mindset is rigid, you might not be able to keep up with the latest trends. Even though trends are not always worthy of any change, you should be aware of these new aspects in the business world. It is best if you work in your business and get a professional resource to work on your business but you may not have the finances for such an endeavor. If you are aware of your goals and needs, you can acquire the tools or resources to evolve with any changes necessary.

Change is hard. That's why there aren't thousands of self-help books telling people the secrets to change.

But why is change so difficult and what can you do to make it easier?

Here are seven tips to keep you inspired and moving forward towards your goals.

1. Create a New Belief
Before you see change in your outer world, you need to start with change in your inner world. Who do you need to be and what do you need to believe about yourself to make this goal happen?

Create an affirmation around the positive change you want to see. Here are some examples:
- I AM making a difference in the lives of 1000’s of people across the world.
- I AM a sought-after (fill in the blank) and thought-leader.
Say your affirmations in the morning and at night and watch the transformation take place!

2. Break Big Goals into Smaller Achievable Steps
While it's great to have crazy big goals it can also leave you frustrated.

That's why it's important to break your goals down into smaller bite-sized actions. Smaller goals will give you a sense of progress and being achievable which keeps you motivated.

Break them down into tasks with a time frame. That way you can check them off as you complete each task and feel more accomplished.

3. Schedule Time to Work on Goals
If your goals are your top priority it only makes sense to schedule time on your calendar dedicated to achieving them.

I know you must work IN your business, but reaching goals means time is needed to work ON your business. Block out time to work solely on tasks that help you achieve your goal.

Guard that time carefully. Success requires dedicated time to put yourself first.

4. Get Support
Have someone to be your cheerleader who can keep you focused and on track. Join an online support group. Hire a coach or mentor. Tell your best friend or spouse what you intend to do.

Support will hold you accountable, keep you motivated, and help you when you feel stuck.

If you are putting in hard work remember to acknowledge your efforts and progress. Find an exciting way to reward yourself when you reach certain benchmarks.

Do you want a pedicure? Want a movie night? What about treating yourself to a nice massage? Find a reward that truly motivates you to put in the work and make it happen.

6. Visualize Your Goal-Completed Rewards
Many athletes will tell you the secret to winning the game or achieving that record is to visualize them accomplishing it first.

When you see yourself achieving the goal in your mind it puts the power of your subconscious to work for you. You'll spot the resources and opportunities that are available to support you.

Seeing it in your mind first is believing. Once you own that vision of your success you are half way there to achieving it.

7. Gear Up
Get the tools, support and information you need to complete your goal.

Do you need to get your business branding done or a new website built? Should you hire a new team member?

Whatever your goal is there is a book you can read, a course you can take, or someone you can talk to that will enable you to move you forward. Invest in what you need to make it happen.

Whatever goals you have set for the new yearComputer Technology Articles, I wish you the greatest of success in creating a work and life you love!

Article Source: http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/business/7-keys-to-sticking-to-your-goals-and-achieving-anything.html

Is Your Business a Labor of Love?

By Ursula Jorch

We certainly think of business as labor, but love? It’s worth considering, for the many improvements it makes in your business.

Love and business? What the…uh, heck?

We don’t often talk about love and business together. The labor part, sure… but love?

Love is not only part of your business, it’s literally and figuratively at the heart of it.

The truth is, love is sweet labor. When you choose to dedicate yourself to your business, that’s an act of love. When you serve your clients – oh! – there it is again, love in action. The same is true for every aspect of your business.

Love only for yourself, whether it’s a sole profit focus or your attitude toward your clients, team members and others, is a kind of narcissism.

Love only for others is ineffective, because you cannot truly love unless you have love for yourself too. You require too much of them. And you burn out.

So both are needed.

Love is a choice we make over and over again. The choice to persist, to move through challenges, to have more clients, to grow your team. Love.

Make no mistake. Labor is involved. But labors of love deliver us, they transform us. And they have impact.

In this time of great transition, your love has more impact than ever. In your business as elsewherePsychology Articles, it’s a labor of love.

Article Source: http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/business/is-your-business-a-labor-of-love.html

Common Pitfalls of New Entrepreneurs

By George Katsudas

Although starting a small business is a new exciting step for every new business owner, it can also be an overwhelming and stressful experience. New business owners face many new challengers in the first years of owning a business, and it is not surprising that many businesses fail during this initial period.

As a new entrepreneur, it is important to take a proactive approach to prevent the potential pitfalls to increase your chances of success. Aside from not knowing how taxation works, there are other common mistakes that can lead to failure of your small business.

Here are some of the most common pitfalls to avoid as a new business owner:

#1 - Poor Planning Strategy
When starting a business, it is crucial to understand the importance of a business plan and how it can contribute to the success of your business. Without having one, you may just find yourself shooting blindly in the dark. It is essential to clearly establish your business' vision and mission. It is also important to establish a detailed analysis of specific aspects of your business, such as your financial map (this should contain your budget, employee salary and other expenses).y
Due to the lack of proper planning and preparation, some small businesses eventually fail as early as the first few months.

#2 - Inadequate Funds
One of the biggest financial mistakes you can make as a business owner, is establishing your business while not having adequate funding. Since a newly-opened business will not immediately bring in profit, money will be a necessity to support its daily operations. As a business owner, you will incur significant costs when paying for the necessary licenses and permits, equipment, supplies, employee salaries, and legal fees and taxes. Not having enough start-up funding is one of the most common reasons half of all start-up businesses fail in the first five years.
To ensure the success of your business, make sure that you have enough funds that can act as a support system when your business is at its weakest point. Thus, prior to starting your dream business, it is advisable to assess your needs and secure an adequate amount of cash that will be able to keep your business running until it's already providing you with stable ROI.

#3 - Ineffective Marketing or Promotion
In today’s fast-paced market, it is essential to keep up with the competition to avoid failure. Thus, developing an effective marketing strategy is necessary to run a successful business. With the recent advances in technology and social media which provide effective marketing platforms, successful marketing campaigns can be launched even on a small budget. Creating a good marketing strategy will help your business reach its target audience and cater to your customers’ needs.

Starting a new business is full of surprises. As a new entrepreneur, it is important to be aware of the peaks and troughs of the process to increase your chances of success.

Article Source: http://www.articlebiz.com/article/1051650045-1-common-pitfalls-of-new-entrepreneurs/

The 4 Most Impactful Business Tips for Women Entrepreneurs!

By Jason Hopkin

There are a number of reasons why entrepreneurship is a popular choice. From being your personal boss to having open hours to name a few. It's no surprise that more and more people have selected to start their own firms, most notably women. Research data indicates that an increasing number of women have joined the business world, but notwithstanding the shift in thinking, women still must face distinct challenges. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that women can't overcome those obstacles and grow to become a success.

Managing a business, regardless of size, has its challenges. Listed underneath are some impactful business tips for women entrepreneurs that can make all the difference between success or failure:

1. Don’t forget about social media
There may be no denying that social media has become essential for every business plan. Whether it's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, the truth is that every network has validated to be an awesome conduit and has supplied tremendous benefits for businesses when it comes to increasing third-party endorsements, improved sales, and added exposure. There are now a number of free online social media course designed to aid women entrepreneurs build their businesses. Sites like Udemy, Khan Academy, and Cousera.

2. Make use of your networks
Being an entrepreneur comes with a variety of stressors because of which women entrepreneurs need to use their local community networks to form dependable support systems. It can be immensely beneficial to have a mentor or peer who is familiar with what you are coping with and can be a useful resource in navigating any difficulties you may encounter. You may join industry groups for creating a private network of experienced guides and the experts in those companies can be fantastic soundboards for real-world dilemmas, frustrations in addition to new ideas.
Your network also can help discover specialists you can rely on to help create your business. As an example, in the event that you connect with a business attorney, they may be extraordinarily beneficial in taking care of all of your startup documentation. Here's a helpful web page for business advice and establishing a community: Score.org.

3. Learn how to delegate
As an entrepreneur, you may feel compelled to take on all duties and micromanage every aspect of your business. This could be very difficult to manage and you may end up making more errors than not. Sure, you want to understand the demands and intricacies of your business, however, you may want to create a work-life balance. This means you want to delegate work to your employees to lighten your load and offset the worries you may have. For this, you need to provide training for your employees and giving them large responsibilities will make them feel like a vital part of your business. Here's a great article on how to delegate your work effectively from Inc.com.

4. Allow your own home life be an inspiration
Sure, plenty of women entrepreneurs are juggling their domestic and work lives, but rather than stressing out because of it, you need to use your house life for inspiration. Managing home life demands of your family, like children and husband, coping with finances, dealing with multiple schedules and a ton of responsibilities is not very different from managing a business. Translate the knowledge you've acquired from managing your family to running your business and you will see undeniable progress. This will allow you to make an easy transition and balance it more seamlessly.

Article Source: http://www.articlebiz.com/article/1051645355-1-the-4-most-impactful-business-tips-for-women-entrepreneurs/