Starting a Business

Blog Your Way to Brand Recognition and Business Growth

How do you plan to build your brand and grow your business? The answer is at your fingertips! If your plan includes positioning yourself as an expert in your field—use your blog. If it includes improving your search engine ranking—use your blog. If it includes increasing traffic to your website—use your blog. If it includes engaging your readers with free gifts or special member-only offers—you get the idea—use your blog! Your blog offers you a platform and opportunity to do all of the above because it is a your narrative, your “brand.” The wisdom you share positions you as an expert in your field while it improves your search engine ranking because you are adding content. Compelling content drives traffic to your website to learn more. And free gifts and special offers  provide that something extra to increase reader engagement. Following are 4 best practices to keep in mind [...]

A Short & Simple Survey

A SHORT & SIMPLE SURVEY TO REFINE YOUR MISSION AND MESSAGING In order to present your business professionally to your ideal clients, you have to know them well. Without knowledge of their pain points, your marketing and promotional efforts will miss the mark. How well do you know your ideal clients? Can you state their pain points? Can you reassure them that your unique product or service, combined with your background and experience, can solve them? If you answered no (or you’re not sure) it is time for you to embrace research. Research is not difficult to do but it may push you outside your comfort zone. Follow the simple process outlined below, starting with people you know. This will help you push through your reluctance to Reap the Rewards of Research. Start with people you know. Send an email requesting an interview. Call them at the appointed time [...]

By |2020-02-24T19:08:26-07:00October 15th, 2019|Presenting a Business Professionally, Starting a Business|

Style Guide

An Essential Element For A Consistent And Professional Presentation Of Your Business Did you work with a design professional to create a logo and build a brand for your business? If you did, the design professional should have provided you with a Style Guide or Style Sheet. This document may also referred to as a Graphic Standards Guide. Regardless of what you call it, the purpose is twofold. First, it ensures that your business presentation is consistent everywhere. It shouldn’t make a difference if someone connects with your business on-line via your website or Facebook page, or in person when you hand them your business card. The presentation should look the same. Consistency is not boring, it builds credibility! Second, it saves you time. There is no need to start from scratch each time you undertake a new promotional or marketing activity. Rather than searching for typefaces, colors, and [...]

By |2019-09-09T15:05:09-06:00September 10th, 2019|Starting a Business|

Stretching into New Ways to Market Your Businesses

The Dog Days of Summer-Stretching into New Ways to Market Your Businesses The hot and sultry “dog days” of summer have arrived. My dog, Holly, has the right idea. Stretch out in the sun! Bask in the light. When it gets too hot, retreat to a shady spot to cool off. I find a parallel to my small business in her actions. Do you? In my business, I stretch myself out in search of the hottest new ideas for promotion and growth. After a while, though, I need to retreat to a quiet spot to evaluate them. I’ve learned that: #1) not every new idea that comes down the pike is right for my business, and #2) even if the idea is great, the timing also has to be right. I can't do everything at once! This means the quiet time to process and evaluate ideas is one of [...]

By |2019-08-03T18:37:08-06:00August 20th, 2019|Starting a Business|

Location, Location, Location

Effective Website Design for Small Businesses. For small businesses without store fronts, our websites become our “location,” the place people go to meet us in person. Just like a brick and mortar building, visitors can come in, browse and leave without ever saying a word. How many times have you done that in your life? Walked in, looked around and left? What is it about some businesses that make you want to search out a person to say hello to? Or ask a question instead of leaving quietly and quickly? Did it hinge on finding something that interested you? If we want our ideal clients to stay on our websites, they have to be designed with them in mind! Poor location is a top reason that businesses fail—even businesses that don't have a brick and mortar location! A well designed website essential. Components of a Well Designed Website Would [...]

By |2019-08-07T07:38:19-06:00August 6th, 2019|Starting a Business, Website Design Tips|

Presenting Your New Business Professionally-Part 2

In my last blog, I shared some examples of new businesses that DID NOT present professionally. The question I failed to answer is, “What makes a professional presentation?” To begin, I will go back to my shoe visual. First up, most of us would not appear in public wearing one high heel and one hiking boot. It wouldn’t make sense and we would walk funny! Translate this to our professional presentation—it needs to match. While both high heels and hiking boots are wonderful, they are not wonderful together. Our professional presentation should match across our brand—logo, business card, website, print, events and advertising all need to be consistent and look like they belong to the same business. Second up, most of us would not wear high heels to go bowling. The manager of the bowling alley wouldn’t let us and we’d probably fall down on the slide step when [...]

By |2019-06-13T08:46:06-06:00March 11th, 2019|Starting a Business|

Presenting Your Business Professionally

This is an important moment in an entrepreneur’s journey! You’ve embraced the dream, determined you do want to be a business owner, written a business plan and executed it, and found your way to networking groups. Congratulations! Now it is all about how you present your business so that people hire you. Believe it or not, there is ONE correct approach: Professionally. Exactly what that will look like is a highly individual decision. But presenting your new business professionally is a must. Perhaps you can relate to some of what follows. I have had people hand me their business card and explain that everything on it, with the exception of the cell phone number, is incorrect. I’ve met very compelling people with a great story about their business, but when I visited their website to learn more, it was nothing like them. What they had talked about so passionately [...]

By |2019-02-18T20:01:51-07:00February 18th, 2019|Starting a Business|

The Two Sides of Networking

I started networking for the sole purpose of connecting to clients who need my services. I truly hoped this would be my “easy” button, that embracing networking is all I needed to do to grow my business. While networking hasn’t been an “easy” button that completely supplies all my new clients, it has provided the all important first link: referrals. I’ll write more about referrals in future posts. This week is about the two sides of networking and the one above is the obvious one. Is this the side of networking that appealed to you, too? The other side of networking is the side that connects us to business professionals to hire, to provide expertise that we don’t have. Rather than making money for our business, it is about spending our money. Make no mistake: the professionals we hire to support our business will be among the most important [...]

By |2019-02-18T19:57:20-07:00February 11th, 2019|Starting a Business|

The Importance of Networking

During my dreaming phase of starting a business, this is the part I always skipped over. I knew what I loved to do and how I wanted to use my expertise to help others. I could visualize working with them! But getting from launch (Point A) to working with clients (Point B) was lost in the glow of anticipating how wonderful it would be. I hoped it would be as easy as saying, “Hey, world! Here I am! This is how I can help you!” And the clients would be lining up. It didn’t happen that way. At all. Not even one tiny bit. I had heard of networking but I had a very dim view of it. I assumed it involved being surrounded by strangers in a bar, business cards in hand, unsure how to strike up a conversation. A friend asked if I had ever heard of [...]

By |2019-02-18T19:57:52-07:00February 3rd, 2019|Starting a Business|

Are we there yet?

As I started to write about the Chicken and the Egg, I realized I’d used the wrong metaphor and missed a step. The Chicken and the Egg is about not knowing which came first. When you start a business, what comes first is known. At least it is if you’ve written your business plan! Are we there yet? I remember asking this question hundreds of times on road trips as a little girl. And I’ve come pretty close to that count asking myself, is my business “there yet?” After writing a business plan, I’ve found my answers in it. No, I’m not there yet. But I am getting closer. My business is self-funded so I did not need to apply for a business loan, grant or look for investors. I am home-based so I did not need to look for a store front or office. These two questions [...]

By |2019-02-18T19:58:16-07:00January 28th, 2019|Starting a Business|
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