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Five Ways to Build Your Small Business Brand

What is branding and why is it important to  small   business   growth ? Learn three important elements to building a  small   business  brand.

Branding is the ability of people to associate a business with a word or a few musical notes. The end result is to get customers to take action and choose your business. Corporations spend millions of dollars on building brands, but  small   businesses  can take a lead from them and spend less to build a successful business. Here’s how to build the five key elements of a business brand.

1. Logo – The logo is a graphical representation of your company. A logo can contain a picture or words or a combination of both. The logo must also use color effectively. This could mean using colors to create an emotional response or use the lack of color (using only black and white for stark contrast) with one splotch of color for emphasis.

Suggestion: Keep logos simple. Use color effectively. Use words sparingly. Choose a simple, clean font. Use a contrast of regular fonts mixed with bold fonts for emphasis. Do not make your tagline part of your logo, because you may want to change the tagline in the future.

Recommendation: Start with a “words only” logo that is your company name.

2. Tagline – A tagline is a short phrase, not a sentence, that conveys what your company does. Include a action verb and clarify what product or service your company provides.

For example: my original company name was Instructional Design Consortium. My idea was that training is a team effort. The downside to my company name was that it was confusing, hard to pronounce and a logistical nightmare for website domain. I decided to create a shorter name and create a “doing business as” or DBA so it would still be my company’s legal name. I chose Design2Train, an overall choice. So, now the new name gave me an opportunity to create a tagline that told people what my company does, we create training. People are looking for quicker ways to create training using online training options. So my tagline: creating training at the speed of business became my new tagline.

Recommendation: Brainstorm with friends to come up with several options to choose from instead of working in a vacuum. Take their input and suggestions to help you decide which tagline best suits your company.

3. Capability Statement – A company resume that states your business in a one page summary. Include NAICS codes, contact information, and a summary of previous work. The goal of the capability statement is to offer a quick read to potential contracting agents to introduce your company. Create the capability statement in Word, then save and distribute as a PDF.

Suggestion: Name the capability statement file with a date, so you can keep track of your latest version. For example: capability_011710 Store the capability statement, both the Word and PDF versions online, so it is easy to locate the most recent version, for future updating.

4. Coordinated Marketing Literature – Pattern the same colors from your logo into corresponding marketing literature including: business cards, rack cards, flyers, brochures and downloadable website documents.

Suggestion: Use a printing service that does not print large quantities, so you can easily change marketing literature to meet current needs.

5. Coordinated Website – Use the same colors as on print literature. Prominently display your logo with tagline to build company brand recognition. Make your website simple, easy to navigate and provide the information that potential clients will want to see. Test the links to make sure your download links work.

Useful Tips On Easy Home Business Ideas

Just because you are searching for an easy  home   business   idea , does not mean that you will find one. Here are some tips to help you find the easiest  home   business  possible.

The product is the single most important thing you will choose. Unless you are one of those people who can sell ice to an Eskimo, you are going to need all the help you can get.

Having a product that people actually want, and are willing to spend money on, is half of the battle. This is why we recommend information products. You can customize them any way you want to fit a particular need.

They are easy to set up on the Internet, and you can price them so they are easy to sell. If you do not know how to create a product of your own you can find them in affiliate marketing programs.

Affiliate marketing programs are where you get paid to sell a product for a merchant. You can products of interest to you which makes them great  home   business   ideas .

The reason for that is virtually every industry in the world has merchants offering affiliate programs to people who are willing to work. Commission Junction is an example of a quality merchant website where there are hundreds of merchants wanting you to sell their products.

If you can find one that interests you there is an excellent chance of you being successful if you master some basic Internet marketing skills.

These products are mostly developed, and by putting your own touch to them gives you an excellent chance to quickly make money selling them.

The nice thing about this  idea  is the training that comes with it. They offer training on how to sell these products, as well as how to personally make changes to make them easier to sell.

This is several easy  home   business   ideas  that anyone can do using the Internet today. The money can start come in once you have mastered the necessary skills to market your products.

Business Loan Funding – Financing Your Business Growth

There are many people want to own a business. It might be a  small   business  or big and some people also need some financial funding due to lack of funds. If your business suffers from not having enough capital or your business has experienced growing pains due to lack of money, then you need to have a business loan funding.

Some people need some operating capital and you need to have a loan in order for your business to succeed or grow but that is not easy. Since if you have a business loan funding from the bank, then you need to meet the requirements and the documents needed by the bank such as business and personal financial statements, reviews of the financial records and credit reports of the business to determine eligibility for funding and others.

Since a  business  loan funding refers to money obtained through a  business  loan, the banks and other financial companies offer loans to  small   business  for start up or operating expenses and with regards to the terms of application requirements, interest rates, loan amounts and repayment plan, which need to be, discussing between the borrower and the lending institutions. Every financing institutions or banks have different requirements to their clients depending on the business loan funding you applied.

There are banks or financing institutions who offer their clients extremely effective tools to assist owners and managers with great  growth  and decision making for their  business  which is part of their services. Before having a business loan funding, be sure you have a business plan to present which is profitable enough to pay your loan.

The plan you have includes information on what your business does and the target market where you can reach the customer. You must indicate why people need your products as well as your services. You also include the marketing plan and analyses to help convince your lender s that you will able to repay them. Show also your return profit and your budget for the business you want to have.

Knowing that the main source of  business  loan funding are the entrepreneurs own pocket and next are the banks and credit unions although some financial institutions offer  business  loan funding program just to help the  small   business  or other business who need some funding for their business. Most of the business loan suppliers such as bank for example; they are becoming conservative in their evaluations of prospective business loan clients.

Especially for the new businesses, it’s hard for them finding business start up funding since you need to put together an attractive business funding proposal, meet the lenders expectations and increase the chances of securing the business financing need.

So the credit personal history is one of the most important things you need to take care since most financial institutions or banks will carefully scrutinized your personal financial history and as well as the asset you have as for collateral if they will asked. Take note, Banks and other financial institutions or other credible lending sources want a guarantee for the money you lend and most likely the guarantee is usually at least the value of the loan or might be greater the amount of the loan you applied.

Banks or other financial institution always wants to be sure that their money you borrowed will be return and with interest since the interest is where they gain their profit; although there are also financial institutions who risk lending you money for your additional capital or starting up due to your good credit history and personal financial capability.

Top Work at Home Business Ideas

If you are like one of the millions of people out there who are struggling to make ends meet in a difficult economy, chances are, you are looking for work at home business ideas. The good news is that while there are plenty of scams out there, there are some work at home business ideas that really do work.

Here are a list of just some of the opportunities that are out there online, that you can start doing today to make more money:

* Become an affiliate marketer. Start advertising and selling other people’s products and services, and make commission off each sale.

* Market CPA offers on your website or blog. Every time someone clicks through and completes the required action, you will make money.

* Create and market a digital product, like an e-book or piece of software, or market someone else’s, through sites like Clickbank.

* If you have a skill, like web design, programming, or something else, you can become a freelancer, either on your own, finding jobs on classified sites or elsewhere, or on freelancing sites.

* If you are a keen amateur photographer, you can earn money for your snaps by listing them on stock photo sites, and earning a royalty from each sale.

* Your existing site or blog could start making you money, if you ad an advertising program, like adsense, to it. You will need to have a high amount of traffic to make a lot of money, but it is a great way to earn money without doing much.

* Online surveys are another great way to make money online. Many companies offer you cash for completing surveys that large corporations have commissioned as market research. You will need to do a lot of surveys to earn a living, but if you are only looking for pocket money, this is a great way to make it – you can do it on your lunch break, at home, or whenever you have a spare moment.

Most of these work at home business ideas will require you to know a little bit about online marketing when you first get started, but with the exception of freelancing and selling stock photos, no special skills are required.

Since most programs also offer easy payment via PayPal and other means it is possible to start earning virtually from the very first day. The better you get at online marketing and other strategies, the more you will start making, and it is perfectly possible to turn a work at home business idea into your full time job.

The great news is, that if you choose to market products as your work at home business idea, while there is an initial intense phase of marketing involved in getting started, you will eventually reach the point where your ads and other marketing methods start to work for you, and you’re earning without having to put in too much effort. Therefore, do a little research, find an opportunity that suits you in terms of time, money, and effort, and get started making money.

There is a work at home business idea out there for everyone, it is just a matter of finding one that is a great fit for you.

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3 Ways to Boost Your Small Business Revenue

Increasing business revenues consistently is a crucial strategy in any successful business plan. As markets evolve and economies change small business owners and managers must review their current growth strategies and consider implementing new techniques. Fortunately in today’s informational age revenue boosting techniques can be easy on the bank account and simple to implement. The three business growth strategies listed in this article have been proven to increase revenue when applied consistently in a well-developed business plan.

1. Internet Marketing

By now most business owner’s have been introduced to internet marketing, and many have attempted to implement some sort of online marketing campaign. Unfortunately many of the campaigns weren’t well put together, seemed overly complicated, or if implemented by a marketing firm may have proved too costly to continue.

Fortunately for all savvy business owners there is a simple and cost-effective way to implement an internet marketing campaign. The three key ingredients to an effective internet marketing campaign include search engine optimization, blogging, and social networking. Speaking from personal experience you don’t need to understand any of the technical aspects of the internet or how the programming actually works – you simply need to be open to learning a few new things and applying some simple practices consistently.

(To see how simple it can be, check out my blog page at http://kevinaubreytoday.com. This website requires only a few hours a month to maintain at a very low cost and yet delivers valuable information to all who visit.)

2. Joint Venture

Seek out businesses who serve similar client niches to your own and partner with them in marketing each others products and services. Though simple to implement and widely known, the joint venture is often overlooked by most small business owners. Seek out a partner in your market with similar business models, services, or products, and look for ways to package and bundle services in a manner that provides more value to your prospective clients as well as benefits both partners in the joint venture. The resulting win-win-win often produces immediate revenue boosts for both companies and can be a great way to build better market awareness quickly with reduced costs.

3. Bundle products and services.

“Would you like fries and a Coke with that?” has revolutionized the restaurant industry, and yet most small business owners have failed to capitalize on this truly genius and simple approach to bundling products and services. Look for ways to bundle your products and services in a manner which increases the perceived and experienced value of your clients while raising the average price of each transaction you make with them. Yes – you will most likely experience a reduction in the total revenue received if each of the products were selected individually, but the increase in value you are delivering to the market will in turn bring more clients and transactions to your business. The resulting increases will offset the lost revenues as long as you still maintain a reasonable profit margin for the entire transaction.

Implementing these three effective revenue growth strategies into your business marketing plan will yield results in the next 180 days if applied consistently. Fortunately the effectiveness of the strategies doesn’t rely on a big budget or a complex process. Most of the required information can be located easily on the internet at low or no cost and a few focused hours per week applied consistently to the process will yield positive results.

Home Based Business Ideas

Working from  home  is the dream of many people but looking for  ideas  for  home   business  can be a daunting task. There are many choices we can pick from. Do we become a freelancer and offer our services for a fee, become a web publisher, sell products for others through affiliate programs, make money by selling ads on our websites such as through Google’s AdSense program, filling out surveys for cash and bonuses, or make money through one of the other many programs and systems out there.

The real satisfaction from working at home is in the flexibility that it offers especially for those with a family. You no longer have a clock to punch but can work around your home schedule. The right pick can also make you a great living, say 6 figures plus.

The biggest challenge is picking something that we will like doing since most of us are trying to escape from a job we don’t like. It’s no point jumping into something that is just as unpleasant. From my experience there are no get rich quick schemes and working from home is a real job and like any job you will have to work at it. After-all they call it work for a reason. The other issue is avoiding all the scams that promise to make us all millionaires but never seem to deliver on that promise. There is no shortage of scams out there that are all too eager to take our money and never care whether we make money or not.

So where do we start trying to find a program that will help weed out the duds. Start searching for “work at  home ” positions on the web and you will find thousands possibilities but as always it is best to seek the help of someone who has been there and has  ideas  for  home   business .

There is No Magic Pill For Growing a Small Business

We are constantly bombarded with advertising rich with promises of quick-fixes to all that ails us. Consider the sheer volume of television ads and infomercials that promise us the body of an anorexic supermodel if we just buy their magic diet drink or super-amazing turbo thigh-cruncher. No need to exercise or diet- just take a magic pill or use this miraculous fat melting machine “just 5 minutes a day!” and we’ll be thin and our lives will be perfect!

I think we all know, deep down, there is no magic pill or piece of equipment that is going to whip us into shape – at least not for the long term. We didn’t gain that extra 5, 10 or 50 pounds overnight and it certainly isn’t going to come off overnight, despite what the crafty weight-loss industry tries to tell us.

There is No Magic for Growing a Small Business

I’m sorry to tell you – the same goes for growing your small business. There is no magic growth pill that will bring you hordes of new customers. No “undiscovered secret” newspaper, magazine, or website advertising package that that is going to make your phones ring off the hook. No creative and clever ad design or layout that will bring you millions of dollars worth of business. No amount of money thrown at the symptom is going to make you an overnight success. The fact is, as with weight loss, we are not going to achieve success until we stop throwing money at the symptom and start addressing the underlying problem. The lack of customers and leads is a symptom of a bigger problem, just like those extra 50 pounds is a symptom of eating too much and not exercising enough.

Address the Problem

What’s the bigger problem? If you know me or have been reading my blogs you probably already know the answer to this. The problem is the absence of a strategic, systematic approach to your marketing. Like weight loss, growing a successful business is a long-term undertaking that requires a commitment to practicing healthier behaviors and habits.

Small business owners come to me every day – like bulging brides who, two days before their wedding discover they don’t fit into their wedding dress – out of money and with expenses that far exceed revenue. Like the bride desperate to shed those 10 pounds in 2 days these small business owners are desperate for revenue (and lots of it) NOW – or they will go out of business. “Can you help me???” Translation – do you have a magic pill to make hordes of people call me or come into my store NOW? Sorry, I don’t.

Stop the Madness!

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t keep throwing money at the symptoms hoping that this new tagline, flyer layout, magazine ad, or offer will be the one to break the bank. It’s not going to happen until you lay the foundation of your marketing strategy. Don’t wait until you only have a couple of month’s worth of expenses in the bank to get help. Do it now while you still have the resources to invest in effective marketing that is going to deliver long-term success. Make a commitment to yourself and your small business for 2010. Commit to throwing away those diet pills that don’t work, killing those yellow page ads that don’t deliver the return you need, and commit to addressing the underlying problems that are blocking your small business growth.

For your small business – do a little work; learn about your business, your industry and your competitors. What are they doing that is working or not working. Find out who your target market is (remember, if it starts with “Anyone Who” you have work to do!). Ask your customers what makes you different from your competitors. Define a core marketing message. Commit to a strategy and a plan! I will leave you with one of my favorite and most inspiring quotes: “Just Do It!”

What are you going to change in 2010 to make your small business a success?

Top 5 Home Business Ideas

Starting a new  business  is difficult but here are some of the great  home   business   ideas  that you can consider starting.

Are you thinking of starting a new  home   business  but not sure about which business to invest in? Looking for some  home   business   ideas ? Here are the top 5  home   business   ideas  that you can consider investing in if you want to start a new venture from  home . Starting in a new  business  is not easy but can only be successful if you have a unique  idea  and the right kind of skills to pursue it.

 Home  renovations services are a new  business   idea  that you think about starting. As the population is increasing drastically more and more people are thinking about renovating their houses to maintain a standard of living. You can also select one area for renovating such as the living area, kitchen or bathroom and then expand when your customers are satisfied with your services.

•Catering services are hot  business   ideas  that are in great demand. People often arrange large dinners and are unable to cater for their guests themselves. Catering services can arrange the whole event for them and earn good money. This business can easily be started by home.

•Cleaning is always a challenging job for working women and most of them avoid cleaning their homes themselves and hire professionals for it. You will only need to hire some staff members and manage them properly.

•Most of the people hire wedding consultants to make their weddings perfect. Becoming a wedding consultant can be a great  home   business  opportunity for you. More and more people are choosing to get married which means wedding services will be in great demand.

•Everybody wants to look younger and beautiful and don’t have enough time to visit beauty salons. Providing in home beauty services can be perfect home venture.

Home Business Ideas For Writers

Who wouldn’t love to make money in a profitable  home   business ? The advantages are right in front of you – set your own hours, work as much as you want, make money without having to fight traffic or leave your home. The question is – what’s a good  home   business ? If you’re looking for good  ideas  for a  home   business , you don’t have to look any further than your own interests and abilities. A good writer, for instance, has a number of different ways to create a business based on their avocation and turn it into a paying vocation.

 Home   Business   Idea  #1 for Writers: Freelance Web Content

The newest buzzword in the internet market is ‘content’. Webmasters and business have discovered what surfers have known all along – content is king. The web sites that get the big audiences – and attract money-making ads from affiliate programs – are the ones that have informative news, articles and tutorials. This is great news for writers. It’s created a booming market for freelance writers who work from home.

Turn your interests into how-to articles, personal reflections or informative articles on just about any subject you can imagine, and you’ll find people who are looking to buy it.

 Home   Business   Idea  #2 for Writers: Teach Writing Workshops

If you have top-notch critiquing skills, a  home   business  helping others improve their writing may be just the right business for you. You don’t have to invite writers into your home if that makes you uncomfortable. Local bookstores and coffee shops are usually thrilled to have a regular group come in – it’s great for their business too.

 Home   Business   Idea  #3 for Writers: Ghostwriting

Surprisingly enough, ghostwriting is one of the better paying segments of the freelancing business. It’s not just celebrities who need someone to put their stories into words, either. There are many ‘ordinary’ people who need to write for business, or who have a story they want to tell, and just can’t get the words put together. You won’t get a byline, but you will get paid – and paid quite well, and isn’t that what you’re in business for?

 Home   Business   Idea  #4 for Writers: Editing and Proofreading

Got a college in your town? If so, you’ll find plenty of freelance work as a proofreader and editor. Students and professors alike do huge amounts of writing – and a lot of it is vital to their tenure and their careers. They’ll welcome the services of a good editor or proofreader who understands the form and formalities of theses, theme papers, dissertations and abstracts. Depending on the level of difficulty, you can charge anywhere from $1 to $5 a page for making grammatical corrections and fixing formatting.

These are just a small sampling of  home   business   ideas  for writers. Just a little creativity and you could easily come up with another dozen. Just remember that writing talent isn’t enough. The real talent to turning your writing into a  home   business  is work. Get that concept under your belt, and you’ll be on your way to making a living as a freelance writer – from home.

Home-Based Business Ideas

There are many advantages to starting your own home business. Not only will owning your own business allow you to be your own boss, but you also won’t have any restrictions placed on you as far as how much money you can make. Instead of being tied to a specific salary, you will have the freedom to be as profitable as you possibly can.

There are many classic work-from-home businesses that could be successful for you. These include freelance writing, web and graphic design, accounting and tax preparation, childcare, and pet sitting. The Internet is also opening up many opportunities for at-home businesses, due to the fact that as long as you have access to the Internet and a phone, you can do many types of jobs regardless of your actual physical location. Virtual assistants are increasingly becoming the norm, and are in high demand.

Medical billing or transcription, public relations, and marketing consultation are other business ideas that can be very profitable, allowing you to work from home while running your own business. If you know a second language, you could also run a translation service.

Coaching services are also becoming very popular. Many people work with business or personal coaches to find ways to improve their business or personal lives. If you like working with and helping people, this could be the perfect work-at-home business for you, especially since coaching can often be done over the phone or even through email or Skype.

Tutoring or home-based teaching is yet another popular option for many people who have specific educational skills and want to work from home. Students can come over to your house for an hour or two and learn a wide range of subjects based on what you are knowledgeable about. In addition, with the emergence of webcams, you can even tutor a student online without either of you leaving your respective homes. The process of tutoring someone has never been easier and more convenient. In addition, it can be very lucrative with hourly rates ranging from twenty dollars to hundreds of dollars.

When choosing an online business, you will improve your chances for success if you select a business that you love. Of course, there also needs to be a demand for whatever services or products you decide to offer, but as long as you have interest and passion for your business, you will stand a good chance of finding a way to make it successful.