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5 Reasons Why Your Small Business Brand Crawls

Starting a Business BookStarting a new business can be overwhelming. Growing a business can be daunting and picking up a crumpled business can be devastating. The reason why many job seekers or employed people run away from becoming entrepreneurs is simply because of the processes involved. There is a lot of thinking to be done, decisions to be made and protocols to be followed. Most of all, they don’t want to be at the forefront when things go wrong.

What many of us fail to understand is that building a business and building a good reputation at work are almost the same thing. They both involve hard work, risk, dedication and determination. They involve developing a brand that the boss or customers can’t do without. Although building a brand for your business is quite different from that of the employee, they both bring the same results – more jobs, more money and more respect.

You are not new to the fact that every business, whether small or big, needs a brand. It is the most important aspect of any business and you cannot just do without it.

Building a good brand begins even before you launch your first product -
not when you have nationwide branches!

Many small businesses crumble today, not because of
the economic downturn but bad brand recognition.

Branding starts from your business’ foundation and here are a few reasons why your foundation may be faulty:

1) You Have a Bad Business Name

If you find it hard pronouncing your business name, your customers will find it harder. If you are ashamed of telling others your business name, your customers won’t even mention it. Your name is related to your product and the value it provides.

There are various things to consider when thinking of a suitable name for your business. Because lots of businesses spring up every day, one key criterion in giving your business a name is its availability, both online and offline. Online is mentioned here because in this era if you are not on the Internet you are missing out.

Also, how does your business name sound to you or your friends and family? If it doesn’t sound right, then it’s not right.

To choose a great name, read 7 Tips for Naming Your Business.

2) Your Website Design is Ineffective

Part of being online is having a website. You don’t need to have a massive website with tons of visitors every day before having a web presence. Even a one-page website would do just fine, but avoid these Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design.

The purpose of a website is to simply shed more light on what your business is about and what customers have to gain. It simply helps them learn about your brand. But information is not the only requirement for a website. With things like search engines, SEO and bounce rate, there is more to implement when designing your website.

Website setup entails three things: domain name, hosting and design. Do your best to choose a domain name as close to your business name as possible.

Find a great domain name and register it BEFORE
you name your business if possible.

You will also want to claim a consistent username across at least the major social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest). If you can afford it and are serious, it is best to claim your desired username across ALL social networks.

The Knowem system makes it fast and simple
to claim all your usernames at once.

The type of hosting you use can make or mar your business. Unless you want to become a technical expert we recommend hiring a Web designer who has an existing relationship with a hosting company they recommend or if you’re the do-it-yourself type, seeking out the very best hosting company.  While anyone can learn to create a Web page, designing a highly usable, effective Web site that converts is a skill honed over years of experience. It is one thing to build a website and another to make it effective.

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3) Your Business Cards Are Inappropriate

When it comes to word of mouth marketing, business cards are important. It is the first impression that potential customers get of your business. Your business card is like a mini-website on a small paper. It comes with all the information about your business and not just your name and title. Making an attractive and witty business card does not guarantee you patronage, especially if your business is a serious one. Your first impression has to be the right impression. Therefore, you need to clear from your mind any misconceptions about business card design. To learn more, read these Business Card Design Tips.

Has anyone ever handed you a mangled business card fished out of their pocket?
Make a better impression by choosing a business card case that attracts business.

4) You Have a Lame Business Logo

Your logo is simply a summary of your business in one small design. Having a logo is essential to effectively branding your business. It gives your customers something to remember and is usually placed near your business name and tagline.

Although a logo is just like an image, it has a message to pass across and it should therefore be simple enough to understand and recognizable whether it is tiny or huge. Like designing your website, there are logo design guidelines worth knowing.

Read Small Branding’s Logo Design Guidelines and GrowMap’s
Memorable Logo Design
BEFORE you choose your logo!

Your tagline is essential to your success. It needs to convey what is special about your business and what you have to offer – in only a few words that are positioned near your business name.

Read these tips published on Copyblogger on
How to Create a Rock-Solid Tagline That Truly Works

5) Your Pitch Sucks

A pitch is simply your business’ copy to the world. It is what helps your customers decide whether your business is for them or not. Just like your website and business card, it is a summary of your business in written or spoken words, aimed at satisfying your target customer.

You need to develop a pitch that sounds interesting and beneficial
Be sure it conveys what’s in it for your potential customer!

Read these tips from Ask Kim on Creating an Elevator Pitch.

An effective brand means more customers and therefore more sales. But it doesn’t end in just building a reliable brand, you have to maintain it. This will prove that you are stable and serious about what you do.

That should about cover the basics – unless you have something I’ve missed?  I’d love to hear from you so do please make a comment – and if you found these tips valuable please share them on social media and with your friends. Just click on the icons just below this and choose your favorite social network.

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    { 13 comments… add one }

    • Martha Jackson June 30, 2012, 6:12 am

      Great post, Valentine. And some great ideas for making a website more functional! Thanks for sharing.

      • JustRetweet June 30, 2012, 6:16 am

        Thanks Martha for stopping by and thanks for your comment :)

    • Robert Koenig July 3, 2012, 4:07 pm

      These are good to-the-point bullet statements. An attractive design and aesthetic-pleasing layout (for websites, business cards, page layouts, etc.) are key to luring in curious wanderers. Of course, I work in a law office so we go for very simple and plain layouts. However, when checking other websites, I am more attracted to modern and good looking sites. It’s sad to say, but many people judge books–and businesses–by their covers.

      A very great post.

      • JustRetweet July 6, 2012, 8:32 am

        Hi Robert,
        Thanks for dropping by! You mention a very important point about using attractive design when building a website and I hope other people will learn from this post.

        Thanks for your support :)

        Valentine

    • Your Business name July 5, 2012, 12:57 am

      Nice post this shows how a business establishment can be done slowly and take care of it by using hardwork.Also a similarity is showed that hardwork is to be done in both service and in business.Thanks for sharing tips.

    • Ileane July 6, 2012, 4:47 am

      Hi Valentine, I really love your points about choosing a domain name. I think a lot of business owners will try to use their family name or pick something that is hard for most people to remember. It is really helpful when the name of the business can be related back to the product or service that is being offered. Great post and best wishes in the contest!
      Ileane recently posted..Stop Buying Those Information Products and Hire a Coach Instead!My Profile

      • JustRetweet July 6, 2012, 8:29 am

        Hi Ileane,
        Thanks for your comment and your best wishes :)

    • Neha July 23, 2012, 7:13 am

      Patience and Hard work is needed in all the business and all kind of work. However today competition is large in every era and ever one has to do his best.
      I also agreed with Valentine, with efforts atleast base of the online business i.e domain should be on brand name.
      Neha recently posted..Grade 10 – Science and Math ComboMy Profile

    • richa from training company August 7, 2012, 6:25 am

      I can’t agree more with you on this one that hard work, risk, dedication and determination are required to build reputation and business. These are some great pointers that you have mentioned. We are running our small business from 4 years and it is working quite well. We have 3 websites and all are doing pretty good. Thanks for this informative share.
      richa recently posted..WB DownloadMy Profile

    • Dipa from Leadership training Brisbane August 10, 2012, 9:27 pm

      The thing that most turns me off about websites is ones that give several pop-up ads and are slow to load. I am out of those within seconds of arrival-you have indeed mentioned some valuable points here-ones that every website designer must conform to for small/medium as well as large businesses.

    • Aayna from Executive search firms Australia August 12, 2012, 4:24 am

      The reasons provided by you for the slow business are quite apt. When doing business online, it is imperative to make use of a good and informative website, but many small businesses completely forget about the quality website. In my opinion having a quality and impressive website is more important than having a website. If the website is boring and lack the necessary information, the web presence will always remain nil. Thanks for sharing such helpful tips.

    • Nicole August 16, 2012, 11:24 am

      I had an online store once but the sales wasn’t good…I think it was probably because of my poor sales pitch! I can do design and seo but I can’t do powerful copywriting that makes people want to buy my products! Will definitely take a look at the resources that you have shared…thanks!
      Nicole recently posted..Swiffer Coupons – Get Your Copy HereMy Profile

    • Donald Quixote February 21, 2014, 5:32 pm

      I like how 3 of the problems have to do with design. Bad design can cause potential customers or clients to move away from your business just because the look is displeasing.

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