Just what does a brand mean to your customers anyway? The American Marketing Association defines this concept as any name, term, design, symbol or feature that identifies one seller’s goods or services as distinct from those of others. This essentially means that your brand identity is how you identify yourself and your company’s attributes, strengths, purpose and mission. Great brands are easy to recognize—the Apple logo, the Nike swish—but it’s about more than marketing. A brand must clearly and definitively show a clear mission and foster a sense of customer loyalty that leads to success and longevity. A brand is also one of the most iconic fixed assets of a business, so it must be carefully curated and honed to ensure that it more than adequately represents the business and echoes with your intended customers.
Consumers are moving away from the desktop towards a more mobile way of life. It's important to have a highly functional mobile-friendly site in order to optimize ease of use and search engine optimization. Being mobile-friendly does not simply mean that your website can be viewed on mobile devices. A mobile-friendly site should be designed specifically for smaller screens, allowing easy navigation via larger touch-screen buttons, and only display relevant information and content for the users’ needs. Here are five reasons that a mobile-friendly website is absolutely essential to your small business.Read More >
Entrepreneurship can be downright frightening, especially for young entrepreneurs. Having an experienced mentor (like you!) can help ease someone's transition into the small business world, and you can help a young entrepreneur bring their ideas to life.
Everyone loves a good success story, and it's even better when it's a David and Goliath story about the underdog winning. But more often, contemporary entrepreneurs can learn more from history and studying strategies that fail—“Never get involved in a land war in Asia," as they say in The Princess Bride. Let's look at five of the most famous business failures in American history. What did these companies do wrong and what can you take away from their experiences?Read More >
Consultants are often misunderstood. People outside of the orbit of niche consulting often think of consultants as jet-setting experts who have trained for years to become one of the leading experts in their field. The simple truth is that a consultant's job is simply to consult: to analyze a situation, offer advice, bring in outside resources, and help the client to make a plan to do better. It's that simple. There is no magic equation that makes one consultant smarter or more successful than another one.Read More >
Securing a loan from the SBA – What Small Business Owners Need to Know
The legend of companies like Apple and Microsoft starting in garages may have inspired generations of entrepreneurs to market the Next Big Idea, but venture capital money, technological resources and business opportunities aren't limited to Silicon Valley anymore. With the advancement of office technology, more diversity in office operations, and a stronger opinion among employees as to the importance of lifestyle, other pockets are opening up in the U.S. where startup companies are thriving. Here are snapshots of seven communities where entrepreneurship is thriving.Read More >
For most design work, you probably want to engage a professional graphic designer—no one wants to see an annual report or other vital documents look like they were cobbled together on a shoestring. But whether you are whipping up small items to use on your company's social media pages or simply want to express your intentions more clearly, it is a very good idea to invest some time in learning the basics of Adobe Photoshop. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.Read More >
There have been a few dust-ups in the political scene in the last year where critics of current economic policies have claimed that nine out of ten businesses close within a year. This is a myth. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, about half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one third of new businesses survive a decade or more. In fact, the probability of survival increased with a firm's age, as one would expect. So the numbers aren't against you. Yet while starting a business can be a fun and thrilling ride, you still want it to be a success. Here are some of the key factors that might be holding you back.Read More >