How to Name Your Business

I am often asked as a marketing and public relations expert to help new companies name their business. Some marketing firms charge tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege. In the real world of small business it’s really not that difficult or costly if you just follow some easy to understand concepts.

A business name will effect consumer decisions about doing business with your company, so invest time and effort in the decision. A good name requires more than a trendy label that sounds cute on a business card.

There are laws, marketing principles, public relations guidelines, and social psychology that come into play when selecting your business name. For specific steps to take in making your name legal check out the web site of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

For success in naming your business pay close attention to these ideas based on marketing and public relations:

o Name the business after what you do.

o Start with letters high in the alphabet – A, B, or C.

o Check to see if the domain of the name is available to register.

o What do your potential customers say about the name?

If busy executives are your customers make sure they understand the name. If you have to explain then you’ve lost the point.

Marketers know what makes people tick and why people engage in certain behavior. If you can predict how the average person will perceive a name, you will know if that name will generate interest. Marketing insight is crucial to understanding why consumers respond to your business name the way they do.

Your business name will grab the attention of your customers if it:

o Is short, concise and easy to spell

o Can easily be remembered if heard on the radio while driving

o Can easily be abbreviated

o Identifies only you and not your competitors

o Is relevant to your community

o Meets legal requirements of your state

o Has the potential to be a trademark

o Is catchy and trendy but not so trendy that it will sound old in a few years

Don’t overlook my tip above to select a name that can easily be abbreviated. What do you identify with most – IBM or International Business Machines? ABC-TV or American Broadcasting Corporation? PBS or Public Broadcasting System? You get the idea. Other initialed businesses with strong branding are AOL, KFC, CNN, 3M and NRA. Initials work because they are simple, easy to remember, and loved by graphic artists. Remember all of these names have had millions of dollars of advertising driving it into our heads so that’s the reason we know what they mean, not because some genius figured out three particular letters together make a great name.

The advantage, of course, of starting your business name with an A, B or C is that you will appear near the top in online listings, the Yellow Pages or in other alphabetical listings such as the Chamber of Commerce Directory. If you want to get to the very top then numbers or symbols will do the same; for example, 3com and 3M. But symbols such as the @ sign could cause difficulties and actually complicate things so beware.

You might think it’s a good idea to include the city or state where you do business in your name. Think again. This strategy makes sense only for businesses that don’t plan to grow outside their geographic area or the city or state name lends cache like New York Carpet World or California Pizza. In today’s world you must understand that your business will have a physical location in a geographic community identified and located by an address, i.e. 345 S. Main Street. And your business also will have a virtual location on the Internet identified and located by a domain name, i.e. “your name.com” So when you think of what makes a good business name think also of what makes a good domain name. They go hand in hand.

For businesses that operate on the Internet, business names are synonymous with domain names. A key strategy here is to remember that a strong domain name and business name is one that will pop up when searches are conducted on Google and Yahoo! when keywords are actually in the domain name.

Check out domain names and random names at: makewords.com. This is an indispensable way to get 50 to 500 URLs using key words. For example, do you want a domain name that includes the word “iPod?” Type it in and it’ll generate dozens of suggestions with themes from Music to Medicine and tell you if the domain is available.

Tips for Business Logo Designs What Really Matters

If you’re after a business logo design that’s attuned to your business philosophy then you got yourself a treat. The market for business logo designs these days can unfold you a stream of choices for design firms and brand identity professionals that can help you come up with the most ideal business signage. If we are to assume that a company or a business logo becomes a distinct trademark for your particular brand name then you need to ensure that your chosen design does not only communicate a professional look – it should warrant attention and appeal from the people as well.

Whether or not you’re planning to hire a design firm or business logo design company to help you develop the perfect logo for your company, you still need to familiarize yourself with the basic essentials of creating one. So when you sit by to craft an ideal logo for your business, what really matters?

Many brand design experts believe that you’re taking business success a step further if you have come up with the right design to encapsulate your business ideals. Here are some of the things that really matter when it comes to conceptualizing, developing and designing a logo.

Your branding plan will only push forward if you have fully understood what your business is about.

Review your business’ philosophy and get to know more about your business’ vision and goal. It is only through this will you be able to initially picture out how your business logo would appear like. Try to picture out the images that comes first on your mind upon reviewing your business essentials and take note of them.

Strive to achieve a big brand look.

Your business may fall under small or medium sized groups but if you dream big in terms of crafting your logo then you will be able to create a huge market stir that can generate profit from it. There are many branding tools available to help you with this. Seek some business logo and design template, redesign, and fine-tune to suit to your business concepts.

Find a reliable software to help you design.

These days, technology drives perfection. You will have to come up with the concept originally on your own and then with the right tools of technology, you can come up with a striking and dashing output. This is exactly what branding is all about. If you are working on creating your own custom logo then you may want to find a reliable software to help you in the design process. In the hands of a good designer, your logo can achieve that professional look that you want it to have.

Hire a design firm or avail a logo design services.

If making a custom logo design for your business sounds like impossible and out of your expertise, then you will be delighted to find out that there are many professional logo designers out there that can help you efface out that ideal business logo design. Only choose the one that’s reliable and reputable, so that the highly after-sought business identity solution is possible.

Common Traits Of Successful Business Owners

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In this article we will take a look at five common traits that successful business owners have. The reason why I want to explore this subject is simply because, by understanding what they are, your chances of success in business will greatly increase.

Let’s get started.

Common Business Trait Number 1 – Creativity

Although not all successful business owners are creative thinkers, many of the world’s leading authorities in business are. From Richard Branson through to Walt Disney, these exceptionally creative entrepreneurs have achieved amazing levels of business success. In terms of being creative, you either are, or you are not. Whilst creativity can be taught, it is prevalent from birth in many leading business men and women.

Common Business Trait Number 2 – No Fear of Risk or Failure

I have spoken to many people who say that they want to start a business, but are worried about failure. I think this is such a shame because I strongly believe if you take the plunge, the safety net will always appear. We are extremely adaptable as human beings and generally always manage to find our way to safety. The same applies in business; if you have the entrepreneurial urge, don’t fight it. I gave up a solid career in the Fire Service and a salary of £50,000 per year to follow my business dream, and it paid off.

Common Business Trait Number 3 – Perseverance

This has to be my favourite word. I always find that If I work hard and don’t give in, success will always follow. Yes, I have to work hard and push myself in business, but if I do, I know I will be successful. Look at this way, if you throw lots of spaghetti at the wall, some will stick! The same rule applies in business; if you keep trying and don’t give in, you will be successful.

Common Business Trait Number 4 – Shrewdness

The most successful business owners I know are tight with their money! I know one person (a friend) in particular who has made millions from business, but has yet to buy me a drink. Personally, I don;t like to operate like that, but there is certainly something in that way of operating that we can all learn from. The most successful business owners, no matter how wealthy they become, always watch the pennies.

Common Business Trait Number 5 – Stick to What You Are Good At

Again, the most successful business owners I have come across have excelled in an area that you know. Personally, I made my money through careers. I am good at careers and good at helping people to find work; therefore, that is the first business I chose. It worked for me and it will work for you – stick to what you are good at!

If you follow the above important business tips then you will always succeed.

How To Plan Successful Management Retreats

Management retreats involve a great deal of energy and time. Many traders keep away from organizing them as they consume more time, and possibly include a little bit of entertainment. Some of them think that team building retreats are only for top performing companies. If organized properly, they can prove to be your best investment made for leading your business to ultimate success.

Irrespective of the size of your business, the concept is to bring key management professionals together for a retreat and upgrade their skill set. In fact, management retreats can be great opportunities for methodical planning and result-oriented decision making to improve your sales and business performance, build high degree of customer loyalty, manage overhead, and achieve business growth.

A successfully planned and executed team building retreat can be a wonderful platform for highlighting leadership values, devising innovative ideas, addressing problems, encouraging teamwork, promoting friendship, and rectifying and confirming your business’s marketing strategy.

Management retreats are valued by many for their significant effects on business management and processing. They have now become commendable management tools for the growth and success of a company.

Below are given some useful tips to help you in planning an effective management retreat.

Be sure you know what your retreat should achieve: Ask yourself these two important questions and find out their answers: How this management retreat should be organized to serve its purposes? What topics or issues do you like to discuss in it?

Have key professionals on your team building retreat: Take this point seriously. Remember, a management retreat is neither a popularity nor a reward contest. In absence of the right professionals, your retreat can’t be successful. Determine whether you would like to invite your business executives only or include your managers, and a few top grade employees in your retreat team. You should focus on to invite those with strong leadership qualities who can help fulfill the retreat agenda with a deep knowledge of the management issues.

Identify your goal: Since businesses face challenges in different areas, your management retreat should cover the specific topics for discussion that you would like to address.

Set an agenda by choosing the most urgent issues: Choose a couple of the most urgent issues for discussion in retreat. If you select many topics in limited time you might not get satisfactory result at the end. So, be specific in setting your agenda.

Distribute copies or materials for review: Provide a business magazine article related to your industry or copies of a popular business book, sales strategies, advertising and marketing methods, employee inspiration, or any subject related to your most recent needs. Participants should go through them and come prepared to exchange their ideas on how to implement them in the company.

Gather maximum possible information: Before holding management retreats, make sure your team gathers important information or “secrets” about your competitors and your own business as well.

Keep the retreat quiet and contemplative: The original meaning of a retreat is: “a session of quiet, rest and contemplation in a private place”. Many interpret it as a meeting free from normal activities, devoted to review of business strategy.” Whether the treat spans for one or three days, a quiet atmosphere should always be chosen which is far from the daily business activities.