Business and Relations

Having the opportunity to work with a business in a similar situation, in that both are new businesses facing similar challenges, collaborative projects provide a platform for mutual learning and can act as a working support while bearing in mind each businesses limits. Having a good working business relationship can be inspiring, motivational and empowering.

Supporting charities is important to both businesses as well as building relationships within communities. Having a common interest allows the businesses to develop a good strong relationship which goes beyond everyday business.

Going forward, further collaboration will allow the relationship to grow and have a continued benefit for business.

Both of the businesses are new but have learnt quickly that forging relationships is key to business. Building relations grows knowledge, our network and contacts, reputation and referrals and even assists with the development of ideas.

Since the inception of the businesses both have shared their business experiences, learnt from each other and have been able to identify strategies that work more quickly. As both have varying skills, experience and backgrounds the businesses have also been able to collaborate on particular projects, which have in turn allowed plans to move forward. Both companies are unique in their offering of differing services but have found that they can still be linked depending on the client and their requirements.
Links can be made with the most unsuspecting of businesses. It is therefore important not be closed minded to opportunities as it could prove most valuable.

Two opposing businesses can vary in their offerings and can be from different fields in the market but their target markets are similar in that they cover a broad spectrum and are widely spread. Both businesses can adapt similar marketing strategies and can work together to achieve this.

Having a successful business is more than just making a profit its a continual learning curve. Each day brings a new challenge which can be achieved by having the right information, from the right contacts, with the right network. Building a network that consists of relative contacts as well as those outside of the box has proven to be very beneficial. Each contact or person met is a potential opportunity for business, clientele, relations or even knowledge. It is important not to discount a new business relation that is not directly related to the business field i.e. Event Management or Relocation.

The unexpected can happen at any given time, continual building of bridges is vital for continual succession, development and growth of a business, especially new businesses trying to establish themselves within the market. The market is always changing and contacts in the network can be beneficial in terms of updates and industry knowledge required to move business forward onto the next stage.

Branding for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Before any business can begin to think about branding they should understand what it is. While there are many definitions out there, the one that makes the most sense to me is that branding is “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiating presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.” (What is branding? Definition and meaning, n.d.) Branding is a way to solidify your name, logo, or likeness in the minds of the consumer. Just like when most people think of soda, they automatically think of a large soda company located in Atlanta, GA or one large soda company located in North Carolina, you too as a small business can develop your brand so that people associate you with the product or service you deliver.

But why do you even want to build a brand? Will it not take a lot of time, effort, and capital to slowly build your businesses brand? Yes it will, but as Lake (n.d.) explains “A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. It’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer. It’s a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.” As a small business retaining and expanding your customer base is very important, and building your brand will assist in customers returning to your product, and getting to word out to new potential customers.

When creating your brand there are key objective to follow in order to create something that will last. As Lake (n.d.) explains you want a branding that “delivers the message clearly, confirms your credibility, connects your target prospects emotionally, motivates the buyer, and concretes user loyalty.” It is important to understand the needs of your customers which is where market research comes in to assist in the branding process. That emotional tie is also very important. Your brand wants to make people think of the good times they have along with the delivery of your service or product. While branding is not something many small businesses consider as an important step in a successful business, it is key when you want growth and customer loyalty to what you have to offer in your local marketplace.

References

What is branding? definition and meaning. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/branding.html

Lake, L. (n.d.). What is Branding and How Important is it to Your Marketing Strategy? Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://marketing.about.com/cs/brandmktg/a/whatisbranding.htm

Business to Business Email Marketing Basics

If you’re not sending out email newsletters to clients and potential clients, you’re losing money. 98% of people check their email via their mobile phones in today’s society. That’s 98%! People are on the go and checking their email via push notifications. If you’re not sending out specials and updates about your products or services, your customers are not keeping your company in mind most of the time. And, other businesses may capture your business. So, you just read, email marketing and newsletters are important because they now reach your customers immediately.

To be successful with an email marketing campaign you need to have a clear, concise subject line. A long subject line, or one that isn’t clear about what you’re offering, is likely to be dismissed as SPAM by the recipient.

Make sure you format your email message properly. People use different types of phones, which means they’re using different types of browsers and operating systems. If your message shows up jumbled or ill-formatted, the customer will not reach on and he or she will simply delete your efforts and offer. If you are not familiar with the different types of mobile marketing / email newsletter formats, please find a company that is.

You should also utilize strong content. Don’t be pushy but be blunt. State your offer, state the benefits, state the timeline that the customer has to take advantage of the offer. Being too wordy or not getting to the point will not result in sales or interest by customers. Don’t venture into the opposite direction, either. Verbiage that is too alike to that of a used car’s sale ad will also turn people away.

You should also monitor the stats of your email marketing efforts. If more people are opening emails on Tuesday nights versus Saturday mornings, adjust your delivery dates for important sales and/or notices.

Email marketing is becoming stronger than ever these days. People are utilizing social media to produce more subscribers to newsletters, which contain special promotional offers and better ROI results. Incorporating video, audio, and even consumer contests into an immediate email offer or email newsletter will help your business grow and products / services sell quicker.

Don’t forget content will always be king. The use of too many photos or unprofessional video links can backfire when sending out any type of email marketing collateral. Make sure all your content and media collateral is balanced, looks professional and is accompanied by a strong call to action.