Let me make business planning and goal setting for the New Year easy as for you! I’ll share what you need to include, give you some ideas to get started and even a free business template to use!
If business planning doesn’t sound like your kind of fun, don’t worry. It isn’t for many other small to medium sized business owners either. That was until you started reading this, because boy, have I got the business planning help you need to get your business kicked off and sorted for the New Year.
Let’s Get Your Business Planning & Goal Setting Sorted!
What do you want your business to achieve this year? Increased profits, new customers and a larger online presence? A business plan can help you nail down the specifics and requires you to:
Then there’s the New Year’s resolutions or goals to consider. Now I’m not talking about the personal ones we all set and then forget about on the 2nd January though. Rather though the business resolutions we set and then follow through on throughout the year – and yes, they get followed through with!
To help you get started, here are a few you could use or tweak for your business:
You’ve got a fabulous idea, but you’re not too sure about what’s involved in starting a business. Well don’t worry, because today I’m going to guide you through the five essential steps to take to turn your idea into a profitable business.
5 Key Steps in Starting a Business
Starting a business is a very exciting time. Whether you’re making it your full-time job or using it as a side business to complement your income, it’s important to get the basics sorted right from the start. To help you do this, I’m sharing these five key initial steps to help you get up and running.
First impressions matter!
A prospective customer or client will decide whether to use your business or not within the first two seconds, based upon what your business looks like. But why do people make that decision based upon what your business ‘looks like’ and not what it can do? Because our brains analyse visual information much easily than any other type. In fact, we process visual information 60,000 times faster than written text and around 90% of the communication within our brains is through visual impulses. This makes having great visual content for our businesses vital to achieve success.
Getting Your Business Noticed Visually
To get your business noticed, it needs to present an attractive appearance to the world. The best way to do this is to utilise the skills of a professional graphic designer. They will ensure all your design work is:
How One Bite Graphic Design Can Help You Get Noticed
Helen can help you with creating professionally designed logos, business cards, Facebook covers, social media graphics and website graphics for your business. She will work with you to alter your existing branding or create new from scratch. Having had over two decades of experience in the graphic design industry, Helen knows exactly how to create memorable and attention grabbing visual content so important to get noticed and grow your business.
Contact Helen today to discuss the ways she can help improve the visual appearance of your business and get it noticed!
Changing your branding is not something to be taken lightly and should only be done when necessary. That’s because your brand is how people remember your business. Imagine if McDonald’s suddenly swapped its golden arches for an image of a burger. They suddenly become just a burger shop, without anything to easily differentiate them with their competitors. It’s a similar thing with your business’ branding. By changing your logo, font and colours, you put your customers off balance and it takes time for them to readjust to your new branding image.
However, sometimes changing your branding is the best decision for your business. It may be that you’re offering new services or products, have a change of ownership or your old branding no longer reflects the direction your business is taking. Today we’re going to discuss all you need to know about changing your branding.
Changing Your Branding: A Beginner’s Guide 101
When you rebrand, it can be a partial or complete rebranding. You can choose between:
Pros and Cons of Rebranding
When you alter your branding, you’re doing it with the desire to grow your business. In order to make the right decision, you need to weigh up the pros and cons.
The pros of rebranding include:
The cons of rebranding include:
A great way to promote your business, rebranded or not, is to list it in a directory. Business Networking NZ offers a free NZ business directory listing and it’s a great way to increase your online presence. Come and add your details today!
When you decide to start a business you don't always realise that you are beginning a story as well. Often you get started because you have a skill or something you love to do, and then it evolves.
You are no longer starting a business, but instead you are building a brand. Laying the foundations of your brand is like writing the first chapter of your story.
So, how did your brand come to be? Do you have a story behind it? I'd love to tell you my story...
The Elephant In The Room
You will probably notice that my elephant is a large part of my branding. He is actually where my story starts...
Years ago when I was at school, I would often get overwhelmed by my workload. My dad is a very wise man and he used to say something back then that has stuck with me through the years. Probably because he still says it now!
‘Helen, how do you eat an elephant? One Bite at a time.’
His wise approach allowed me to focus on one small task at a time and gradually work my way through my massive to do list.
This is a motto that I live my life by now. Life has a habit of getting very busy, with a business to run, house to maintain, three amazing children to raise and an equally amazing husband. We get through the busy times One Bite at a time, often achieving more than we thought we could with this tactic!
So when it came to choosing a name for my business, One Bite was the obvious option. I also knew that I had to have an elephant as part of my brand. Even my elephant is an embodiment of the motto. You will notice that it is sectioned into smaller pieces to symbolise the ‘bites’.
What's In A Name?
I suddenly realised that after 3 years working alongside my elephant, he didn't have a name! As soon as my realisation hit, I knew what his name had to be.
So, I would like to introduce to you... Petros
This name is perfect for 3 reasons...
I am really excited to be on this journey with Petros and I can't wait to see what the next chapters have in store for One Bite!
Your Branding Story
So, what is your story? And is it embodied in your branding? People love to work with other people, which is why it is important to reflect your story and personality in your branding.
If you feel you could be communicating your story better, then maybe it is time for a brand refresh. I would love to help you tell the story of your brand in your logo, business cards, marketing material, and social media templates. Basically any aspect of your branding.
Get in touch with me now at One Bite to see I can help you tell your story with my professional graphic design services.
It's amazing to think that when I wrote this blog I had just started my third year in business, offering my professional Graphic Design services to the public through One Bite Design. It's been a 'one bite' at a time learning process with some things certainly learnt the hard way. Not everything has been plain sailing but important lessons have certainly been learned and both myself and One Bite Design are in a much better position now than what I was those years ago when I began.
With more than three years under the belt I thought it would only be fitting to share three things that I have learnt.
There Will Always Be Something To Do On Your Business:
I’ve heard it said that a business is like a new born child, you need to constantly care for it and feed it and the work you put in over the early years will shape the business well into the future. The thing is, there is always something to do. This is especially true in the first few years as you develop your systems and find your own feet and direction. It's in these first years where passion can meet head first with the annoying reality of tax and accounts and invoicing. It’s easy to get consumed by all the things to do.
What I’ve learnt is that you need to be intentional about taking a break and stepping outside of your business from time to time. Whether that is turning your phone and computer off and going for a walk or an actual holiday, taking time out to recharge your own batteries is an important way of ensuring that you keep that passion which got you going in the first place burning bright.
Comparing Yourself To Others:
Starting out in a new business is a scary and at times nerve wracking thing to do. It's only natural to want to know what other people in your industry are doing. The problem is that it becomes very difficult to not compare your fledgling business with those potentially more established operations already out there doing it. What’s worse is that if you're not careful you may even start to copy what these other guys are doing whether consciously or not.
Then there’s the pressure of trying to match the offerings of others! That’s not what you started your business to do. Like me you most probably started your own business because there was something special that you love to do, something that you’re passionate about. Stick to it. Perfect your passion and don’t be swayed by others!
Accept The Appreciation:
Having happy clients is what's really rewarding and provides the energy which enables us to continue to do this thing that we love. Learn to enjoy the appreciation of a job well done. You can see some of my testimonials here.
This is something that I’ve learnt slowly, not being a person who naturally accepts compliments well. A big turning point for me was learning to not be ashamed or embarrassed to ask my clients for a review of One Bite Graphic Design after completing a job. Getting these positive reviews not only helps in business promotion, but more importantly they help to reinforce to ourselves that yes, we are doing a good job. Yes people do see the value in what we do, and yes, our efforts are making a difference!
Have you recently started your own business?
Are you passionate about your business succeeding?
Does your business need a fresh, inspiring and professional new look?
Let One Bite Design assist you in developing a brand that you are proud of and that does it’s job in attracting people to do business with you. Get in touch TODAY!
Is it beginning to feel a lot Christmas at your house?
Is the weather warming up and are Christmas products and Christmas music filling your local shops? Maybe it’s not in full swing yet, but now is a great time to plan ahead so that at least your valued client base hear from you as you add your personal touch to your business relationship.
Christmas is an amazing time where you can tell people that you are thinking of them, that you are grateful for them and that you wish them a happy and safe holiday season. I have a great offer which I will tell you about later on in this blog, but for now lets talk about the importance of ongoing client relationships.
The Benefits of Valuing Your Business Clients & Colleagues
As a small business owner I know how valuable my clients and colleagues are to the success of my business and to the process of moving forward. I would not be where I am today in my business and personally without the amazing people in my life including clients and colleagues. Owning your own business is not for the faint hearted and support is crucial, so it is equally important to support and encourage those who stand by you.
There are many ways to do this. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can foster these relationships and I’ve added one special, meaningful thing you can do as we approach the holiday season. Read on….
Connecting Personally when making a Phone call or Email:
Be personable and friendly in your contact. It takes no extra effort to ask how someone is, if they had a good weekend, what their plans / hopes are for their business futures. Make a brief note if relevant information is given. For example if they respond “Had a great weekend thanks, went fishing and caught plenty.’ Next time there’s contact ask if they’ve been fishing again. This demonstrates personal interest and your recall of the conversation.
Maintain the Connection even when there is no ongoing business happening:
Check in on your clients briefly, but again in a friendly and personable way. “Is there anything I can help you with?” “Thought of you as I launching this new product and I feel it would really benefit your business. Have you got a few moments to hear about it?” This reinforces a 'caring connection' which follows through into helping them achieve their business aspirations by their connection to you and your business.
Follow your clients on social media:
We all know how great it is to get a reaction and/or comment on our social media posts so why not do that for your clients. For example follow them on Facebook and interact with what is going on in their business, such a quick simple thing to do but could mean a lot for a small business. Make sure that when people respond to something of yours on social media that you reply to it. It is not only polite but it also puts your business name and brand in front of them again.
Randomly send cards and/or gifts:
I love receiving things in the mail or by courier do you? How about sending something special to those that you do business with and for? You could even go a step further and purchase gifts to send from other small businesses. How impacting it is when your gifts are branded in your colours, with your website and logo?
Now let’s talk about this offer I have for you!
I am getting all organised and sorted for Christmas and I can help you get ready too! One Bite Design has a range of Christmas card designs pre-formatted for Vista Print. I will include your unique business logo, brand colours and website to enable you to not only thank your clients and impress your prospects, but also ensure that your brand remains top of their mind during this busy season. Vista print has a 50% off greeting cards at the moment! Get your personalised branded holiday cards ordered NOW in time for Christmas!
Remember that a personal, friendly connection is always appreciated. There’s an old saying “A smile is a curve that puts a lot of things straight!’ so send a smile to your clients this Christmas season.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and view the card options at www.onebitedesign.co.nz NOW!
I bet, just like me, your Facebook feed is full of visual marketing designs which all look the same. The same font, colours, images and even words. It’s incredibly boring and off putting to look at the same graphic designs again and again. So rather than copying what has worked for others, it’s time to make people stop and notice your business through awesome visual marketing designs!
Using Unique Visual Marketing to Get Your Business Noticed
As a graphic designer, it makes sense that I notice the logos, colours, fonts and images owners use to brand their business. Of course, everyone else notices them too. But there is one big difference: I don’t copy them. I can understand why owners think, “Hey, I like this logo, this colour and these images. Come to think of it, I love the design they used too. I think I’ll use them for my business.” The problem is, if they are not 100% unique, your business ends up looking like someone else’s. That’s incredibly bad for your business branding. Not only do people confuse your business with another, they can also become bored with seeing the same thing. This leads to a quick scroll onto the next image and the next business!
The key to getting your business’ visual marketing noticed is to be 100% unique when it comes to design. This just isn’t possible when using in the box predesigned graphic design templates. You may have changed the colours, tweaked the font and used a different image, but if the design is the same, it’s an automatic fail in my book. I’m never going to remember it as being unique to your business and most probably see you as being a copycat.
Visual content is processed by our brains 60,000 times faster than words.
Having unique professionally designed visual content to market your business helps you:
We’ve all been there. Found a beautiful image that inspires us, and with the internet it is even easier to find just the right image for our business…
But when is it okay to use such an image?
Sometimes it easy to tell as the owner clearly watermarks the image with a copyright warning or sets out clear conditions of use. However, even if there is no such warning, there may be a number of risks in using someone else’s image.
Copyright will automatically exist in any original artistic work. The word “original” means that the artistic work in question is the result of the person’s own independent labour, skill and judgement - any parts of the work that are copied from somewhere else will not be protected by copyright. The term “artistic work” includes sketches, photographs and drawings. Although it is always wise for the owner of a copyright work to include a copyright warning (for example “© Rachel Triplow 2017”), copyright will exist even without such a warning. In light of the Berne Convention, the owner of copyright will have rights in most countries. For example, an Australian can claim rights under the New Zealand Copyright Act if their copyright work is infringed here.
It is also important to note that changing something by x% will not avoid copyright infringement - it’s not how much you change, it’s whether you have copied a substantial part of the core of someone else’s work. Size definitely doesn't matter with copyright.
2. Trade Marks
Another possibility is that the owner of the image has trade mark rights. Even if a work is not “original” and therefore is not protected by copyright, it may be possible for the owner to claim that the image has become distinctive of their goods or services, or that they simply have a trade mark registration. As with copyright, it is wise for the owner of a trade mark to include a warning (for example the ® symbol if the mark is registered and/or the ™ symbol which can be used at any time), but trade mark rights may exist even without such a warning.
Unlike copyright, trade mark rights are territorial and will depend on a trade mark registration in the relevant country and/or sufficient reputation that consumers would be confused if someone else started using the same or similar mark.
SO, WHAT DO YOU DO?
Check out the Creative Commons search engine at https://search.creativecommons.org/, which lists all the places where you can find images that are available to use commercially. Or if there is one image you really really want, approach the owner and ask for their consent before you start using it.
Definitely do NOT go to your graphic designer and ask them to tweak someone else’s image for you, as this they could not would not should not do….
Written by Rachel Triplow | www.arcip.co.nz
Like them or not, words are an essential part of every business website. After all, they are as equally important as your visual brand. Unfortunately, many business owners value how their brand looks visually as being more of a priority and their words end up taking a back seat. So today, we’re going to look at how you can use words to compliment your visual brand and create an awesome branding strategy.
Words and Graphics – We Go Together
Words. More words. Unexciting and as boring as they may seem, the words your business uses will either make or break you. Choosing the right words to match your visual brand is important to demonstrate consistency and help build a rapport with your target audience.
There is no denying it. Our world makes instant decisions about your business based on how it looks. Often this is in the form of instant reactions to your logo, colour choices, font and business name. That’s why it’s important to hire a graphic designer like Helen to create you a top notch visual brand right from the start. But what many fail to remember, is that after making a decision about the way your business looks visually, customers and clients look next to your words to see if they want to do business with you.
How to Brand with Words
Everyone instantly recognises the visual brands of businesses such as McDonalds and Pak n Save because of their logos and colours. But even these businesses know that in our digital world, their visual brand is not enough to hook in and engage their customers. That’s why they use a combination of words and graphics to create a thorough branding strategy.
You can brand your business with words by:
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to sit down and plan the type of written content you want your brand to be known for. If it mirrors your visual identity, cool. If not, chat with Helen about how she can help.
Written by Jackie Procter | www.jackieprocter.co.nz
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