Tips for Starting a Business

Choosing a name is probably one of the hardest decisions you will make for your business, after all once the decision is made you’re more or less stuck with it.

So where can you find inspiration? These ideas may help:

Name it after yourself:

After all, it’s your business.

  • Paul Berry Photography – Photography from Paul Berry

Name it after someone else:

Naming your business after a loved one, can show your customer’s how much you love your business:

  • Ruby’s Closet – Girl’s clothing boutique named after owner’s “little lady”
  • Samakhar Crafts – uses initials of all the family, Sa for Sarah (owner), Ma for Martin (husband), then K, Ha and R for the 3 children
  • Wear my Jewellery – not named after someone but was created by the owner’s 7 year old daughter at play.

Clearly state what it does on the tin:

What better way to tell your customers what you do by including it in your business name?

  • Stories For Tots – Storyteller and story making for events, parties and schools
  • The Freelance Copywriter – the right words at the right time, every time
  • Newcastle Fitness Solutions – based in Newcastle, providing solutions to fitness
  • Chocolate Fountain Hire, Party Booth Hire, Extreme Laser Tag…

Acronyms

Try creating a word out of other words to make up your own business names. my favourite two are for IT businesses:

  • SoHo IT Solutions – identifies clients and outlines services – Small Office Home Office IT Solutions
  • HABIT Systems – Home And Business IT Systems

Relevant words:

Picking a memorable word that embodies you and/or your business can have just as much impact:

  • Verity Wealth Management – Verity = truth
  • Halcyon VA – Halcyon = calm and peaceful
  • Work it baby – designed to improve fitness, help you lose weight and, most importantly, have fun
  • Jimmy Choux – a cake company playing on words

Get creative:

  • Crafty Sheep – candle company, named after the owner’s penchant for doodling sheep
  • Minerva Stitchcraft – named after Minerva the Roman Goddess of Arts & Crafts

Or maybe have a mixture of all of the above but above all make sure you like it. Road test a few ideas with your family and friends. Don’t get to attached, it’s a business decision at the end of the day and should be taken very seriously.

So when choosing your business name, keep these three ideas in mind:

  • Make it memorable
  • Make it relevant (to your activities, mission or ethos)
  • Make it unique (especially if Ltd company)

If You Want Your Business To Grow, Be Ready!

Small businesses are driving our economy, and people like you who have a passion for something and are willing to do the work to grow and develop your ideas are going to change the world in which you live. As I work with business owners around the country there is one thing I find to be true consistently, there are tons of resources out there for business owners. No, not everything that you find will be for you, but there is something out there for everyone. Entities including, but not limited to governments and companies, realize the importance of this group of budding entrepreneurs, and have set aside resources and programs that may help you along your journey.

In order for you to benefit from the resources you find there are a few things that you will need. Here is a small walk-through to help you make the most out of all of the opportunities that you find.

Be ready. As you develop your business, be ready for any opportunity that comes your way. One of the things that closes doors for business owners, is that they are not ready for expansion, growth, or opportunity. When a door opens you need to be ready to walk through it, but that requires you to be informed, ready, and willing.

Know your strengths and know your weaknesses. As a business owner, or someone who wants to start a business, you need to have a general idea where you are strong and where you are weak. If you don’t, you will find out at the most inconvenient time. Understand what you do well, and work in that area as much as possible. Then determine where your weaknesses are so that you can either get some help developing in those areas, or so you can get someone to help you. Perhaps, you can hire or barter with someone, to do that task for you. With areas where you are weak, develop a step-by-step plan that will help you continue to grow enough to maintain yourself until you can hire someone.

Have a plan. You know where you are today, but do you have a plan that can help you get where you want to go tomorrow. Some people develop a business plan and never look at it again. It’s a great tool that often goes underused. Planning is an essential part of your business, and you need to set aside time, monthly and quarterly for growth and development. Growth is your objective, but if you do not work from a plan how will you keep yourself on track, or how do you know what you are working on, and then how do you deal with the next point on this list.

Measure Your Results. You must be able to measure your results. If you don’t measure your results, how will you know if what are you doing is working? There are questions that you will need to answer once you have been doing something for a period of time, and that is “What do you need to do differently?”. Successful business owners know how to shift! They shift their energy, their time, and their money quickly when things are not working. When you have not identified a way to determine whether or not something is working it is hard to see whether or not your investment is actually paying off.

When you find the resources available in your area, they will always have requirements and parameters that you must follow in order to participate. The four areas above are the bare minimum for you to participate in many programs because they will allow you to answer questions about what you need, where you are going, and they will give you a working knowledge of where you are. People want to feel as if any investment they make in you and your business is going to have some type of return. Being ready and being prepared is a big part of this process, if you are not invested in you, why should someone else invest in you?

Why a Marketing Plan Is Important To Your Online Business

Every successful business needs a marketing plan. It defines how you will win new customers and relate to your current ones. Creating a good marketing plan for your online business is not enough. You will need to review and update it monthly to stay ahead of your competitors.

A marketing plan will not work for your business unless it is written properly. Doing research is a very important part of your plan. A well thought out plan is a strong foundation for executing your marketing strategies. A good marketing plan lays out objectives with details of how to achieve them. These goals will help you take the necessary steps and to take action in marketing your Internet business. This will give you profitability and help to secure long-term relationships with your clients.

A marketing plan is a part of an overall business plan. Even then, you must have solid strategies that are practical and can be executed in the amount of time you have set. You need to be clear and realistic about your online business objectives and how you will achieve them. Set measurable goals with deadlines, define responsibilities, and consider your budget. The right marketing plan should include your marketing efforts and a plan of how your products and services will meet or exceed your customers’ needs.

Your plan will help you to identify those customers’ needs and develop the right solutions for them. Market research will help you to determine the demand for products or services and aid you in the design of those products. The research will also help you to determine what your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are. You can use them to gain advantages for your Internet business and to better serve your clients.

Having a plan to market your business will also allow you to learn how well your marketing strategies are working. You will be able to do A/B testing of different marketing strategies to see what works best for your online venture. You will also be able to identify new product areas and new or potential customer bases.

With a marketing plan, you will know exactly what to do with your Internet business. You will know what to focus on and what will play an important role in your business. Each plan will have specific targets that can be monitored for progress. A good marketing plan will give you business intelligence for years; and you will have a standing business in those years to come.