How Should I Present Myself? – By Picking the Right Name For Your Business

Your business needs a name. And that name should work from a marketing standpoint.

The main objective to keep in mind is this: Your business name should convey information about your business. If it doesn’t convey anything, it’s essentially useless-unless you’re Google and have gobs of money to spend teaching people a new word.

Naming a company is difficult when you’re just starting out or making a transition. Your business will change and evolve as you find your market and learn more about the needs of that market. If you choose a name at the very beginning, it may not reflect what you actually end up doing.

Your business name must have room for growth, and should, ideally, be able to transform and grow as your business grows, too.

So, if possible, start with something that is more general than specific, and consider it temporary. It might make sense to start with your name as the business name. That, at least, is less likely to change.

The bottom line is this: Take your time. Don’t rush into making a decision about your company name. If necessary, in the interim, use a simple business card with your personal name and a list of services you’re offering. As you interact with people, especially with clients, it will become clearer what you’re doing and what you should call your business.

You probably have lots of cute and clever ideas for a business name. But those are probably from your own point of view and not that of your clients. For example, a client recently had a consultation to discuss the naming of his business and his logo. As a designer, he was very focused on which logo looked better, but he had not given much thought to the name he’d chosen: John Smith Digital Graphics.

At networking events, he was dismayed to discover that no one understood what digital graphics meant. Many people thought he offered pre-press services (which he doesn’t). When asked what tangible product his clients get as a result of working with him, he said, “They get a web site that is usable.”

Oh, so he’s a web site designer. Why didn’t he just say that?

Partially because he doesn’t want to say what everyone else says. He wants to be different. But this is neither the time nor the place to be different. Because if you present yourself using unclear words that confuse your prospects, they’ll never turn into clients.

Should my name be my business name, too?

You may not realize it, but your name is more than just your name. It’s also a valuable marketing tool at your disposal. So how should you use it?

One of your marketing objectives is to have a little share of your prospects’ minds so that when a need arises, your name comes readily to them. If you’ve been working for any length of time, there is undoubtedly a reputation that precedes you-people who know you or know of you, stories people can tell about you-for better or worse. If that’s the case, you can capitalize on the reputation, or “brand recognition,” you’ve already built for yourself by including your name in the name of your business or company.

On the other hand, if no one has ever heard of you, calling your firm Betty Smith and Associates will convey no information at all to a prospect who sees or hears it-so that doesn’t work as a marketing tool.

Keep in mind that, sometimes, besides your name, the name of your business will be the only thing your prospects see-on a business card, on your nametag, on a list of attendees at a meeting-and it should therefore reflect the focus of the work that you do, since you won’t always be available to elaborate. In fact, your company name should be so clear that it speaks for itself.

So while Smith & Associates may have name recognition, it conveys no information about the kind of services offered, much less a specialty. It could just as easily be a law firm as a marketing firm, and any prospect who saw only Smith & Associates would have no clue, which means a lost opportunity for business.

Smith Communications is little bit better because it is more descriptive but still general enough to encompass many services and client needs (it could include services such as graphic design, writing, public relations, marketing, almost anything). So this could be a good candidate for a temporary name.

But Smith Copywriting or Smith Design-or, even better, Smith Direct Mail Copywriting or Smith Web Design-is even more descriptive, so prospects needing these specific services would immediately know they’d found what they were looking for.

Business Naming Dos and Don’ts

· Do think long-term. When choosing a business name, choose something you can live with for three to five years. As your business evolves, you will see whether or how you need to change your name. Don’t change it just because you get bored, though, because you’ll lose all the brand equity you’ve built into that name.

· Don’t get too fancy or creative with your name, especially if your market is on the conservative side, because your clients won’t understand what you do. The name should be easy to pronounce and to remember, not esoteric or obscure. Do make sure the name of your business rolls easily off the tongue in two to three syllables. You don’t want a long, unpronounceable name that people will avoid saying. And make sure it is easy to spell, because that will make it easier to find in search engines and on the Internet. If prospects misspell your web address, they may never find you-but they may find your competition.

· Do consider where you’ll land in alphabetical listings. If you can use one of the early letters in the alphabet, do so.

· Do make sure the name you select has only positive associations. For example, Accurate Bookkeeping Services not only has positive associations, but it also would be near the top of an alphabetical listing. Joyous Media has positive associations, but it doesn’t communicate what the business is.

· Don’t choose something that has a personal or private meaning. Many people also use their geographic locations in their business names, which is good if the market would appreciate a local vendor. But sometimes it only has a personal meaning, like Mountain View Graphics or 408 Group (because the street address is 408).

· Do create a name that reflects a need your market has. For example, you can guess the specialty of a company called ReachWomen. When clients who need to reach women hear that name, they’ll respond immediately because the name reflects their need. Or how about Cross It Off Your List, an organizing and relocation company in New York City? Think about what your prospects need, and how that need can be finessed into a business name.

· Do make sure the name of your business rolls easily off the tongue in two to three syllables. You don’t want a long, unpronounceable name that people will avoid saying. And make sure it is easy to spell, because that will make it easier to find in search engines and on the Internet. If prospects misspell your web address, they may never find you-but they may find your competition.

Take your time thinking about this and getting feedback from other people. Your company name is an important choice.

Social Media: The Perfect Business Promotion Sites

Finding the right business promotion sites to showcase your company’s online presence and advertise your products and services is probably easier than you think. That is because in the realm of online business promotion, there are only a handful of relevant sites where you know people are, and those are social media sites.

Discovering the benefits of the three most used platforms

Social media sites are the perfect place for any business to promote themselves, as well as their products, services, and events. How you promote on these sites and which ones to build a presence on depends solely on what type of business you have and what types of customers you are trying to reach.

Finding new customers through the surge of interactions on Twitter

Twitter is by far the most high paced social media platform out there. On Twitter, people are constantly sharing, in 160 character bursts, things like:

  • What they like or what they’re thinking,
  • What their watching or reading,
  • Ideas and messages they enjoyed that others shared,
  • Their comments on special “trending” topics, which get displayed along side everyone else in the world commenting on those topics

All of this helps anyone easily find people that share similar interests to them and makes Twitter the kind of environment that brings people together that wouldn’t normally know each other, and that is a great atmosphere for gaining new customers! That is why Twitter is the platform you want to go to when you’re looking to catch the eye of potential clients and faithful customers.

Stimulating your core clientele with Facebook

Facebook is a much slower-paced platform compared to Twitter. On Facebook, most users have the majority of their information and communication capabilities set to “private” where only the people they have accepted as “friends” can see their updates (similar to tweets) and communicate with them.

Facebook is also a place where businesses can create their own “page,” which is basically like a storefront on Facebook, and people who enjoy that business can “like” their page.

The fact that everything is so personal, intimate, and private on Facebook – where users are really only concerned about the people and things they already know about – make this platform great for engaging your loyal customer base. Here you can:

  • Offer “customer appreciation” discounts
  • Post pictures that people familiar with your business would appreciate
  • Deepen your customers’ love for your business (which will always lead to referrals)

Finding your next business contact on LinkedIn

The final social media platform that makes for one of the best business promotion sites online is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is strictly for business relationships. On LinkedIn, you can:

  • Post your job history
  • Post your resume
  • Post links to your business portfolio, and
  • Receive and share “recommendations” form and for people you have worked with in the past

Because of this, LinkedIn makes for a great platform to gain, maintain, and deepen business relationships. If you are looking for someone to do marketing for your next big event or release, or if you do marketing and are looking for a business rolling out a new product or service that you can help them with, you can search through your “connects,” or the people who you know directly or know through other business associates to find just that.

This is a great tool because you are more likely to find reputable people to partner with since most of your “connects” are business associates that either you trust or are trusted by people you know.

Going social is the way to promote your business

When searching for business promotion sites, it is important to keep in mind what you are looking to do. Your best bet is to go with one or all three of the main social media platforms:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook, or
  • LinkedIn

Gaining interest in your business online is the same as garnering interest in the real world, you have to be proactive and know your market. If you know what each social media website is good for, in terms of promoting your business, you will be better equipped to attract the interest of quality clients and associates.

How to Make Beeswax Candles – 5 Simple Steps to Get Your Business Rolling

How to Make Beeswax Candles with a Profit Motive

If you are contemplating on developing a small candle venture, making beeswax candles could be a wise choice. Beeswax candles last a long time and burn clean. Unlike paraffin candles they do not emit toxins when they burn. Beeswax has no mercury, benzene or lead. However, because of its naturally sweet beeswax smell, it is definitely a popular item among candle buyers!

Overhead and inventory would be at a low level. Monitoring the cash flow would be simple and your start-up expense minimal.

Not only could you be making beeswax candles for the purpose of selling, but you might want to consider offering classes on how to make beeswax candles…to both young and old.

These candles are inexpensive and easy to work with! Skills are quick to pick up and unlike other candles you will not need equipment like thermometers and double boilers or have to worry about hot melted wax.

In fact other than needing flat open space, the only basic supplies you will need are lots and lots of beeswax sheets, a major amount of primed wick and one sharp knife!

Fundamental Technique for Making Beeswax Candles

1. Bend a beeswax sheet in half and pull it carefully with your hands, creating two separate pieces.

2. Lay one sheet of beeswax on any clean flat surface. Put a wick on the borderline of the beeswax allowing a half inch to protrude at each end of the candle. This will give you the opportunity later to figure out which end you prefer for the top.

3. Upon placing the wick, begin rolling the beeswax, tucking the edges as you go and making sure to seal the wick tightly in place. Roll slowly, keeping it straight. Continue until you have wrapped the beeswax entirely around.

4. Using fingertips carefully seal edges using only light, gentle presses as not to crack the beeswax.

5. Decide which end will be your top. Trim back the wick allowing 1/2 inch to remain above the candle wax. Remove excess wick from the bottom.

The knack of making beeswax candles while being straightforward and uncomplicated still requires effort and patience. To further better you and your business, continual training in skills should play a major roll. Learn thoroughly the candle making process. Remember, beeswax candles have been around since the beginning of the 14th century!

Know that in the beginning your candles might not be perfect. Practice, practice and more practice. And with practice, will come an appreciation of why it is appropriately termed: the “art” of candle making!