Zoholics: India is all about us sharing our journey through the years; in the faith that business owners would benefit from our experiences. We have decided to not stop with just that, however. Starting tomorrow, we are giving away .in and .co.in domains to businesses in India.
For many, an ideal business would be one which grows steadily year after year, chasing the dream of monopolizing their market. They would love to become an irreplaceable constant for their customers in an ever-changing world. However, in the process of growing, many businesses lose what they were loved for. In the long run, this loss would become a key factor in their downfall. For businesses, it might be better to be the king of a small kingdom, rather than a large collapsing anarchy. Would you prefer a slow steady stream, or a large unreliable downpour?
Design, as we explained earlier, plays a major role in making a great website. A design which is simply visually appealing, however, doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good rank in a search engine. The internet is peppered with beautiful websites which do poorly on search engines. Websites need to adhere to certain guidelines to ensure great optimization for search engines.
Everyone of significance needs (and has) a website. While the importance of websites is never argued, many consider designing their websites a boring and tedious job. Some prefer to ignore it completely, building text-heavy websites. Others hand it over to inexperienced designers, who put in too many design elements. However, with increasing numbers flooding the internet, it is safe to say that a website greatly influences the viewer’s perception of you. A poor design casts a disastrous shadow.
It is time we gave our websites’ design its due respect.
Customers can be . Their choices are heavily biased towards outward appearances. Why do subtle differences cause so much chaos in your sales? Are appearances so important? Should you treat your products like placebos, and invest heavily in pleasing your customers’ whimsical palate?
The internet is a promise for value. For both the surfer and the creator, the internet promises value. Website builders try to show the creators a way to create without issue. Despite the hundreds of options in the market there is, sadly, an absence of a complete builder that is accessible to the ones without a big paycheck. We are changing that. With Zoho Sites, you can now create, edit and host beautiful websites, for free!
Let’s think about why do website builders ask you to pay. Of the numerous website builders in the market, the most prominent distinction among the ‘best’ seems to be their marketing budget. Focusing primarily on visibility, these companies have been spending increasing amounts to catch eyeballs. One even spent millions for its 30 seconds of fame! Despite the excessive spending, these companies are barely reaching break-even. They are getting their visibility, but low-conversion rates were hurting their ability to generate revenue enough to justify expenses. The model had proven to be unsustainable and unstable. Read more
This is a guest post by Sandra Faleris of SmBizWinningTips.
To most small business owners, branding seems more fit for multi-national corporations. Yet many don’t realize that branding, in some ways, is even more important for small businesses which are constantly trying to one-up the competition.
Even if you own, for example, a local corner convenience store that doesn’t seem to inspire any kind of grand marketing gesture, there are ways of branding that will entice customers to spend in your store versus the convenience store down the street.
Branding is more than having a business with a unique name or a restaurant that serves your grandmother’s favorite recipes. Branding encompasses everything in your business, from the way your employees treat your customers, to the bags that hold the purchased products.
5 Branding Tips for Small Businesses
- Prepare a one-page Mission Statement: This is an important document that will set the stage for how you do business. Make sure it highlights the elements that sets your business apart from your competitors and how that will engage your customers.
- Create Company Identity Standards: Expensive logos are not considered an important element to the small business brand. Yet it’s important to create a visual theme that includes how the company name is graphically configured (fonts, color scheme, images). These “standards” should be used as a base structure for all branding/marketing material that is to follow (i.e. brochures, promotional materials, etc.).
- Slogans/Themes: “Expect more, pay less” is Target’s slogan. In a few words, it communicates the company’s position versus their competitors. Yes, K-Mart could have said the same thing. But Target did it first and best. So differentiating your business also includes how you want to “position” it in the minds of the consumer against your competitors. Slogans/themes can be a great asset in branding, as long as your business “delivers” the promise, each and every time. Consider adding a slogan or theme to your company identity standards. Then include it in everything from the way the phones are answered to the close of the sale.
- Websites: While logos are no longer the all-important differentiating factor of a brand, websites are the future. Even if your business is not an online e-commerce site, design a website that encompasses your company standards. If you are afraid that developing a website is too expensive, think again. There are software programs, online developers and outsourcing companies that can create your website for less than $500, and that includes web hosting.
- Say-do: This is something small businesses tend to forget and is a key point in branding. What your slogan, promotion or sales people tell your customers must come true. Consumers are reluctant to work with small businesses that say one thing and do another. It creates frustration, negative feelings and bad word-of-mouth. There is nothing worse than inconsistency and failure to deliver on the promise.
Evaluate your branding strategy every few months. Your customers are the ones who will test its efficacy. Alter as needed, but don’t start from scratch unless you have the budget to revise everything.
These 5 easy steps can make a world of difference in how your business is viewed. You can turn your “Mom and Pop Shop” into a growing contender for having the top brand and a growing piece of the market share with little effort and a great deal of forethought.