5 Branding Tips for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

A strong brand is important in this day and age of constant advertising everywhere we turn. Having a strong brand would ensure that your ideal customers think of you as the best provider before anyone else in your industry or niche.

If you’re a solopreneur, start-up or entrepreneur and you are the biggest element of your brand, think about how you will stand out and get noticed. What is the one thing that will make your ideal prospects sit up and take notice? In what way can you make yourself or your business memorable? Don’t worry – you can have a “rockin” brand just like the big boys!

Here’s a quick list of branding tips:

1. Picture it and make it visual. Branding is best when it is simple. I think the best brands create theater of the mind in the consumer’s mental eye. If you can make an association in people’s minds that will help them to remember you. Can you picture the original soft drink bottle shaped like an hour glass or the famous fast food chain with yellow arches? Yes, I thought so. You get the picture…

2. Get Creative and make it fun. Some of my favorite entrepreneurs have quirky, humorous or amusing elements incorporated in their brand. If you come up with an idea that’s a little off kilter, don’t discount it. It just might work. Ask a group of colleagues for their honest opinion. If you’re a part of a professional networking group, do your own focus group survey. Send an email asking for input on your brand and ask how it strikes the reader. You’ll get tons of varied responses but it’ll be great feedback.

3. Rock The Tweet. There’s no denying that Twitter is an entrepreneur’s best friend. You can quickly gain a following of several hundred to several thousands of potential customers and brand ambassadors. Social media is crucial in coming up with your brand concept. Make sure you check to see if the brand name you want is “tweetable.” Simply put, when choosing a brand name, make sure it works well with social media outlets.

4. Credibility. It’s great to have fun with your brand. However, make sure that it is authentic, believable and something you can stick with. Make sure that you are comfortable with the brand position and identity you have chosen. If you don’t believe in your own brand, no one else will. The worst thing would be to choose a brand and then change it repeatedly because you just aren’t sure what message you want to convey.

5. Consistency is key. Once you have created your brand, make sure you market it and use it everywhere. Many entrepreneurs have one brand image on their business cards and another on brochures or stationary. Think of how major corporations use their brand, you see it on their website, stationary, logo, mailing labels, specialty items, and more. It’s important to establish your brand in all elements of your marketing and public relations efforts. Make sure that you get rid of any old branding that you are no longer using. The last thing you want is to confuse your target audience about who are and what your brand is about.

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Start Selling Online With the Shopping Cart

You want to shop for a week’s supply at Wal-Mart and as you enter the store, you notice that all the shopping carts are gone. How would you feel? Of course, you’d feel like not shopping at all and switch to other stores where shopping carts are available. The same applies for online shoppers who wanted to make a more organized and one-way shopping, most especially if they’d purchase multiple items. A customer would always want it the easy way out and one way of letting them shop the easy way is through online shopping carts.

Shopping cart softwares have improved a lot as years passed and as e-commerce boomed to overcome a lot of tangible business out in the business world. Having an Online Shopping Cart Software is important and will reap you a lot of benefits both in short term and in the long run. Through a shopping cart, you would be able to cater the best shopping experience to your online customers like they’re in a virtual shopping mall picking up what they want and stashing it inside the cart for the cashier to bill them out.

Free vs Paid Shopping Carts

There are a lot of shopping cart softwares available; most of them are pay-to-use while some few are for free. Free shopping cart softwares may be very tempting to avail of because they are absolutely free of charge. Take note, however, that these free shopping cart softwares may be a good option while starting a business, when the customers are not that overwhelming yet. But try to anticipate when your business made it into the main stream. Surely, the free shopping cart software won’t be able to handle the demands of multiple customers in the long run. As compared with paid shopping carts, free carts are less stable and have less customer support available for technical difficulties.

Multi-Tasking Carts

There are available shopping cart softwares which come in a package making them more versatile than ever. Shopping cart packages allow for the users to perform multiple tasks at once.

Suggestive carts- Aside from the usual shopping cart where all the items to be purchased are stored temporarily, current carts also generate information about the customer’s history of previous purchases and offers them similar products which could catch their interests- this is through the power of cookies which collect previous information of users and dig them up for future use.

Search Tool- Search tool is also integrated in some shopping carts so shoppers won’t need to scour over the list of items. They can also sort these items out so that they can compare the prices, and all other essential information.

Cross Selling- Some carts can also be designed to do cross-selling such that there would be Hot Listed Items on a part of the cart which could raise the interest of a customer.

Computations of Fees- One important feature of a shopping cart is to make the job of the online seller easier so that before it reaches the Internet Merchant Account service, everything is already ironed out and ready for billing. Computation of taxes, shipping costs, discount rates and all other necessary calculations can be done by a shopping cart and this helps a lot in making the transaction smoother and more convenient.

Reporting- A shopping carts task doesn’t just end once the customer leaves the site and billed out by the IMA. The cart should also display reports to the online seller about the hottest items on the list, the overall sale for a certain time, the information about the traffic, the type of customers and all essential information necessary to improve the store.

Customizability of Design

The flexibility of the shopping carts is important so that it could be well adapted and customized according to the design or layout of the online store for which it is designed to work. By this feature, you can easily change the look of your store if it starts out to feel dull and monotonous. You should also see to it that the interface is user-friendly so that those persons with no idea about HTML or web designing can easily tweak the design up. There are also some shopping cart software providers who can customize the carts for you- all you need is to give them a logo of your store or tell them how you want those shopping carts to look like.

Shopping carts are very vital in the functioning of an ecommerce website. It gives heaps of benefits for both the seller and the customer. For this reason, be very careful and strategic in choosing the right shopping cart for your store. Just bear in mind those tips and points which should be looked into and surely, you’ll get the best shopping cart service suited for your business.