Does the car you drive matter in small business?

A couple of months ago I had a business meeting with someone that was trying to sell me on a project; I met them at a restaurant that they picked.  They pulled up in an old Toyota that was badly in need of a wash, and the bumper was dented and had paint marks all over it.  Does this matter?  I think that it does.  Everything about you matters when it comes to business; from the way you dress to the car you are driving. Continue reading

Brand Building through Customer Loyalty

In business we often talk about branding and how to capture customer loyalty over the competitors and there is two major ways that this can be done; one is branding the product itself, the other is branding the company.  When it comes to branding a product you need to do something that makes a product that is similar to the competition stand out. For example, zip lock potato chips; the product is the same but the packing is unique;  you need something that differentiates your product from the competitors.  The other option is branding your company itself; companies that have various products often go this route in order to create customer loyalty to the company as a brand; they do this so that when they gain a customer’s loyalty it is not simply for one product but for the company overall.  When you are shopping if you are loyal to Johnson & Johnson, they make hundreds of products, so you may purchase a variety of products simply because you trust this brand. Continue reading

Is Branding Different Than Marketing?

If you are in marketing one of the words you probably have heard often is “Branding” and that’s because branding is a very important aspect of most companies marketing strategies.  But many people seem to be confused about what exactly branding is, and then then there are those that mistakenly are defining branding as marketing.  Is there a difference or are they one and the same? Continue reading

The Most Valuable Commodity – Relationships

During a conference call today I was telling someone a true story that happened to me a few years ago that got me to thinking; first let me share that story with you.  I had a partner that I had brought into my company that was young, inexperienced, but I thought I saw something in him that could be molded into a great business partner, I was wrong.  I know, hard to believe, me wrong, but yep, it does happen from time to time.  So anyway, this new partner didn’t bring in any new business; all of the clients were pre-existing and had relationships with me personally.  So that being said, after a while this new partner of mine having learned how things worked, decided that his portion of the profits of the business that already existed prior to his arrival, well that wasn’t enough, so he started contacting the clients and offering them a much better, less expensive deal, one where he wouldn’t have to share the profits with anyone else.   Continue reading