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Does Your Business Have a Branding Image?

by Guest Author 29 March 2018 11:08

It's a great accomplishment to start your own business, a dream come true. You don't have a boss, no set hours, vacation time when you want it, and you answer to just yourself. However, you may realize that operating your own business is not exactly what you thought it would be. Maybe you're not making the sales like you imagined you would. You feel confident in your product or service. So, why aren't the customers flooding your business? The problem may be your branding image.

What is a branding image?

Your business' brand is the sum of what customers think of your company --its personality, mission, values, culture. If you don't have much of an image established yet, then customers don't have much to go by. However, you have the opportunity to create the brand image you want.

Take a few minutes to jot down how you want your business to be identified. What are your goals and mission for the business? Do you have an image or personality in mind for your business? How do you want your business to be perceived? For example, do you want your company persona to be lighthearted and down-to-earth or do you want to promote your brand as upscale, affluent, classy? The choices are limitless.

How can I get my branding and design started?

Now that you realize the importance of a brand strategy, it's time to flesh one out. Many businesses start with a logo, which is a symbol to represent the business style, personality, and "feel" of your company. It's important to select the right logo and color scheme because once people begin to recognize your logo they'll connect it to your business. Once you choose the kind of image you want to project, you'll want to keep consistent across all platforms.

Another important element is to incorporate pictures and videos to which your customers and prospects will relate. This tells your story in pictures. Pictures and videos resonate with people's emotions. When you speak to people's emotions, then you are connecting with them on a whole new level.

Connect with us and start the journey of getting out the word about your business's brand.

Enhance Customer Service With These 3 Tips

by Guest Author 21 March 2018 07:04

When it comes to operating your small business, there's nothing more important than great customer service. According to research, 78% of people who experienced poor customer service ended up changing their minds about the purchase. That's an astounding number of people and is indicative of just how important customer service is. Nowadays with all of the technology, some businesses may focus their customer service efforts around that. While technology certainly plays a part, it's important to remember personal interactions are relevant to your success as well. Here are 3 tips on boosting customer service for your small business.

Minimize the response time

When customers contact your company, it's usually because there is problem or question. If it's a problem they have with the service or product, then they want to get to a resolution right away. At the very least, they want to be heard. If they attempt to contact you via telephone, email, or the website, they expect a prompt reply. Make sure they get one.

Phone communications

Telephone calls are an important part of customer service. In fact, customers will usually want to speak to a person when something is pressing. Although you cannot be there to answer the phone all the time, you can have a live operator who will or, if you must use voicemail, make sure you have a system in place to respond to the call soon. Also, most customers don't like long automated voice systems that ask you to press various numbers for different types of services. If you need to use that type, ensure the message is brief.

Make sure everyone's on the same page

It's important for everyone who communicates with the customers to be on the same page. Customers should not hear conflicting information about your product, service, promotions, and offers. This can be a source of frustration for customers and gives the appearance of a business that is in chaos.

Succeeding in customer service means success for you as a business owner. It's easy to overlook the little details but these are just as important to your customers.

5 Awesome Northern California Weekend Getaways

by Guest Author 6 March 2018 06:09

Whether you’re a longtime local resident or just flying in for a couple of days, Northern California can’t be beat for its variety of amazing weekend getaways. From wineries and restaurants to working farms and hiking trails, this popular part of California has a little something for everyone.

  1. Nevada City, CA: Billed as California’s best preserved Gold Rush town, Nevada City has a rich and storied history. Historic firehouses, theaters, and a popular railroad museum give visitors a look back in time to what life was like in the 1800’s. Check out one of the largest hydraulic mines in the country at Malakoff Diggins Historic State Park or sip a drink in a subterranean cave at the Old Storehouse Brewery. For a truly spooky experience, take a walk past the long-abandoned Nevada County Hospital — if you dare.

  2. Ukiah, CA: Located in the heart of Mendocino County, Ukiah was ranked California’s number one best small town in 1996. Locals like to lunch at the City of Ten Thousand Buddha’s, followed by a trip around the grounds and a stop in the bookstore. Rejuvenate yourself with a mineral water swim at the nearby Orr Hot Springs or take a ride to Fort Bragg on the historic Skunk Train. If heart-pounding action is more your speed, suit up for some river rafting, disc golf, or off-road opportunities at locations throughout the area.

  3. Geyserville, CA: Traditionalists visiting Northern California for its acclaimed wine country can’t do better than Geyserville. The famous Clos du Bois and Francis Ford Coppola wineries call this picturesque part of Sonoma County home, along with dozens of smaller wineries. Get up close and personal with Charlie Brown, Linus, and Lucy at the Charles M. Schultz Museum or take in the fresh air while paddling a canoe down the Russian River. No visit to Geyserville is complete without a trip to the penny slot lounge at the River Rock Casino.

  4. Bodega Bay, CA: There’s so much to see in this beautiful coastal town that it will be hard to cram everything into one short weekend. Check out the Ocean Overlook at Bodega Head to catch a glimpse of the pods of blue and grey whales that migrate back and forth from Alaska to Baja, California each winter and spring. The Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve features nature and hiking trails across more than 750 acres and sports some of the tallest trees in Sonoma County. Film history buffs won’t want to miss a visit to the Potter Schoolhouse which featured prominently in Alfred Hitchcock’s famous movie, “The Birds.”

  5. Pescadero, CA: Just south of Half Moon Bay, this quiet rural town is home to campsites, roadside farm stands, and the largest elephant seal breeding colony the world. Bed and breakfast inns abound but adventurous types may want to stay at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel and take a dip in the hot tub overlooking the ocean. Don’t miss a tour of Harley Farms goat dairy, followed up with a stop at the on-site cheese shop.

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