Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ Category

Does Your Company Need A Logo?

There is always controversy when it comes to the topic of whether your company should have a "logo" or not.  Some people firmly believe that you have to have one, while others say it's not necessary at all.  But who's right?

I took this question to a variety of firms that have company logos.  I personally conducted a survey by asking presidents, vice presidents and owners of companies using them why a company logo was necessary to their business image.

In summary, it is NOT necessary for your business to have a company logo UNLESS your particular company is in a class that demands one.  According to an article in "Income Opportunities," Jay Lander, founder of Lander Design in Metuchen, New Jersey, states:  "Logos make sense for real estate firms and others who have lots of competition as well as for those with opportunities to 'show off' a logo -- on lawn signs, print advertisements, stationery and business cards.  Restaurants, which typically need to distinguish themselves from the pack, put logos on matchbooks and usually carry the design on their menus."

Lander further states:  "The size of an organization is not a good measure by which to decide in favor of a logo.  Many businesses prod along fine without any."

What's the Real Purpose For One?

Two "real" reasons:  (1) for customer identification, and (2) for prestige.  Wendy's restaurant, for example, has a logo of a little red-haired girl in pigtails.  If you're driving down Route 66, you normally can recognize a Wendy's restaurant several miles away because of the shape of the company's logo on their sign.  Also, you don't have to read the words "McDonald's" to know it's a McDonald's restaurant.  Instead, you recognize it by the golden arches.

But does a regular mail order business need one?  Probably not.  The reason I use the word "probably" is because a company logo is only necessary if your market demands it. Any good business, after they have had time to grow enough to have a customer base of repeat customers, will get to know them on a more personal basis.  We do this to learn our customers' needs and wants so we can sell them the proper products and services.  When that time comes, as a mail order business you can make the decision whether or not to have a company logo.

How will you know?  Because your dedicated customer base of repeat customers will demand it.  However, if your customer base is comprised mainly of small businesses on the same level as yourself, it probably won't be necessary to have a logo.

What About Prestige?

If you want to make your company appear like a professional organization because you want to attract business from other professional organizations, it may be necessary to adapt a company logo regardless of whether  you need one or not.  This is called "prestige." Established multi-level marketing firms use company logos to provide their distributors with company recognition as well as prestige.  Other smaller companies use them solely because the owner believes it makes him or her appear more established in business.  Whatever the reason, it basically boils down to what you want to do.

Basic Rules Of Starting Your Franchise

Starting a franchise can be a really profitable venture and a decision you will be glad you made. However, starting a franchise can be disastrous as well if you do not know exactly what you are getting into beforehand. So, if you want to start a franchise then do some research to find out all of the plus and minuses of franchises as well as the specific one you are interested in. It will be worth the time and effort to find out all of the information before you invest your many thousands of dollars. There are, however, several things you will want to now upfront. These include the different franchise opportunities currently available, market saturation, and the like. Once a particular franchise is determined on, or several are, then you will need to compare more specific information. First, do some research to find out what companies franchise. Once you know all of the franchise options, you will be able to pick out the ones you like best and are most interested in. After that, you can narrow those down based on your investment ability and the demand for this particular franchise in your proposed market. The best thing to do is find a market that had a high demand for a particular franchise and then buy that one. All franchises will be more successful in a market with a high demand for the product. Also, when considering a franchise you need to consider the market significantly. What franchises currently exist, what demand is there for your proposed franchise, are there plans for other similar franchise in the works by competitors, and the like. Evaluate the market as best as possible. By doing this you educate yourself on the market which means you will be able to match a franchise to the needs of the market. That is really important. Finally, when you have narrowed down the franchises available that meet the demands of a particular market, then you can compare the statistics of the various franchises to find the one that best fits your management style, investment ability, projected profits and loss, advertising, and market. You will also need to ensure that the franchiser supports the franchise significantly, especially at first in order to ensure a successful start and continued business. If the franchiser is not interested in helping the franchise get started, then you probably want to look for one that does. Once you have decided on a particular franchise, then it will be after considerable research. Because of this, you will pick the best franchise for you and the market, which means you have a better chance at being successful and enjoying your business.

An Ecommerce Internet Merchant Account

Small business owners and home based entrepreneurs sometimes reach the point where they realize their company is ready to grow, and then they begin to consider the advantages of an ecommerce Internet merchant account. Those who accept merely cash or check payments may decide to increase the ways in which a customer can pay for goods or services. A merchant account will let business owners accept credit card payments in many different ways. That is why so many business people opt to apply for an Internet merchant account.

If you do not already have an Internet Website to promote your business, this would be a good time to put one in place by opening an Ecommerce Internet Merchant account. More and more, consumers are looking to the Internet to find companies that offer the products and terms they want. Conducting business on the Internet or through technological means is called “ecommerce,” sometimes spelled as “e-commerce,” and it is growing at a tremendously rapid rate. Once your Website is operational, you will want to update it often with your latest product lines and descriptions and price lists. Once customers from any other computer in the world know where to find you, chances are they will return time and again if they like your site; they might even bookmark it. To keep customers coming back, get an Ecommerce Internet merchant account that will let you accept credit card payments. That way, customers can buy things at your store locations, whether online or at a physical site, and pay for them instantly. You won’t have to send out statements or wait for checks to arrive in the mail. Instead, your credit-processing feature will let them pay with a credit card, and your underwriter can facilitate the payment by converting currency and deposit profits in your account, using real time. An ecommerce Internet merchant account can put you leagues ahead of other companies in your industry. While they still take just check or cash payments, you can be busy processing credit card payments that could push your sales volume to new record heights. Naturally, you will want to keep your store looking attractive, and your Website should offer helpful information that will make guests want to return and possibly even bookmark your site for frequent reference. When the word gets out that you are accepting credit payments, more customers may browse your Website to check out your wares and plunk down a credit card in payment. One of the nice things about using credit is its convenience. Customers don’t have to worry about carrying enough cash or making an account deposit before going shopping. They can browse spontaneously, and when they find something they want to buy, they need not be constrained by a lack of cash on hand or forgetting to order new checks for the checkbook. Why not apply for your merchant account services account soon so that you can enjoy the status and benefits of attracting customers who prefer using credit when they hear about your ecommerce Internet merchant account.

Help for Entrepreneurs

There’s good news for entrepreneurs who need help but aren’t ready to hire full-time employees.  Between January and July 2004, the ranks of part-time workers grew from 24.3 million to 25.5 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  It was also learned that from June to July the increase came from people who wanted to work part-time and not because they couldn’t find full-time employment. It seems that 1.7 million part-timers hold two or more part-time jobs, and do this by choice.  Such workers will be harder to convert to full-time employees because they like the diversity of different jobs. This all translates into benefits for the entrepreneur who needs help but can’t hire full-time employees.  The employment gurus don’t expect this part-time preference to pass anytime soon.  It seems that the appeal of a reduced schedule is strong both for seniors and baby boomers nearing retirement. Parents who have interrupted careers to care for their children but still want to work may also explain the boom. Entrepreneurs should eagerly look to this pool of workers and eagerly employ part-time help.  A big reason is that employer-paid health insurance and other benefits add costs equal to more than 50 percent of the average employee’s gross earnings. A part-time employer can get by with a low-cost factor, and still find somebody reliable and efficient. Looking at the boom of part-timers seems like a win-win situation for entrepreneurs and workers alike.  Check the prospect out with your accountant and you may find that you come out a winner and less stressed.

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