Starting a Business

This is not for everyone. If you are not the kind of person that will work through your lunch hour to get the job done, you probably do not have the drive to make a business successful. There are lots of jobs out there that will pay you a good living salary with a nice retirement package and that will work for many.

Never work at a job where you hate going to work every day. If you do not enjoy your work it is time to consider your options. Life is too short. If you do decide to start a business the following may help.

By my mid-20s I had moved from an executive sales position to the regional manager for an international scale company. This soon evolved into starting my first business. A sign manufacturing company. After several years I sold the company as a going concern and worked in the print industry for a number of years. As the Internet started to evolve I recognized its potential and started one of the first website design companies in Alberta. I soon had a staff of six and my company was generating almost all of the websites for the provincial government as well as many other companies and organizations.

With my fifty years of experience in sales and marketing, I think I am in a position to offer some advice to anyone who is considering starting a business.

The business name:
Your business name is by far the most important marketing tool you have.
Your business name must be something people hear once and never forget. Too often I see people trying to name their business after the product they sell or after something related to the product. Your company name does not need to relate to what you are offering. Your company name must be unique.

For example Apple, Google. Try to pick an animal or a bug. For example Rooster XXX or BumbleBee XXX. Then make sure the domain name is available.

Your Logo:
The logo is an important part of a business. It helps to make you look professional and becomes part of your marketing. Please try to avoid what is often referred to as kitchen table logos. That is a situation where the business owner with no graphic design experience or training sits down at the kitchen table and designs the logo for his or her new company. Try to enroll the experience of a professional graphic designer. Using an animal or a bug for your company name opens up many possibilities for a unique and smart-looking logo. It even gives you the option of developing a cartoon character.

First Impression:
Having our unique name and a professionally designed logo can all be part of that very important first impression. If you are in a situation where you need to go out and meet clients whenever possible wear a suit. The suit is a sign of respect for your client and it also generates credibility and respect for you.

Having a better mousetrap or supplying a better product means nothing without marketing.
Do not think that building a website will be your ticket to success. I’ve watched people spend multi-thousands of dollars on a website and it just lays there because nobody comes to it. Yes, you can pay professional search engine optimization companies to bring you to the first page on a search but that can get very expensive, especially if you are in a competitive industry. Yes, you need a website but there are other ways to bring people to it. Try to think out of the box. Why not posters on all of the free bulletin boards you see throughout your community. Any place you can get your company name to pop up will help. The more shocking the name the better.

How about a newspaper ad that is mostly white space with only a web link to your new domain name
You can bet they will click on it because they are curious and you have just made someone click on your website.
That is thinking out of the box.

I could go on and on but I think this will give you a good start.