Once you have a company that is up and running and you have started to gain some traction, you know you need to get some branding done in order to take things into overdrive. If you are thinking of going about the branding for your company yourself, you might want to hold your horses and think about it again. Do you really think you can do a good job of branding your company? While it may hurt the ego of many businessmen the simple fact of the matter is that running a company and branding a company for success are completely different things.
You should resist the temptation to do it yourself and think of a better option. In order to convince you, here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t do your own company’s branding.
It’s A Different Ballgame
Unless you are someone who already has extensive experience branding and advertising for another company before starting your own, you probably do not have a good grasp on the concept of branding. You might be thinking that the brand is nothing more than the logo, the tag line and how your products generally look.
It is that but there is so much more to it. The branding of a company instils an emotional response from the customers when they use your products and those branding elements can make that happen. A talented branding company will immediately be able to capitalize on what emotions the products your company can instil in your customers and use that to build the brand of your company.
As a freelancer, bookkeeping can sometimes become very difficult. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t really sure about what sort of things they should be keeping records of and what is unnecessary, which tends to lead to one of two situations:
The records that are kept simply aren’t good enough, which can lead to problems when it comes to submitting a tax return. Most freelancers only make this mistake once or twice.
As you can see, understanding what your record keeping and tax requirements are as a freelancer is very important.
First, consider how the ATO sees you:
If you are a freelancer, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will see you in one of two ways. If you only freelance part time and don’t earn very much, then your freelance work may be seen as a hobby, which means that you don’t have to pay any tax. However, if you earn a decent amount, and undergo the freelance activity with the purpose of making money, you will be classed as a business, and will have to pay taxes.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to decide how the ATO will see you. Usually, your activity will be defined as a hobby if it is largely for pleasure, if it makes you money to cover the costs of tools or materials, and if it is not undertaken commercially. As soon as you start doing something with the aim of making a profit or on a commercial scale, you will be classified as a business. If you are unsure, contact the ATO for a private ruling.
Mention search engine optimisation, or SEO, to a room full of business people and you’ll see a variety of reactions, many of which will involve puzzled faces, grimacing or even a bolt for the nearest exit. It is understandable, given the vast amount of conflicting and confusing information which exists relating to SEO.
Sadly, there are some elements of this information which are likely to do more harm than good if applied to a website’s SEO strategy, and yet they appear time and time again on SEO forums, discussion groups and social media posts. Some of this information may seem to make sense at first but a look at the guidelines given out by the main search engines will show they are myths.
Myth #1: You Must Use A Dot Com Extension For Your Domain Name
Whilst dot com is desirable, according to Google it is not the case that they prefer dot com domains and rank them much higher than other extensions such as dot net or dot org. It is true that in the very beginning Google could only recognise dot coms but those days are long gone.
If you are a local company, seeking to attract local customers then it is more beneficial to select a domain with your country code such as ‘.aus’ in Australia, or ‘.co.uk’ in the United Kingdom.
Unless you have web design skills then it is a safe bet that you need to find someone to help design your website for you. All good and well but where are you going to find such a person?
For a start, you could try simply searching for one in Google. There are two ways you can do this. The first is to enter the search term ‘web designer‘ and then go through the results to see if any catch your eye. One thing to look for here is if any of the results bring up the designer’s own website. If they do it might give you a small preview of what their design skills amount to.
The second way to search on Google is to look for a web designer who is local to you. Type ‘web designer’ into Google’s search box and add your town, city or state. It can be very advantageous using local designers especially if your business only trades locally. They might have an insight into what local website designs have worked in he past. The other advantage is you may be able to meet face-to-face which is always a positive way to build a good working relationship.
Many people spend a large part of their lives paying off the mortgage on their home. Those who are wise, seek the advice of a financial planner like www.andep.com.au to help them reduce the interest and get the debt paid as soon as possible. This kind of financial planning can mean you save thousands and may even be able to pay of the debt earlier. So what happens when it is finally paid off?
Apart from throwing a party to celebrate, there are many things you can do.
Go on a cruise or a trip
Buy something you always wanted
Enjoy being debt free
Keep on paying the same amount of instalments into a savings fund
After spending 20-30 years paying the mortgage off, if you’ve been able to still live comfortably during that time, paying the same amount into a savings fund shouldn’t really worry you. At least you’ll still have it as your own money rather than seeing it all go to the lender. When you consult with a financial advisor, they will be able to advise you on the best way to invest that money to grow your wealth.
Adwords marketing is a form of digital marketing that places your specific product or service in front of a person who has proven their interest by clicking on the ad. Better still, you only have to pay when they click, not if they read the ad but don’t click. Many businesses have found it to be a very productive way to market their goods. That said, as with everything mistakes can be made that affect your end result, so here are 5 common ones to avoid.
Choosing a keyword that is too broad. Even though it may seem likely to attract a great many potential buyers, the cost will very likely be too high to give you a good return over investment (ROI). It’s better to start off with several long-tail keywords that will be much cheaper and work your way up from there as you get more profits. These keywords can be found from your Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools accounts.
Many people try to squeeze as many keywords into each campaign as possible. The idea with adwords marketing is to be laser targeted. One keyword for each campaign and landing page would be the ideal, but it takes too much time. Instead, restrict yourself to about 5 keywords.
Sending visitors straight to the home page of your website. This leaves them feeling confused as they try to find out the information they expected from the ad keywords It results in higher bounce rates and ends up costing more. You need a dedicated landing page for each ad campaign that gives the visitor exactly what they want without having to go look for it.
No matter whether you are buying or selling a business, the sale agreement is the document that the whole deal will pivot on. It is essential to have your lawyer draw it up if you are selling, and if you are the business buyer you will certainly need to have the document assessed by a an experienced business consultant or solicitor to ensure everything is above board and legally correct.
There are many ways you can be scammed when purchasing a business, but a lawyer will be able to pick up on anything that is not right or even a bit suspicious and check into it. Here are some of the problems lawyers can catch.
Hidden debt. Sometimes a business owes people lots of money and when you are buying it, you can become responsible for all the debt. This can become a crippling obstacle standing in the way of those profits you expected. A lawyer can go through the document and add a clause that makes the sale legal only if there are no outstanding debts.
If you are purchasing a business, the lease is an important part of it, unless you are planning to re-establish in another location. A lawyer can look at the lease and tell you whether it is favourable or needs some clauses added to it so you can continue to trade in the way you planned.
Dress sense is not something difficult to achieve once you understand what it includes. Being well dressed in business will help you to gain the respect and position you deserve. Some people choose to enhance their looks with Botox injections; others choose to make the most of themselves by choosing styles and colours that suit them.
Both are good choices, as Botox treatment can eliminate ageing wrinkles from your face and can also be used to prevent underarm sweating which will ruin any kind of outfit you wear. Men especially, are prone to sweating and those white or blue business shirts certainly show up the wet patches. You also have to think of body odour when you sweat excessively.
Why colours are important
No matter if you’ve bought the most expensive and elegant outfit for work, wearing the wrong colours can make certain skin types look sallow or pale and that often makes you look as if you are unwell. That’s not the impression you want to give the boss or anyone else you have to deal with in business.
Wearing colours that suit your skin type will enhance your looks and make you more attractive. Knowing you look your best gives you more confidence. When you have confidence you relate better to others and this can certainly give you an edge over the competition in the workplace. When management sees that customers are happy dealing with you, they’ll be more likely to give you a promotion or a pay raise.
When a business goes through the unpleasant mess of litigation, it will cost them a great deal in legal fees to their lawyers as well as what they have to pay the person who sues them – always supposing they win. However there are other costs that are largely hidden and often cannot be recovered, let alone even worked out because of their very nature.
The cost to the reputation of the company can bring it to its knees because such things can drag on for years. During this time the media will make a big fuss and the public tend to think, Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In other words, they convict the company in their minds and this usually translates into not dealing with them anymore.
The CEO and other management have to spend a great deal of time with their lawyers and external stakeholders – they may even bring in external risk and reputational management professionals with whom they will have to spend time. This means they are not focussed on managing their business to the extent that they should be. Under such stress, they may make poor business decision, or lose a client due to neglect. This too, has a great cost that can never be worked out.
So here are 5 ways a business can manage the cost of litigation
Small and medium enterprises make a few common mistakes when they have their websites designed for the very first time. Although, an experienced web designer would point out those mistakes to you during the development stages, but it is important that you know which web design mistakes to avoid as a business owner. The following common mistakes should be avoided at all costs:
Not Having a Clearly Defined Target Market
The worst thing you can do as a business owner is not define your target market in the early stages of the web design process. The colour scheme, the fonts, images, usability, and all other elements of the design are dictated by who you are targeting. If you do not tell the web designer a clearly defined target market, and tell them to make a design that caters to everyone, you will end up with a design that caters to no one.
Flashy Design and Clutter
Some business owners go for flashy designs and try to put too much information on a single page. You do not have to utilise each and every inch/cm available on the page. If the web design is not pleasing to the eye, if there is a lot of clutter and flashiness, you might lose an average user to your competition.
Once you have decided to get your company’s website up and running you will need to choose a digital agency to help you with the many elements that are essential for success. It is important to think carefully about what your business needs so that you can choose the best agency – one that you will be able to work with, that has the skills needed for your particular business.
Find out what they offer
Not all digital agencies offer the same things. One might only design and implement websites and not do any social – or other – marketing. Another may perform SEO but nothing else. You need a digital agency to have the skills required for your business so it is vital to speak with them first and find out exactly what they offer.
Choosing the right professional digital marketing agency is somewhat like choosing the right builder. If you want a high end home built, you would not choose a project builder who prefers to erect cheaper homes, or vice versa. Once you have found several builders, you choose 3 and ask for quotes. So you can do a similar thing when choosing a digital agency.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a term for several ways and means of getting your page ranked higher in the SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages. Why is this desirable? If you have ever searched online for something you will very likely have clicked on one of the websites that the search engines offer from their first page. And of all the choices on that first page, you most likely clicked on one of the first three.
So if you can get the search engines to show your website in that position you will get a great deal more organic or free traffic than a website that is on the second, third or other pages.
But how can you get the search engines to choose your website and put it on their first page? Here are 8 SEO tips to help you.
Search engines are looking for relevance. If you have great information that is not relevant to your website, it won’t show up. So make sure that the information is something that your potential customers will find relevant and the search engines will take note and act accordingly. But relevant text is not the only thing you need.
Links are an important part of the SEO process. Your website needs to have internal links – to other pages in your website – and external links. The latter should be to quality websites, not junky ones with tonnes of ads. Any links should give value to your visitors, so they should go to sites similar to, but not in competitions with, yours.
Starting up a new business? One of the main things you need are premises from which to run it. You won’t generally want to buy such premises as that would be very costly. Leasing commercial premises is the usual way to find a good home for your enterprise. However, don’t go in and sign a lease unprepared. Unless you know a lot about leases there are too many things that can work against you. Consulting a well known lawyers list list such as www.lawyerslist.com.au and then hiring an experienced property lawyer to examine the contract and make any necessary changes is the best way to go.
A lease that is drawn up by the landlord will ensure that all his or her needs are met, but may be rather light on what the lessee needs. If you have never leased before, you will most likely be unaware of what these needs are. And often the legal language is confusing, so you may not understand exactly what is meant by some terms or clauses.
Once you have decided to dip a toe into the waters of an adwords marketing campaign you will need to do everything possible to ensure success. Unless you have a large budget, you may be concerned about what adwords will cost. If your budget is low, here are some tips to help you.
Don’t aim for those high ad positions. Most people think the top three ads are the place to be as they will convert best. However, analytics show that this is not true. Often, the lower positions get better conversions. Experts have found that many people who click on the top ads do so on impulse, rather than because they are looking for something specific with the intention of following through.
Long tail keywords are your friends. For a start, they are much more specific and will attract people who actually want what you offer better than if you used a general, single keyword with a broader meaning. For instance, “Dental Clinic Joondalup” is a more specific keyword than “Dentist” or even “Dental Clinic”. It is much more likely to attract people who want a dentist in Joondalup, so your ad is more targeted and hence, more successful.
Create a separate campaign for broad, popular keywords. These can be a drain on your more specifically targeted ads if lots of people click on them quickly and use up your daily budget before the other ads get a chance to show.
To be successful, email marketing needs to achieve three things.
Get most of your addressees to open the email
Get them to read it right through
And get them to click through to your offer
If your email marketing efforts don’t quite manage this, here are some tips to help you become more successful.
Create an email that people look forward to reading. You can do this by sounding more like a friend who is interested in them than a corporation that only wants them to buy something.
Don’t talk about a list or subscribers and don’t sell in every email. Some emails need to contain only information that is valuable to the reader. Be generous and give things away rather than selling, at least sometimes. Use your name so that people feel they know you. Use their name, but not too often.
Create interest by using an attention grabbing subject line. How to (do or be something) is always a good opener. Statistics prove that it is one of the most attention grabbing openers there is, often outperforming unique subject lines that have been pored over for hours.
Use white space in the body. Subheadings, short paragraphs and bullet points help busy people scan quickly and get your point across without boring them.
There are many different kinds of shareholder disputes and the best way to solve them is to consult with commercial lawyers such as Summers Legal. A lawyer will be able to see things with an impartial eye and help you negotiate through what is often a painful maze to get the best outcome for you and for the company. So what kinds of disputes can happen if you own or are a director of a company?
Here are just some: –
Disagreement over the direction the company is taking
Disputes can arise if the directors or board members are paying themselves high wages instead of paying shareholders
Disagreements between partners for various reasons.
If you are an owner, it is wise to be prepared to handle disputes in advance so that you can get on top of them immediately rather than letting them drag on or escalate, neither of which will do the company any good.
A corporate lawyer can set up an agreement as to the steps you will take if and when a dispute between any parties happens. Having a legal agreement will ensure that the dispute is settled quickly. It may prevent the need – and cost of – going to court to settle. Mediation by a neutral party can ensure that a fix that is agreeable to both parties is found. This may be that the aggrieved party is bought out by the others at a fair price.
Web design is constantly evolving because the way people access the web is changing. These days, so many more people use their iPhones to connect to the Internet and these give a quite different user experience than the desktop computer due to touch technology. Even tablets use responsive technology, but these devices have much smaller screens, so a website that is designed to work well with a larger screen may not perform so well with a small one.
This is where and why many of the latest trends have come into being. Some of these trends are still evolving as web designers work to make the end user’s experience a stress-free one that will encourage them to stay on the website and become a client of the business, no matter what device they use to access the internet.
Some things can’t be changed
That said, certain functions of web design are meant to do the same thing and so cannot be changed too much. Even if they are changed to look at, they must still work in the same way. A log-in form or a checkout must still function as they always have, guiding the user easily into performing the action required of them.
The latest trends in web design are aimed at making the design more responsive. To that end, designs have become simpler and lighter while advances in data compression and bandwidth ensure the page loads quickly so surfers can find what they want quickly. And where the user must wait, for instance when a page is loading, the animation can be custom designed to be attractive and entertaining, at least to some degree.
Many people dream of of setting up their own business without really looking into it. While you may have special skills that would make a great business, you also need to know a lot about setting up and running it. In fact, you really need an experienced corporate lawyer like Lawyers Perth to help you set the company up in the first place. Why?
For a start, there are four different business models, so which one is best for your business? What you choose can have a big impact on things like insurance, tax, asset protection and even legal costs. Rather than choose a model that suits you at the moment, you have to include your future vision for the business and ensure the model you choose will still be right for it when you expand.
Your business may even take a different track that you hadn’t thought of, into the future. If the business model is inflexible, you face all the costs and hassle of changing over to one that suits your plans better. It is a wiser course of action to be guided by a property lawyer, who will ask the right questions to get you thinking about the future of your business. Continue reading “Company Structure – Why You Need an Experienced Corporate Lawyer”
Have you been injured at work or hurt in a car accident that was not your fault? If so, a litigation lawyer can help you. Most likely the last thing you want to do is appear in a court of law and be questioned by Perth lawyers who will do everything in their power to make you look bad, or as if your injury is not as bad as you say it is.
That would be bad enough if you were well, but recovery from bad injury can take many months and make you feel unable to face up to emotional struggles. The trouble is that you only have a few months to start such proceedings, after which you cannot claim any compensation. But with a litigation lawyer you can get compensation without even having to appear in court yourself.
They do everything that is necessary, from telling you which doctors to go to for assessment and examination to appearing in court on your behalf to negotiate with the insurance company the amount they believe is the right compensation. Continue reading “How a Litigation Lawyer can Help You”
To get the best logo design for your business it is important to know the differences between branding and logo. Some people think of them as being the same thing, when in fact, they are not. The terms cannot and should not be used to mean the same as each other. This is confusing because if you think of branding as the same as logo design you will be leaving many important elements out of the equation.
So what’s the difference?
Branding is about the identity of the business. It is the corporate image as perceived by the public that includes information about the vision, aims and goals of the company. As such, emotion plays a big part in branding.
Identity forms a part of this but consists mainly of the visual aspects from the overall brand.
A logo is a way of identifying that business by the use of an icon, thus logo design will have elements that reflect the important parts of the business. These elements may be text, colour, shape and even animation, but the design does not necessarily need to have every element.
Many people put off making a Will until it is too late, while others don’t think they need one. However, if you have property – and this includes superannuation – you need a Will to ensure it is distributed properly after your death. Dying without a Will only makes thing more difficult for your family and it costs a lot to have the court decide who should benefit from your assets. This cost will be taken out of your assets, so your family will get much less than otherwise.
The trouble with an old Will
You may have made a Will years ago and think that is the end of the matter, but just like many things in this life, a Will may need to be upgraded or rewritten. If you divorce and/or remarry, your current Will is no longer of any use as it is not considered valid. At least, that’s how it is in Western Australia. So a new Will must be made to take into consideration your new circumstances. Then again, if your Will was made when you were younger and you now have more children or grandchildren that have not been mentioned, you may want to rewrite your will to include them.
Always a favorite marketing guru around here, Seth Godin has a quick quiz with a surprisingly telling answer. Instead of trying to win over the whole world, you should aim for a select niche of customers.
True, you might have a smaller customer base as a result – but you will have greater loyalty amongst those few. Let’s take a glance at some fields where this works:
The “Twilight” fiction franchise – The majority of people just don’t get excited about vampire stories. So what? This series appealed to tween / teen girls with a vivid and somewhat macabre imagination. And now they’re rolling in the dough.
Ethnic restaurants – Sure, not everybody likes (or even understands) Mediterranean food. So what? When you want falafel, hummus, and babaganouch, you just aren’t going to get that appetite satisfied at McDonald’s.
Hot Topic – The mall-based clothing and gift franchise focuses on the “Goth” and “punk rock” demographic. The rest of the teens head for more traditional fare, but the headbangers and rivitheads all flock here.
Web designers, why, oh why, do you hate poor little Internet Explorer so much? It seems almost like it did something to you. Did a web browser bully you as a kid? Oh well, whatever the founding incident was, it’s good to see you all working your aggression out with these hilarious images…
IE fails on Jeopardy – We don’t even know how it qualified for the show
Microsoft tries to make it up to us – And fails, because it fails everything.
Microsoft’s error report process – Apparently they get a lot of duplicates?
Four web browsers at a drive-thru – And I want to go to this restaurant!
Browser-tans line-up – Apparently IE is a “butterface”.
The only reasons to use IE. – …and it’s a short list.
A Spanish example – Because IE is so hated, it gets insulted in every language!
Bonus buck! – A whole website dedicated to beating the death drum for IE.
But this is without a doubt one not to miss. HTML5 is sweeping the Internet. Both the desktop and mobile platforms are looking at the day when they need to upgrade their website code base to be up to date with the current web technologies. While it’s of course true that old websites will still function in HTML 4.1 and XHTML, web owners will want to stay competitive. And adoption is happening with surprising speed.
Assuming there *is* a 2012, that is, what with all the hugger-mugger about the Mayan calendar and the usual end-of-the-world predictions. Matt Cutts, Google blogger, asks for our 2012 wishlist. Oh, we could think of a few – but we’re going to think really off-the-wall:
A way to invert search results. So the lowest-ranking pages show first. Hey, sometimes we want to find out what the Z-list has to say!
A way to turn off second-guessing and mutations. Dangit, there was a time when you could type in anything and Google would only show pages that contained every single one of the words you’d typed in exactly as you’d spelled them. Oh, how we miss those times.
Bring back cache-view. In fact, make it automatic for every page – when a website is down, we want to just read what we came to find out and move on.
Better image search? We know, this is a developing field. We can’t wait for the day when we can find the bloke who stole our image even when he ran two filters on it and scaled it down.
How about using regular expressions? Yes, we know, most users would scream in terror, but those of us techies would love to be able to narrow searches down by clicking a regexp switch.
We were scanning this fascinating write-up over at SEOMoz about “author/agent rank” when this thought occurred to us. See, the idea is that as social media gets more sophisticated and more data is tracked, search engines could learn how much weight to give an individual’s opinion based on their past web activity.
Don’t miss the “Google Person Theory” on that link. Your hair will be blown back.
Now imagine Google’s search database plugged into a Rogerian psychoanalysis script, similar to “Eliza”.
The big story lately is how tech investment and business is fixing to blow up another bubble, right up to where we were at the turn-of-the-century. Can somebody find that Pets.com dog puppet again? He’s the web-bubble mascot now.
Our latest hand-wringer is Techi.com, saying the tech 2.0 bubble is here. And you know what? Bring it on! Now, why do we say that?
As any economics student can tell you, bubbles and busts are part of any business. One growth and shrinkage doesn’t make an industry very legitimate, but now that the web business world is old enough to start showing some patterns, that tells us that it’s a little more predictable than anybody thought. It’s only the first fall that hurts you.
4channers don’t all like electro-pop. Apparently they’re 50/50 split heavy metal and indie.
4chan got their site’s founder voted Time magazine’s most influential person.
On a related note, Time thinks 4chan invented LOLCats. There’s published books of cat pictures with funny captions from the 1960s, at least.
There’s a website called ‘refreshthing’ that automates Google-bombing. Or at least (if you’re reading this a few days from now), there was.
4channers can’t hack for a damn.
This is a good time to look at web culture. It’s the street we do business in; being streewise is a good thing. It’s important because we’ve seen this scary glimpse into Internet mob mentality, and what basically amounts to Internet street gangs, and that tells us things about the future. It tells us that even greater control of the web frontier is in the future. As always happens, the hooligans of today will age into the uptight, conservative nannies of tomorrow. Coupled together with the moral panic over Internet bullying, we’re going to see a future where the overkill of the cure is worse than the disease.
Our favorite blogger who specializes in the human side of technology, Jeff Atwood, has brought to light the distressing story of how many candidates who show up for programming job interviews can’t program. He, and many of the comments appended, marvel at this phenomena. But it’s not so surprising, when you stop and think about it. They’re wannabe “hackers”.
Nobody wanted to be a hacker at first. Then trashy movies like “War Games” and “Hackers” came out, and people got the idea that hackers get to have sex with Angelina Jolie and start their own nuclear wars, so hence must be “cool.”
It’s a phenomenon older than civilization itself. It’s the same mentality that leads people to call themselves “geek” because they saw “Star Wars,” or call themselves “gangsta” because they wear their baseball cap backwards, or call themselves “bikers” because they wear a leather jacket, or call themselves “bi,” “poly,” or “kinky” because that’s the kind of porn they download.
In case you didn’t catch the buzz going around, the story of how an ancient Microsoft Windows flaw was found after 17 years is pretty-well explained at the Inquirer. The news was particularly shocking because it was a simple hole that has been in existence since Windows 3.1 all the way up to the latest Windows 7! That’s a serious bug.
Quite a few commenters on that site and others have down-played the vulnerability, saying things like “Meh, who uses 16-bit anyway?” Which goes to show that the home user doesn’t think like a hacker. Guess what? Most of the programs to exploit Windows security holes are 17 years old, too! In fact, if you were a hacker (we know, the correct word is “cracker,” but English is changing) downloading security-cracking software, you’d have more of a real problem getting updated software than you would getting legacy software.
Any website developer knows the drill: you put up anything requiring a login, and people are usually going to pick the laziest possible weak password. As documented in Ars Technica’s lament on the failure of the password model, this problem has existed unabated for 30 years. Users are still just as sloppy about password security as ever.
Future web application designers might need to start thinking beyond the password. For instance, what if we tried some other methods of user authentication along with the password: