6 Myths That Stop Simple Business Ideas From Becoming Reality

Do you dream of starting a business, but somehow, some way you found a way to talk yourself out of it?

Maybe you came up with a few simple business ideas – great ideas but others told you that it can’t be done because it’s too risky, or the idea won’t work. Maybe you are starting to listen to them.

Before you decide to walk away from those simple business ideas of yours, lets put to rest some of those things you are hearing or might have heard out there.

These are statements, old wives tales, stuff that have been around for a long time, things that sound true but are not. Nonetheless, these are things that keep people from pushing forward with starting a business. Things that almost kept me from starting.

In his book, Start Late Finish Rich, David Bach mentioned six myths that people hear about starting a business.

Myth 1 – You need a lot of money. The reality is that most people don’t have a lot of this. I did some research and it’s amazing how little you need to start a business. For me, I was looking for a business I was passionate about and did not require a huge investment upfront on my part.

Myth 2 – You need to have experience. If most people are like me, most of those things I have experience in would be hard to translate into a business, or into something I was passionate about doing as a business. So for some, it may just be a matter of finding a business that you would really enjoy or something you can easily learn how to do.

Myth 3 – You need a lot of time. It seems time is something everyone is having a hard time finding these days. I guess what David meant is the fear around being told that once you start a business, it is going to require a lot of your time.

How Do I Sell a Distressed Business?

As the Great Recession in the US starts to heal and spread through the economy, many business owners are looking to sell their business and regain control of their lives. For different reasons, the recession has been longer and deeper than many imagined, one of the main reasons why Chairman Bernanke at the Federal Reserve keeps saying he will not be raising interest rates for the ‘foreseeable future’ as he wants to make sure the growth in the economy is permanent and not temporary as happened during the Great Depression.

Despite the return to growth in the economy, a lot of business owners are unable or unwilling to hold on to their business in the hope of getting a better price if they sold. At the moment there are many buyers for certain types of businesses but I am seeing these buyers look for bargains. I am also seeing many business owners saying “Get me out, I am done.” They are highly motivated to sell rather than close the business as they want to see their business survive and feel a new owner with marketing money and energy can make it thrive and the price they want is extremely reasonable, that is, just the value of the assets.

If you own a business and want to sell because the physical, financial and emotional price is too great here are some steps to take.

The first step is probably the most important. It’s critical to step back from the business to be clear where it is at. If sales are declining rapidly then that business will be very hard to sell. If sales are flat then that is good. If sales are starting to increase that’s better. To help with this step, look at the cash flow. If a business has positive cash flow it has so many more options to a business that has no cash flow and/or no chance of this improving.

The second step is to look at the finance in place. If the business has no loans, that is great as the assets can be sold free and clear. If the business has loans from family and friends, it is time for heart to heart discussion about who gets how much. If the business has loans from a bank it can be well worth having a discussion with them. Take care with this approach as you need to be sure the bank will partner with you. Banks are in the business of lending so talk to their Asset Protection manager whose job is to protect the interests of the bank by getting bad loans off their books.

The third step is to move forward with selling the business. As I mentioned above, the sale will be around the hard assets. As the seller of the business you may be tempted to think there is value in customer lists, software, a website or the business phone numbers but the reality is these assets are not producing enough cash from the business sales. Do not get me wrong, a buyer will want them but they will not be willing to pay for them; only the hard physical assets or fixtures, furniture and equipment.

The Power Of Hotel Branding – Brand Equity

The consumer’s awareness and associations lead to perceived quality, inferred attributes, and eventually brand loyalty. This perspective is labelled as customer-based brand equity. A strong brand provides a series of benefits to a service firm, such as greater customer loyalty and higher resiliency to endure crisis situations, higher profit margins, more favourable customer response to price change, and licensing and brand extension opportunities.

Successful brands provide consumers with a variety of functional and emotional benefits that positively influence their perceptions and subsequent behaviour related to that brand. It has been shown that such brands can be important intangible company assets with a demonstrable financial value.

A distinctive brand personality can create a set of unique and favourable associations in consumer memory and thus enhance brand equity. Coca-Cola calculates that only about 4 per cent of its value can be attributed to its plants, machinery and locations. The real value is in its intangible assets, and first among these is its brand.

Hilton Hotels have used branding to widen their market share by introducing new brands, such as Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and Conrad when existing markets have become saturated. This has allowed each different brand to establish its own position within the market. The endorsed brand strategy puts a well-established name on a cluster of products or services. By endorsing a range of products, the lead brand can lend its good name and image to the entire brand family. Marriott estimated that adding the Marriott name to Fairfield nn increased occupancy rates by 15 percent.

Hotel organizations have successfully franchised their brands, whereby the owning company allows others to sell the product using their model and specifications in exchange for royalties. Intercontinental Hotels group has successfully franchised Crowne Plaza Hotels, which enabled the rapid expansion of the brand.

There are some doubters as to the effectiveness of hotel branding. It has

An Insight on Branding in the Recession

Recession, meltdown, slowdown, economic doom, downturn, stagnation – whatever you may call it, is the best time to invest in branding. Why? Well, when money is tight people tend to cling to their wallet. They think twice before spending their hard-earned money and thus they intensely study a product now, more than ever. From branding perspective this thinking helps in brand building. So, think strategically and work towards to make your brand more visible now.

Positioning Your Brand

A brand is the face of your company. It represents the services that your company promises. What comes to your mind when you think of branding? An attractive logo, a catchphrase? If brand positioning is done correctly it can catapult your business to new heights. Thus, positioning a brand is very important in terms of gaining people’s confidence and winning the brand race. Brand positioning is a must in recession because:

* Expresses your uniqueness

* Increases the value of your brand

* Makes your brand widely visible

Once your brand is widely accepted, people will defend it when it is at stake.

Brand Identity and Brand Awareness

Definition of brand identity states ‘how you want the consumer to perceive your product or your brand’. Creating brand identity and increasing brand awareness is a step-by-step procedure.

1. Have a clear idea of your brand and research on brand image.

2. Keep aside your personal likes and dislikes and focus on the objective of the company.

3. Design a unique identity for your brand keeping in mind your goals, audience, and how different you are from others.

Brand identity and brand awareness goes hand in hand. Be conscious and design your brand image intelligently, analyze the market and learn about what market leaders do and what mistakes they have made in past and how they recovered. Finally, bolster your brand message at every single opportunity you get.

Branding – Building a Brand Through Strong Marketing

“A great brand raises the bar — it adds a greater sense of purpose to the experience, whether it’s the challenge to do your best in sports and fitness, or the affirmation that the cup of coffee you’re drinking really matters.”

Howard Schultz
President, CEO and Chairman

What Is Branding and why is it important to Marketing?

Branding is the process of creating a recognizable identity for a specific product, service, business, or organization. Branding creates an instant association between the Brand and the wants of the consumer. For example, my mother never asked us if we wanted a cola or a soda. She always asked us if we wanted a Coke. Even to this day, if I go to a restaurant, I always order a Coke and proceed to get internally annoyed if I’m told that they have some other brand of cola. I don’t really care who manufactures the drink since all I really care about is getting the drink. In my mind, Coke is cola and this is in large part due to the successful branding efforts of the Coca-Cola Corporation (with a little help from my mother).

Why is this important? As of the end of 2007, Coke and Pepsi (the second leading brander of cola products) combined to own around 73% of the US cola market, with approximately 42% of the Market going to Coke. In other words, the great marketing efforts of these two corporations have led most of us (at least 73% of us) to believe that there are only two soft drink choices; Coke or Pepsi. We see their commercials then we choose a brand loyalty and three-fourths of this country sticks to that loyalty. What if there is some other great soda? What if “Kick-Ass Cola” really is the best, kick-ass cola? Almost none of us would know it since they haven’t developed a brand for themselves.

When you have a cold, do you ask for a tissue or a Kleenex? Branding has persuaded over half of the US population to ask for a Kleenex. For those of us old enough to remember, there was a time when nobody went to the copying room, they went to the Xerox room. In 1970, Xerox controlled over 95% of the copier market. However, complacency led to a failure to continually promote the brand and the door opened up for many others. In 2007, Xerox serviced only 8.7% of the copier market, making them the sixth largest copier manufacturer. This teaches us two lessons. First, if you’re on top, you need to always work hard to stay there. Memories fade and new generations are open to new ideas. Second, hard work will get you to the top eventually. In 1970, Canon’s copier industry market share barely registered. However, in 2007, Canon was by far the world’s leading copier manufacturer with 21.6% of the market. This doesn’t make them a monopoly but it does ensure that consumers feel confident when they decide to purchase a Canon copier.

What is an Employer Brand and Why Should You Care?

There is an increasing body of evidence that makes the case for solid employer brand management. From an organization’s point of view, an employer brand encapsulates the key qualities current and prospective employees associate with you as an employer. These qualities can be economic (remuneration), functional (training and skills) or psychological (such as a sense of identity or status).

As an organization, whether you’ve taken the time to define it or not, you have an employer brand. What are the benefits of building a good employer brand? Three benefits that have been identified in studies that make a case for employer brand management are enhanced attraction, increased retention and greater engagement with staff.

In essence, this means attracting better quality candidates at a lower cost, more effective and proactive employees and, ultimately, increased revenues.

How does one reach the heart of employer brand management? The answer to this question is that the key principles for employer brand management are much the same as for regular brand management. Whoever is tasked with developing the employer brand needs to spend quality time and effort defining the key components of the brand. This definition is characteristically encapsulated by a model that defines how you’d like the brand to be received by the target audience (which in the case of an employer brand is prospective and current employees). This model will provide the starting point for your brand strategy.

There is an implicit danger in this approach however as one needs to be cognizant of the fact that just defining the vision of the brand is not the brand itself. This is merely the way you’d like people to perceive the brand. The real brand lives in people’s everyday experiences of the brand and the perceptions and associations they have in their heads about your organization.

People have a tendency to become cynical of brands which promise a great deal, but under deliver. To bridge the gap between the perception of a brand and the brand reality, many top brand-led companies create two definitions of the brand: one that enshrines the brand as it is currently perceived and experienced, and the other describing how the company would like the brand to be perceived.

There is a delicate balance between these two definitions. On the one hand, organizations should be striving for the latter, but change too much about the former and the brand may lose focus, change too little and the brand may lose relevance.

Form a Nevada L.L.C.: Everything You Need to Know

It is known as among the most popular State for chartering of business. Nevada is the best place to start your company due to the following reasons:

  • It has no personal income taxes
  • No information-sharing agreement with the I.R.S. and lastly no franchise fee.

Furthermore, Nevada allows people to register Nevada LLCcompanywhich combines the liability provisions of any corporation with the less intensive reporting demands. This is the best way to protect you against double taxation, which is related to a partnership.

To Create A Nevada L.L.C., You Require To Fill Some Documents With The Nevada Secretary Of State.

To begin with, you need an appropriate name for your business. It’s mandatory that your name should have “Limited-Liability Company,” “Limited” or: Limited Company “. You are also required to used abbreviations such as “Ltd,” “L.L.C.,” L.C.,” or even “L.L.C.”. You can also use the word company as “Co”.

Ensure Your Name Is Available

You should choose a name when register Nevada LLCthat is entirely different from any other business in Nevada. To confirm if your name is available for use, you can check with the Secretary of the State Online Database. Once you have identified a name you can use, you can then file the Name Reservation Form which you will find with the Secretary of State. Depending on which method you find efficient, you can choose to do this via mail or the Nevada Secretary of State’s website. You should also be prepared to pay a fee of $25 for a 90 days reservation.

Establishing A Registered Agent

When starting this kind of business, you should ensure that your registered agent is either a resident of the State of Nevada or a company authorized to do business in this State. The main role of the registered agent is to accept service of legal papers. If your L.L.C. is sued, he or she is also required to have a physical street address in Nevada. Several companies are professional agents for service. You can go ahead a Google “Agents of Service in Nevada” and explore the many options you have to choose. Finding a reputable company that demands $50 per year should be a piece of cake.

The filing of Article of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office is also mandatory to register Nevada LLC. Luckily, Nevada provides a PDF form that helps yours through all the required information. For instance, the full name of your L.L.C., the actual business address, and the name of the registered agent. It a must that the registered agent must sign the document providing a physical address. Don’t forget to indicate if the L.L.C. is governed by member or managers and any possible dissolution date if you have one.

If you have managers, you should include their names and addresses of every manager, the necessary licenses and business permits, social security number or employer I.D. number not forgetting the name and signatures of anyone who has organized the L.L.C. Feel free to file online at the Secretary of State’s website or sending the documents via mail. It’s going to cost you $ 75 to complete the whole process.

When you have completed the Articles of Organization, the Initial list of managers and the members Forms not forgetting the business license which should be filed with the Secretary of State. Consider the filling fees associated with these forms. You should also check with the Secretary of State to ensure you are up to date with the Fees.

The expedited process is available at different fees, depending on which one you choose. For instance, you can go for the 24 hours, one hour or even two hours.

Write An Operating Agreement

You don’t need to have an operating agreement to register Nevada LLC. in Nevada. However, this process is highly encouraged. With a running agreement people will be able to identify the roles and responsibilities and powers of all individuals within your L.L.C. It’s a document that clarifies your duties within your L.L.C.

Know Your Tax Requirements

If you are going to have more than one employee, you will have to consider getting an E.I.N. (Employer Identification Number). You can get one from the I.R.S., but if you are a sole proprietor, you can choose to use your Social Security Number. However, if you want your L.L.C. to tax as a corporation, you will require an E.I.N., You can get this by going to the I.R.S. website and applying. This should be a piece of cake since there is no fee when getting an E.I.N. for your L.L.C.

Getting Your State Business License

It is essential that every L.L.C. in Nevada to get a business license, you will find it from the Secretary of State. The fee for the permit is $200, which should be renewed every year for $ 200. You should also check with your county clerk’s office to confirm if you need any additional licenses or permits to do business in your county. The whole process can be done on the web via the Nevada secretary of State’s website or a mail application.

File An Annual Report

Since you are going to start and L.L.C. in Nevada, you will have to file an annual report. This consists of a list of members, officers, and registered agent in your L.L.C.; you should also update it in case of any changes. The first annual report or annual list is due in the first month; this should be after you file your articles of organization. You have all until the last day of the month to submit the fee of $150.

Any L.L.C. in Nevada must also maintain internal books and records which are open to inspection by the Secretary of State; this should include the operating agreement.