A Home-Based Business Online
Issue 161 : November 25, 2012
Sent to 14,448 Opt-In Subscribers
Editor: Elena Fawkner
Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
Contact By Email
IN THIS ISSUE
1. Welcome and Update from Elena
2. Home Business Idea of the Week
3. Feature Article - Branding Your Business
4. Surveys and Trends
5. Success Quote of the Week
6. Advertise with AHBBO
7. Subscription Management
9. Contact Information
1. Welcome from Elena
Hello again and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
who have joined us since the last issue.
What's in a name? If you think only big corporate names need
to think about things like brand names, think again. Your brand
says a lot about you and your business, and that's as true for
a one person home-based operation as it is for a multinational
conglomerate. This week's feature article looks at how creating
a strong brand for your business can help you set yourself apart
from the pack and lay the right foundation for the future growth
of your business.
For those readers in the United States and Canada, happy
Thanksgiving (not to mention four day weekend!!).
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this
Remember, AHBBO is for YOU! If you have comments or
suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed, or
would just like to share your experiences with other
subscribers, I want to hear from you.
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2. Home Business Idea of the Week - Event Planner
An event planner is someone who arranges special events on
behalf of clients, either corporate or private.
The client will tell the event planner what kind of event is
proposed and the budget for it. The event planner then arranges
the whole thing including finding the right venue, issuing
invitations, catering, transport to and from the event, and
accommodation. In addition, the event planner will be responsible
for meeting any special needs of attendees and, in the case of
corporate functions, probably also the availability of presentation
facilities such as audiovisual equipment and the like.
The first step is to ascertain the client's objectives for the event
and whether it is a corporate or social event. Often, corporate
meetings will also include a significant social aspect so the event
planner for a management retreat, for example, may also need to
arrange for sightseeing or entertainment in addition to the
corporate side of the event.
Once the objectives are clear, the event planner will then work
with the client to set a budget for the event and decide with the
client where to hold the event. The event planner needs to know
who the attendees will be and where they are travelling from so
that accommodation and transport can be arranged as necessary.
In addition, the event planner will arrange for catering,
communications, labor, meeting facilities, printing and supplies,
entertainment, speakers, gratuities, awards, insurance and
anything else that may be required for the specific event in
The event planner, of course, relies on third parties to actually
provide these services and will have an established network of
contacts with suppliers and vendors among caterers, hotels,
travel agencies, printers, furniture/ equipment hirers and so on.
Event planners vary in their approach to billing. Some take as
their fee a fixed percentage of the total cost of the event (say
10 - 15 percent). Other charge clients on an hourly basis. In
either case, event planners will require a deposit (usually a
percentage of the budget) to be used to make advance payments.
The beginning event planner should expect long hours and low
pay when first starting out. The money will improve with
experience and reputation, but the hours will always be long
because although the planning occurs during the day, the event
is usually at night or on the weekend. Personal qualities required
in an event planner are leadership, organization skills and
attention to detail. A calm disposition is essential as the event
planner will have to cope with many last minute "disasters" and
This is just one of over 130 ideas from the new "Practical Home
Business Ideas From AHBBO" e-book. Find out more at unique small business ideas .
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3. Feature Article: Branding Your Business
© 2017 Elena Fawkner
If you think only big corporate names need to think about things
like brand names, think again. Your brand says a lot about you
and your business, and that's as true for a one person home-
based operation as it is for a multinational conglomerate. In this
article we look at how creating a strong brand for your business
can help you set yourself apart from the pack and lay the right
foundation for the future growth of your business.
WHAT IS A BRAND?
Your brand is more than just the logo on your letterhead and
business cards or your business name. It is your corporate
identity. An effective brand tells the world who you are, what
you do and how you do it, while at the same time establishing
your relevance to, and credibility with, your prospective customers.
Your brand is also something more ethereal. It is how your
business is perceived by its customers. If your brand has a high
perceived value, you enjoy many advantages over your
competition, especially when it comes to pricing. Why do you
think people are prepared to pay stupid money for items of clothing
with the initials "CK" on them? Perceived value. Perceived value
as a result of very effective brand promotion resulting in very high
Now, I'm not saying we all need to rush out and start creating
brands that are going to be recognized the world over. Most of us
simply don't have the time or other resources necessary. What I
am suggesting, however, is that it is possible for your brand to
dominate your niche.
WHY DO I NEED TO CREATE MY OWN BRAND?
We touched on this in the previous section when we looked at
what a brand is and how it can be used to increase the perceived
value of your products and services. The main reason for creating
your own brand is to differentiate yourself from your competition.
New websites are a dime a dozen. So are home-based
businesses. You need to constantly be looking for ways to set
yourself apart from your competition. Your brand can do that for
=> More Effective, Efficient Marketing
Another good reason for creating your own brand is to make your
sales force (even if that's a sales force of one - you) more effective
Imagine if you didn't have to spend the first 50% of your time with
a new prospect explaining who you are, what you do and how you
do it. What if your brand had already communicated that for you?
You can spend 100% of your time focusing on sales rather than
educating your prospects about your business
Another benefit of branding is that the efforts you expend increasing
your brand awareness through promoting and marketing your brand
to your target market automatically transfers to your products and
services. So, even when you're advertising your brand, you're
indirectly also marketing your products and services.
HOW DO I CREATE MY OWN BRAND?
OK, so you're convinced you need to create your own brand.
Where on earth do you start?
We saw earlier that your brand needs to say who you are, what
you do and how you do it. It needs to do all these things at the
same time as establishing your relevance to, and building credibilty
with, your prospective customers. Needless to say, it is absolutely
essential, if you are to build your own brand, that *you yourself*
have a firm grasp of who you are, what you do and how you do it.
If not, you're going to have the devil's own time getting that
message across to anyone else, let alone establishing your
relevance and credibility.
=> Write A Mission Statement
So, let's start by creating a mission statement. What is the
mission of your business? Obviously you're in business to make
a profit. But making a profit is a byproduct of a successful
business. Focus instead on how you choose to achieve that profit.
What are your core values?
A good place to begin thinking about your mission is to put
yourself in the shoes of your customers. Put yourself in their
target market. Let's say your business is web hosting. If you're
in the market for a web host, what things are important to you?
Different people will be looking for different benefits but you can
bet that they want their website to be accessible to site visitors so
reliability will be high on their list. Price is also likely to be high
on the list as is 24/7 technical support. What about add-on features
such as unlimited email aliases, cgi support and what-not?
These things will be highly important to some and less important
to others. So focus on the benefits that are likely to be highly
relevant to the majority of your target market. Let's settle for our
purposes on reliability, price and technical support.
Your mission statement might read something like this: "I strive
to earn a fair return on my investment of time and money by
providing affordable webhosting with guaranteed 99% uptime and
24/7 telephone technical support". That's a pretty general
statement and if you decide to focus on a particular niche of the
webhosting market, such as small business, you may want to
more narrowly focus on that group in your mission statement.
Now that you've written your mission statement, you can begin
thinking about creating a brand that reinforces and supports your
mission. So, getting back to the fundamental questions of who
you are, what you do and how you do it, you can now begin to
think of your business in these terms. You're a webhosting
provider, you host websites of small businesses and you do that
by offering cost-effective webhosting solutions, guaranteed 99%
uptime and 24/7 telephone technical support.
When you create your brand, you need to keep the who, what
and how firmly in mind but also use the brand to establish your
relevance to your target market and build credibility with that
Let's turn now to the nuts and bolts of creating your brand.
=> Describe What You Are Branding
List out your business's key features and characteristics, your
competitive advantages and anything else that sets you apart
from your competition.
Using our webhosting example, you'll focus primarily on the
objectives from your mission statement namely, reliable, cost-
effective webhosting solutions supported by 24/7 technical
=> Identify and Describe Your Target Market
Decide whether you want to target the entire webhosting
community or only a segment of it such as small business
websites. Describe your market.
=> List Names that Suggest the Key Elements from Your
The key elements from your mission statement were reliability,
cost-effectiveness and customer service. List names that are
suggestive of these elements. Let's use Reliable Webhosting
for our example. (I don't claim to be a creative genius.)
Don't limit yourself to real words, though. A coined name with no
obvious meaning is a perfectly legitimate name provided it conveys
something about your business. You will find coined names easier
to trademark and secure domain names for too - a definite plus!
=> List Tag Lines that Reinforce Your Mission Statement
We'll use: "Outstanding reliability and technical support at a
price your small business can afford". I know, I know. You can
do much better, I'm sure.
HOW SHOULD I USE MY BRAND?
=> Create a Logo for Your Brand
Your logo is NOT your brand but your logo should allow your
brand to be instantly recognized by those familiar with it. To
this extent, your logo helps create and reinforce brand
The logo you create should be able to be used consistently in a
variety of different media. It should be suitable for corporate
letterhead and business cards, as well as for your website and
corporate signage (if any). You do NOT want a confusing
mishmash of logos and banners and heaven knows what else.
Everything you produce needs to use the same, consistent
style of logo so that, over time, your logo becomes synonymous
with your brand. Instant recognition is what you're going for here,
so don't dilute it by using several different logos for different
=> Consistent Usage of Company Name, Logo and Tag Line
Going back to our webhosting example, putting the brand name
and tagline together, the physical manifestation of your brand
Outstanding reliability and technical support at a price
your small business can afford.
To establish brand awareness, this branding needs to be used
consistently and frequently in everything your produce, whether
that be letters to clients, business cards, brochures, quotations,
invoices, advertising, promotion, on your website, on the front
door of your principal place of business and on your products.
And don't forget to be consistent in your use of color schemes.
These can be powerful brand reinforcers.
=> Marketing and Promotion of Your Brand
Once you've created your brand, you need to market and
promote it, in addition to your products and services. This is
how you establish your credibility and relevance to your target
market. You can hopefully see why your brand needs to be
suggestive of your mission statement. If, at the same time as
you're selling your products and services you also push your
brand, your brand becomes synonymous with your products
and services. And vice versa.
A properly descriptive brand and high brand awareness amongst
your target market will allow you to more easily introduce a wider
range of products and services when they're developed without
having to start by again selling who you are, what you do and
how you do it first. Your brand has already presold YOU. Your
job then is to sell your products and services.
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4. Surveys and Trends
© 2017 Ryanna's Hope
The following is an extract from the current issue of Larry
Wack's excellent weekly, "Surveys and Trends". Subscribe
using the link below for the full issue.
THE TREND IN CATALOG BUYING
Americans who shop from catalogs are loyal mail-order shoppers,
making an average of 15 catalog purchases each year, according
to a new study from the Direct Marketing Association (the DMA).
In 2001, 30 percent of catalog shoppers made between six and 10
purchases, 31 percent made between 11 and 25 purchases, while
11 percent placed 26 or more orders. On their most recent catalog
order, shoppers spent an average of $135.
The study also shows the continued convergence of catalog and
While 69 percent placed their most recent catalog order via the
telephone, 14 percent ordered from the catalog's Web site.
Forty-one percent of catalog shoppers had also shopped online
during the last year.
DISTURBING EVIDENCE OF BIAS?
Today's online travel market is highly competitive, but also
reveals remnants of favoritism among providers and distributors,
making consumer education critical. Research by CRTL beginning
in 2017 showed disturbing evidence of bias in the way these sites
presented fares to the consumer. Research in March and April of
2017 by CRTL that while the problems of bias have improved
somewhat, issues remain that consumers need to know about.
The independent ticket-booking sites need to address basic
disclosure issues ... from describing how their technologies work,
to clearly disclosing business deals they make with airlines that
might affect the price of fares, or their position on a screen.
The six largest integrated travel Web sites confirmed to CRTL
that they receive various forms of compensation from airlines,
despite the fact most U.S. carriers have recently eliminated the
payment of base commissions to travel agencies.
Sites also should better separate airline and other advertising
from screens of available fares, so the consumer is not
manipulated into making a choice based on strategic placement of
an ad. Fees should be more clearly disclosed, earlier in
transactions ... not at the end after a consumer has invested
valuable time selecting a flight.
5. Success Quote of the Week
The choices that make a significant difference in our lives are
the tough ones. They're not often fun or easy, but they're the
ones we have to make, and each is a deliberate step toward
better understanding who we really are.
-- Alexandra Stoddard
9. Contact Information
Elena Fawkner, Editor
A Home-Based Business Online
Contact By Email
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