6 ways to make your business stand out

According to the article “6 Tips To Make Your Business Stand Out In A Competitive Market” on www.chicago.cbslocal.com, because consumers are continually inundated with advertising nowadays, they tend to ignore most of it. As such, businesses can no longer hope to stand out with a simple slogan and expensive ad campaign. To help your business stand out from the crowd, the article suggests theses six tips:

  • Keep existing customers loyal. When customers are bombarded with advertisements from several competitors in your industry, they may not know who to choose. As such, focus on retaining your current customers and building their loyalty, because the best advertising you’ll get is their recommendation of your business to their friends and family.
  • Educate your customers. If your business truly does offer a different product or service compared to your competitors, you need to inform your customer base about it. Let them know how you can be of benefit to them.
  • Keep marketing original. Find a marketing message that is memorable and resonates with your customers so that they associate it with your business. In addition, consider social media contests, which let your customers act as marketers for you.
  • Target a need. Find out what problems your customers are experiencing and what they need to solve those problems. Then, determine whether or not you can solve those problems, and if you can, communicate how that to them.
  • Be open to customer criticism. Customer complaints can often feel like personal attacks, especially after you’ve invested so much of yourself into your business. However, if a customer does have a genuine complaint, it may be a way for you to find something you can improve in your business.
  • Network. The more you can get your name out there, the better chance you have of people remembering you. For instance, take part in community events, go to conferences or attend industry trade shows.

Read the full article here.

Protecting your personal finances when starting a business

According to the article “4 Tips to Protect Your Personal Wealth from Business Risks” by contributor Jeremiah Owyang on www.business.com, starting a new business is risky because you’re investing copious amounts of time and effort into a venture that may fail financially. However, Owyang warns that before you risk all of your finances on your new business, you should find ways to protect your personal wealth in case the business goes south; he offers the following four tips to do so:

  • Don’t mix business finance with personal finance. While it may be tempting at times to dip into either one or the other’s accounts, combining your accounts in this way draws the attention of the IRS. And, in the event your business does go bankrupt, it gives the IRS permission to look into your personal assets. As such, maintain separate accounts and logs for your personal and business transactions, and keep all your documents relating to the two separate as well.
  • Consider insurance protection. While there are some insurance protection offers that are scams, you can work with an insurance agent to help you figure out what forms of insurance would help protect you, such as rental or business insurance.
  • Don’t make your business a sole proprietorship. Making your business a sole proprietorship may seem convenient, but it also puts all your personal wealth at risk, should something befall your business. Instead, make it an entity, such as a limited liability company (LLC), which will place the focus on the business (and not yourself) for any financial issues.
  • Don’t be negligent. The best ways to avoid penalties in the cases of negligence and fraud accusations are to create both a system to prevent such claims but also to maintain a thorough documentation system so that you reference them when needed to fight against such claims.

Read the full article here.