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Last Update: Tuesday January 16, 2018

Key Idea: Build Your Brand

Host Hattie Bryant talks about some very basic Internet rules.    More...

Key Question:

A: 

Use the Internet to build your brand.  Start by building a web site that provides the basic answers to questions any person might have about your product or service.

Your site has to have easily accessible contact information, physical address, phone and fax numbers. Keeping your logo on the page is commonsense branding. Consider the web your place to have a non-stop, face-to-face, sales meeting. Use concise descriptions of products and services. Be sure there is easy navigation. Open the way to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you are selling, be sure to have a clear statement of your competitive advantage and testimonials.

As the web becomes ever-more sophisiticated, try to avoid too much animation, blinking images or text, and extraneous sounds (.WAV files).
 
Use pictures. Show your personality. If your business is small, chances are you built it by building personal relationships. If you look at renegadeanimation.com or frenchlaundry.com or cowgirlenterprises.com, you will find a picture of the founder of the business.

To do business with you, people have to know you, like you and trust you. In the world of the web, your customer can be on the other side of the planet and still be your neighbor. Pictures do count for 1000 words and video counts for even more. Get great pictures of yourself, your people, and your business. It is OK!
 
Q: How does Adams Avenue Grill stay connected to customers?

A:
  Monthly emails which is a great way to stay in touch with existing customers and to find new ones, too.  Customers who receive your emails will send them to their friends if you encourage them to do so by offering some type of reward.

Q:
  Can monthly emails irritate customers?

A:  Not if you make it easy to opt out and not if you say something or offering something interesting.

Think about it

What do strangers tell you about your web site? Have you ever asked people to give you their honest impression of your web site?

Clip from: Internet Basics: Space and time become derivative.

  The web makes every city and town everybody's  city and town.

World Wide Web: There are four basic reasons to build your business on the web. Whether you are just starting or you are growing, the web will be the  backbone of business in more ways than most anyone imagined. It truly is a new metaphor. This is a paradigm shift. It is actually changing the way we think.

In this episode of the show we learn how you can do what big business does. The world is our market.  So, make your business an e-business, and then merge out into the world's quickly-evolving e-culture.  The time is now. 

We all must prepare today for the invevitable tomorrows.

Small Business Owners Everywhere in the world, We all will exit our business someday.

Visit our web site: http://smallbusinessschool.org/page1107.html

Business Classification:
Education

Year Founded:

Build Your Brand

HATTIE: Hi. I'm Hattie Bryant. What do millions of small businesses have in common? They came early to the Internet and, as a result, there are lessons to be learned from their experience.

In fact, we believe there are four good reasons to use the Web to build your business, and we'll look into each of these in the next few minutes.

First, here's just one business that's using the Internet successfully to win over customers. (Voiceover) In San Diego, where I live, a single-location restaurant with a small menu and just 10 tables is using e-mail to invite its customers to come back.

About once a month, a message comes from the Adams Street Grill, telling us they have a new dish or a new employee or they are now taking special orders for their double chocolate ooey-gooey, artery-clogger cake.

If you e-mail or call in an order, you can pick up your cake in 24 hours.

Is this working? Yes.

Do we go more often now? Yes.

Is the owner-chef developing a relationship with us, unlike ones we have with other restaurants we frequent? Yes.
 
(Voiceover) First, you have to have an address; not a street address, but a Web address, and your address is important.

A case in point: For 27 years, Zubi Advertising Agency had built its name and reputation in the Hispanic market. But it was slow getting a Web address. When it tried to register zubiadvertising.com, it turned out an 18-year-old already took it and wanted $500,000 for the name. (Voiceover) Zubi refused to pay and is using another name, zubiad.com.

So register your name.

Our company has registered SmallBusinessSchool.org, but we've also registered other names for other parts of the business we may want to use later.

If your name is taken, think about using a word that your customers will connect to you easily. (Voiceover) It's hard to forget Yahoo! or Amazon.com. And don't publish your e-mail address @aol.com. This is a terrible address for a business. (Voiceover) You have to have yourname@yourbusiness.com.

Editor's note: AOL is becoming a family portal, not a landing place for a business. It is a great place for kids and games. At one time it had a strong reputation for cyber-sex (chat rooms) that it seems to be slowing pushing into the background.

There are four good reasons to use the Internet to build your business.

First, to build image.

This is basic advertising, providing in-depth product or service information. It may be as simple as putting your brochure online. This is a presence. This is an address in cyberspace and you can easily do it with just a few dollars a month.
 
With a marketing presence on the Web, use the same principles you use in all other marketing. The site should look like your business. It should reflect your personality, and first impressions on the Web are just as important as first impressions in person.

(Voiceover) Your site should have contact information--and I mean your physical address, phone and fax numbers--your logo, concise description of products and services, easy navigation, sharp graphics, frequently asked questions, clear statement of your competitive advantage and testimonials.

And here's what I don't want to see...

(Voiceover) ...too much animation or blinking and sounds, hard-to-read text, changing design from page to page, heavy graphics and backgrounds or more than 250 words per page.

For me, the Web is an amazing time-saver.

When you get a phone call asking for information or help, you should be able to ask, `Can you go online right now while we're talking on the phone?' You and all of your key employees who are involved in sales and service should be able to talk on the phone, be on the Web and send or receive an email or fax at the same time.

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