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           AHBBO Home Based Business Information

        _______________________________________________________________

            A Home-Based Business Online
        _______________________________________________________________


          
          
          

           Issue 161 : November 25, 2012

           Sent to 14,448 Opt-In Subscribers

            Editor: Elena Fawkner
            Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
           http://www.shelteredturtle.com
          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
        week's issue.

        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
        question.

        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
        personalities.

        -----

        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
        brand awareness.

        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?

        => Differentiation

        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
        you.

        => 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
        and efficient.

        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
        market.

        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
        support.

        => 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
        Mission Statement

        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
        awareness.

        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
        purposes.

        => 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
        will be:

        RELIABLE WEBHOSTING
        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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        ------


        practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the
        work-from-home entrepreneur. 
        http://www.shelteredturtle.com


        _______________________________________________________________


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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
        Internet shopping:

        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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