Building Your Business Through Co-Branding One way a new business owner can increase his brand awareness is through co-branding. This online strategy can be beneficial and cost effective for a new business. When your company has decided to use co-branding for your products and services it is important that you carefully choose your partners. If you chose the wrong partner, a partner that has nothing in common with your products, or too many partners, this can damage your business. Before adding a new partner to your website it is important that you weigh the pros and cons of this partnership. You need to be sure that this new partnership will have positive results for your company. Will the new partnership bring you more traffic to your website, increase your sales, or increase your contact with your customer? When selecting your new partner, make sure they will benefit your company. Co-branding will work best for your company if your partner provides a related product or service for your targeted audience. Power of Co-Branding Studies have shown that online consumers prefer products and services that are co-branded. This helps the consumer during the buying phase. When two top quality brands decide to co-brand their products, this helps to strengthen the consumer’s approval. When opening a new business, your products are considered the lesser brand online. When partnering up with a new company it is wise to choose one with a well-known brand. This helps to improve your brand’s overall image and exposure. Choose a company that is equally or more popular with your company when co-branding. Your customers need to understand the connection between you and your new partner. Guidelines It is important to have the right partner for your company that can help share the cost of marketing. The new partner will further help to strengthen your company and brand. Furthermore, a partnership gives your company access to a larger customer base. Before signing any contracts with a new partner consider: What a new co-branding partnership will say to your customers.Does this partnership strengthen your brand in the eyes of your customers?What does this new partnership have in common?Are your new partner’s products dependable and innovative?Does the new partnership make sense for your company’s image?Does the new partnership add benefits to your customers?Can your customers easily recognize the connection between you and your new partner?Will your company find new contacts and customers through this partnership? When co-branding it is important you don’t lose your current customers, but build new ones. Furthermore, your new marketing campaign should make it easy for your customers to see the benefits of your new partner. Co-branding will help your company find the best solutions for your customers. The new partnership should have equal value in both brands to make your marketing strategy equal. In Conclusion Co-branding is one way for your company to grow and expand your customer base. New businesses can benefit from a partnership with a company that is trusted and has a large customer base. Before considering a new partnership you need to consider if this partnership will benefit your company and your brand. Small Business Spending Tips Beat The Competition With Smarter Spending! In business, the old adage “you have to speculate to accumulate” rings true. The good news is that if you spend smarter, you can get ahead of the competition whilst still taking care of your bottom line. Here’s how. Promote What Makes You Unique Being special and standing out from your competitors is vital in business. Your customers will look for something unique about a product, service, or the company that helps them to make their decision on where to place their business. Focus your marketing, promotions and advertising resources on highlighting the unique features of your business and selling what makes you stand out from the crowd. This will give you a much better chance of being noticed by potential customers. It’s then up to your website and marketing to close the deal. Improve the customers’ experience of your business Customer service should encompass everything you do as a business. Unless your product is absolutely unique (which it won’t be for long) or you intend to compete on price alone (which is probably going to be the most expensive strategy), the only difference between you and your competition will be the experience your clients have when dealing with your company. From the minute they land on your home page, walk into your shop, or make a telephone call to your office, it’s important to make their experience far superior to the one they had with your rivals. Do this and you’re half way to a sale! Keep your enemies close It’s extremely important that you keep up to speed with what the competition is up to in order to remain one step ahead. Check out the internet and social media streams to see what new products, recruitment campaigns and affiliations are up and coming. Don’t be socially shy It goes without saying that if you’re watching your competition on social media, you can be sure they’re watching you, too. You can’t avoid social media these days if you want to be totally accessible to your potential and existing clients. Social media advertising can be extremely expensive and not particularly rewarding if you get your strategy wrong. Make sure you spend wisely on your social media presence and if in doubt, use a professional online marketing company to co-ordinate your campaigns. Spend as much on existing customers as you do on acquiring new users Never make the mistake of assuming that just because a customer has been with you for years they’ll stay. Don’t forget about your loyal clients and concentrate your efforts on recruiting new ones; existing customers actually spend over five times as much per transaction as newbies. Bizarrely, companies spend 80% of their marketing budget on campaigns targeting new customers and only 20% on retaining existing ones despite the fact that there is clearly more profit to be had from the clients who are already on the books. Another big mistake is to offer your best deals as enticements for “new customers only” to sign up with your company. Adopt this strategy at your peril; if you do, you can bet that your competition will do so, too. Your existing customers could become the competition's new ones if you’re not careful. In conclusion In times when spare cash is non-existent and company marketing budgets are being squeezed, it’s really important to spend wisely and in the right areas for maximum impact. Make sure you spend smart and enjoy the benefits as your income stream goes from strength to strength. Accounting Checks and Balances 4 Accounting Mistakes That Should be Avoided at All Costs in Business Finance and accounting are both extremely important in business. Accounting errors should be avoided as even a small mistake can bring a great loss to your company. In this article I am going to discuss four basic tips which should be avoided under any circumstance. TRYING TO MICROMANAGE EVERY ASPECT: Ensure that you appoint an accountant who can manage your financial department effectively. Many people try to handle important matters on their own but it becomes difficult and then it might create problems for the company in the long run. Accounting requires time, effort and constant attention so avoid handling everything on your own. MIXING UP PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL EXPENSES: Never mix up your personal and business expenses. One should always open separate accounts for business, and separate accounts for personal expenses. Also, don’t pay your personal expenses from the company’s bank accounts. These small things can create confusion and can lead to loss. NOT MAKING USE OF PROPER TECHNOLOGY: We live in a world which runs on technology, so make sure that you use proper software that is designed to ease your efforts. Avoid handling accounts manually, computers and software have developed tremendously to carry out that function for you. One can also make use of cloud technology to store data or to manage accounts in a secure manner. NOT UPDATING YOUR ACCOUNTS REGULARLY: One should constantly update their accounts. One should keep a track of every single record. Bills, receipts, and other such transactions should be recorded and updated from time to time. Also a backup of all these things should be taken, as you never know when you would need a backup. Avoid these simple accounting mistakes and ensure that your finance department runs successfully. Good Accounting checks and balances combined with proper Branding or co-Branding can jump start a business in the right direction as you scale your audience, users, and clients.