American society is filled with logos that shape our buying and encourage consumers to return to the same products time and again. I bet if I asked you to envision the logo for Nike, Lego, or FedEx that you would have no problem. Therefore the logo that your company uses is extremely important because it is the first thing a consumer sees when considering your business, service or product. The logo is the face of your brand. It should be easily recognized and tell the consumer something about your business and personality. Take for example, Apple. Most people recognize the one bite out of the apple regardless of color or size. It stands for innovation and the evolution of technology. Is your company’s logo easily recognized like Apple Corporation or do you still have work to do?
Here are a few tips for creating or choosing a logo that will fit your company.
- Keep it Simple – The more detail the harder it will be to recognize. A simple concept will allow consumers to identify your brand quickly whether it is on digital media or print media.
- Be Different – Obviously some big name brand companies are doing it right if they bring brand awareness with a logo. Do not copy them. Instead be unique and true to your brand, locale, and personality.
- Be Relevant – If your business is a courier service certainly don’t pick a turtle as your logo but rather something that will tell the consumer about your speediness and accuracy.
- Avoid Trendy – You want your logo to last a long time and be recognizable over many years. Avoid font types and colors that are popular now but many look dated in a few years.
- Use Color – Many businesses are identifiable just by the color they show. For example, Coca-Cola is known for its red and white cans. Make your choice in keeping with your business.
Branding – Coca-Cola, Apple, and McDonalds know how to do it so well that consumers recognize colors and logos before they even see the product name. Branding is big business especially if you want clients to recognize your slogan, logo or color palette. Entrepreneur online states it best, “Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors.” Here are some basics that you should consider when it comes to branding your company, service or product.
- Define – As a company define your brand. Decide on what your mission and goals are. Include a description on what your target audience is and how you plan to reach them. Define the benefits of your product/service as well as how you want people to view your business.
- Create a Voice, Logo, Tagline and Color Palette – Each of these items will make your product or service easily recognizable and create a link to consumers every time they hear, see or identify with your business.
- Build Your Brand – Key areas to consider are: your business name, the names of your products or services, any slogan you use, your logo, the style and quality of your stationery, product pricing and packaging, your premises, where and how you advertise, how you and your employees dress, how you and your employees behave and your company website.
- Do Your Research – Find out what the competition does and do something to make your company stand out from the rest. Where does your business succeed and beat the competition and where does it fall short.
- Review – Plan a regular review of how your brand is doing. Consider how consumers view your brand and how easily your service and products are recognized.
Starting your own company can be time consuming, stressful, and costly. On the other hand it can also be exhilarating! The idea of being your own boss and launching your own business can be the experience of a lifetime especially if it is something your feel passionately about. For many young entrepreneurs, starting a business is a mix of emotions. There will be hurdles to conquer and also successes to celebrate. Here are some of the more common issues that you should be aware of before you crack open the champagne for your newest business adventure.
- Financing – Whether new businesses have done their research or not sometimes financing becomes the biggest problem. The market can fluctuate and lenders and/or investors can change the terms of agreements. Financing is one of the biggest issues most startups encounter so be sure to have your homework done about what things will cost and when you hope to turn a profit.
- Marketing – If selling a product or service is your business be sure to have a solid marketing plan set before day one. This will take lots of research on the competition and what consumers really needs. Look at digital marketing and well as traditional print media.
- Doing It All – As a new business owner there is a temptation to do it all from crunching the numbers as your own accountant to being the man who replaces the ink in the printer. Rely on people who can do things for you, which means hire the right people who can take on some of the responsibilities.
- Location – Believe it or not the old adage of, “Location, Location, Location” applies to companies as well. Choose a location where your company can profit the most whether it is in a cost-effective, low rent building or on a main street where your name will be out there. Think before you chose a location.
It is the age-old “Catch 22”: you need experience to get a job but can’t get experience without having a job! This is a problem for many recent graduates who are out on the job hunt and finding that their resume just doesn’t have what it takes to land the job they want. Graduates often find that unless they had an internship or valuable experience while taking classes that their resume needs to be beefed up . . . (that is without lying). Here are a few ways to beef up your resume that may help you get the interview that you are shooting for.
- Focus on Skills – While new graduates may not have a wide array of work experience they do have skills. Even workers who only have part time work experience or internship experience have started honing skills whether it is in customer service or a specialty in the field.
- Focus on Academic Success – If you are a newly minted grad then you may find your resume thin on experience, so focus on what you have learned including the skills that were required to get through college. Many of your courses probably stressed project management, communication skills, independent working, gathering information from a variety of sources, distilling complex concepts into an accessible argument, clear writing skills and so on.
- Show Your Motivation – Sure you may be “green”, but if you can show that you are a self starter you may be ahead of the pack. Show that you are gaining knowledge through interning, volunteering or shadowing someone in the field you hope to enter. This shows motivation and drive!
- Highlight Technical Skills – Again, you may not have coveted experience but if you have technical skills that can help you land a job them list them on your resume. In fact, present links or examples that can show what you know.
The ink is still drying on many college student’s diplomas and they are hard at work trying to land their first “real” job. They have completed their classwork, filled out numerous applications and have written a resume to impress the leaders of their chosen field. That resume is the first impression a company will get of the hopeful applicant. Make sure to cross your “T”s and dot all your “I”s before pressing submit or mailing in that resume. Here are just a few common resume mistakes you should avoid made when applying for your dream job.
- Grammatical and Spelling Mistakes – Nothing says inexperience and lack of effort more than a resume that has not been edited and edited and checked and checked. Be sure to proofread the resume for all spelling and grammatical errors. In fact, you may want a job coach who has years of experience to look at your resume before you apply.
- Using the Same Resume for Each Application – A resume should match the position you are trying to attain. Make a resume specific to the field and even the company that you are applying to. By using a generic resume you are not taking advantage of details from your skills and education that should be put front and center on each job application.
- Being Too Wordy or Saying Too Much – Employers have limited time to get through the pile of resumes for each position. Get to the point and make it easy for the Human Resources Department to see what you excel at in a glance.
- Not Being Yourself – While your resume should highlight your education, skills and strengths should also show your personality such as your volunteering. Interests, passions and drive. Discuss how you can do this with a job coach or professional resume writer.
- Submitting Incorrect Information – We have all done it at some point or other. Make sure you check and double check that all dates, phone numbers and position titles are accurate. You really don’t want an HR representative questioning your accuracy. That would make for a not so good first impression and may take you out of the running all together.