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Do you sell hamburgers or hot dogs? Small business branding



Do you sell hamburgers or hot dogs? More importantly, do your customers know what you’re selling?

So you had a dream and you made it happen. You started a small business with an idea, not a lot of money and there you are. What should you do now if you want this idea to survive? Recently here at Marketing Strategy we had some discussion about whether you really need branding in the early stages of your business. Contrary to what many people think, building your brand from the beginning will decide if your dream lives or dies. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money as most people think.

Do you sell hamburgers or hot dogs? More importantly, do your customers know what you’re selling?

A good example is a new burger joint that recently opened in my neighborhood. It’s got a nice catchy name, a nice building, and a big promise for the best hamburger you’ll ever put on your tongue. I was looking forward to trying it out. This is where the problem came in. My colleagues beat me there. I listened to an unsolicited review of the place.
– Prices were high, but if it’s a good burger, that’s fine.

-The waiting time was 50 minutes with no other customers.


– Part of the staff was playing loud old games which was annoying. (Also explains the 50 minute wait) I like PAC-Man, but it’s a bit dated today.

-You can have 4 toppings on your burger but it was pretty tight on delivery.

– French fries were cold

-Drinks were small

-Burger was small and nothing that makes it different from other burger places.


– The main features of the menus were hot dogs. A full page.

I think you have the idea that these will not be regular customers. I feel bad if this business starts, but the hard cold reality is that this is how your business is going to live or die. How a brand gets a good reputation Your brand will grow with or without your help. This will be longer and beyond anything you can say or do. This has affected my judgment of this new place and I haven’t experienced it firsthand.
Using this example, if your staple food is hot dogs, then don’t play the burgers as your secret weapon. Sell ​​your customers a better hot dog. Decide what you want your company to be known for and develop a strategy for it. Connect your slogan and logo to what your customers experience there. When dealing with the public, customer service is a must, but not an option. Bad customer service doesn’t lead to sales.

If you think branding isn’t important in your small business at first, you probably don’t need to worry about it for long. My question to you is: do you sell hamburgers or hot dogs? Leave the right branding with your customers. And most importantly, do you really know your business?

Photo of Wayne Marshall

Ken Chandler
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4 reasons why your business needs vision now more than ever



Welcome to the age of information overload, a world where anyone can share their thoughts, ideas and experiences from anywhere, anytime. For business owners, this can be a huge benefit—no longer just having to live with trial and error and guessing what works and what doesn’t.

Those who have “been there and done this” are sharing their experiences more than ever, and much of this advice is free and even relatively easy to follow.

Then you realize that not everyone is saying the same thing. In fact, credible sources sometimes preach just the opposite!

“You should bootstrap” or “You should raise money”.

“Avoid debt like the plague” or “Maximize your returns with debt.”

“Outsource your engineering work” or “hire only in-house”


Here “Information Overload” becomes “Information Conflict”. And trying to follow it all can throw your business into a tailspin.

Trying to do everything ends up with the same result as doing nothing – only you end up tired and broke.

A… have clear view all of that changes for your company. If there are ambiguities or conflicts, look at your vision. When you have to make a difficult decision, look at your vision.

Aside from being that “North Star,” vision helps in other ways. A vision becomes:


Your company’s vision allows you to cut through the noise and embark on what you actually need to do to be successful. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, chances are you haven’t been focused on your company’s vision.


What can you do now to help your business grow as fast as possible? Having your vision in mind makes it much easier to answer this question.

Inspire your team.

Think of a time when you had a job that you were excited about every day. My guess is that you’ve felt fulfilled by the work you’ve done—and fulfillment is hard to come by when we don’t know what we’re working towards.

If we have a big goal, a mission statement, a vision – and we see each other making progress every day, it’s incredibly inspiring. And when a whole team feels that fulfillment and inspiration, they’re much more likely to be successful.

Give you a unique attitude.

One of the most important things about having a strong vision for your business is that it makes you unique.

The modern marketplace is overcrowded and “me-toos” go unnoticed. Neither does inauthenticity – consumers can smell it from a mile away. But when you have a real vision, it makes you both unique and authentic—key to attracting team members, customers, and the press.


Avoid going broke.

Many successful business coaches and mentors talk about the dangers of being opportunistic. Always chasing the “next big opportunity” can distract you from the tasks at hand. Many of these options are also expensive.

When you keep your company’s vision in mind, you can say no to great marketing and flashy ideas. Rather than investing your time and money into a new idea, keep your head down and follow the path your vision requires in order for it to be fully realized.

Your company’s vision will evolve over time, which is great. If it doesn’t evolve over the years, something is wrong. But remember that development takes time. Have you already fully formulated the current vision of your company? If the answer is no, start working on it now — the dividends will pay for the life of your business.

Latest posts by Tim Chaves (See everything)

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Apps to increase productivity



The worst thing an entrepreneur can do is busy work. No wonder we like to stay productive at all times. Productivity can encompass a variety of things. Not just about time management. For me, part of being productive is to save time wherever I can. Even if it means seconds because it all adds up.

The following are productivity apps for entrepreneurs that I found and use regularly.

I know some people find it difficult to think of this as a productivity app. Even with Evernote, the lightbulb didn’t come on for me. Until I have a change of perspective. Don’t organize. Seek.

For me, organization takes time. You need to look for the folder. Drill down the tree. When I find the folder, I often forget what I want to write down.


For me, Evernote is a huge junk drawer into which I throw everything – “for later”. I also tag them whenever I can, and tagging takes less time than organizing. If I want to find something, I search.

Some people have told me they can’t find the content they typed into Evernote. Although I encounter this sometimes, it’s not often at all. If I can’t find it, that means I probably saved it somewhere else. Also, I use the paid version of Evernote, which searches a lot more, and that’s probably why my mileage goes further. Tagging also helps tremendously.

If you’re using a Mac, you MUST get Alfred. You don’t even need to purchase the paid PowerPack to get the most out of it. I’ve been using the free version for years and only recently upgraded. What can PowerPack do? The question is what it can’t do.

I mainly use it for snippets. I store frequently typed things like website urls, email addresses, canned responses etc. I also use it to search everything on my computer, bookmarks and the web at once. This fits perfectly with my workflow and my philosophy of not trying to remember but searching instead. Best of all, I’ve barely scratched the surface of using Alfred.

Have you ever tried to make an appointment with a client or even a friend? All this back and forth is a huge waste of time. Not to mention all the unnecessary emails. I use BLAB to solve this for both personal and business events.


You can automate so many things with this one tool, it’s insane. It may take a while to figure out what you can automate. So don’t think about big tasks. Think of small tasks that Zapier can do for you every day. Then build on that.

Serious. It’s so much easier for you to set reminders and alarms, create to-do lists, catch up on industry news, and more by voice command. Also, as a sole trader, I don’t have the luxury of asking people things like today’s date, the phone number of Holiday Inn in town, etc. Alexa does it.


A good old-fashioned paper planner

Yes, I know they’re supposed to be apps, but paper planners and paper notebooks are invaluable. I’m using Evernote above for the same reason. Until I figure out what app to use, find the app, and classify information, I often forget what to do or collect. Jot it down on paper quickly and transfer it later when you absolutely need a digital system. Better yet, use a combo like the RocketBook.

Lynette Chandler
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How to create an email newsletter



Chances are you’re here to create an email newsletter, either attached to your blog or standalone. They’re also probably hoping to make some money from this gig. That being the case, the only thing you need to get out of your head right now is the word FREE. If you want to market your blog, show, book, products, or __fill in the blanks with email, it’s a pay-to-play thing.

Why? Because you don’t want to manage email deliverability and reputation yourself. It’s way too technical for most people. Even if you tend to be geeky, spending that time marketing and growing your business will cost you way too much time. Once you get over that, learning how to create an email newsletter is pretty easy.

Email Newsletter Service

First, you want to sign up for an email newsletter service. Never send email newsletters through your personal email account unless you wish to lose your account. I use and recommend Sender (ActiveCampaign). Below is a list of popular services:

  • drops
  • ConvertKit
  • Aweber
  • constant contact

It’s easy to spend a ton of time going back and forth examining the pros and cons of each service. My advice is not. Pick one that fits your budget and that you are comfortable with and able to walk with. If you still have no idea, use Sender like me. Start with the smallest plan. You can always upscale later.

Build your list

Next, log into your email newsletter service account to create a list. When someone subscribes to your newsletter, they will be added to this list. Complete the information that your newsletter service requires from you. Usually you have to enter things like:

  • The sender name – this is what people see as the sender in their inbox. Use your own name here. Especially if you are the face of your website. Names are more personal and people expect emails from a person. If you need to provide your location or company name, do something like TechBasedMarketing’s Lynette.
  • The sender email address. This is what people see when they see the sender’s email address, and also the address that replies are generally sent to unless you specify a different address. So make sure it’s one that you or someone else checks on every day. For best results, have this come from the same domain as your website.
  • reply address. This is optional. skip it
  • reminder text. Some services require you to enter a short text to remind users why they are receiving this email. Keep it short and sweet here, or use the default for now. You can always change it later.
  • Your website name and URL

Note. Not all services require all of this information upfront. Some will have less or more. But that’s pretty common. I suggest that you make a note of this information beforehand so that your list building process goes as quickly as possible.

registration forms

Once you’ve created a list, you need to create a form on your website for people to join. There are several ways to create this form. The easiest and fastest way is to use the form builder that resides in your email service account. Again, try not to overthink this. Pick one, move on.

After you create the form, you will receive a code. You must include this on your website. If you use WordPress, just put it in a text widget and use that widget in your sidebar or wherever you want it.

While this is the fastest way, it is not the most flexible method. The best method is to invest in an email newsletter plugin or page builder with newsletter form capabilities. My recommendation is Beaver Builder.

With one of these plugins, you can create beautiful forms that work on different parts of your website without being technical at all. The form creation process is also greatly simplified, and that’s always a good thing, because frustration quickly wipes out progress.

Support financially

Now that you have your form on your website, what’s next? They promote, promote, promote. Inform the people you know who might be interested in your offer. Reach people online. They can say no, but they can also say yes. Put it on your social media profiles. Write guest posts and direct people to your signup page.


email to her

Last thing – don’t forget to email people who signed up! Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But too many people get caught up in the mechanics of how to create an email newsletter. How to add to your list and more and… forget or get scared about emailing the very people you’re emailing for.

Put it on your calendar. Make an appointment to email once or more a week. Mix it up between promotional emails, informational emails and emails that are a little more personal. Soon people will be happy to see you in their inboxes.

Lynette Chandler
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