When seeking out financing opportunities no stone should go unturned.Knowing what's available to you out there for start-up cost is a step in the right direction for all entrepreneurs.
How do I go about getting my brand protected once I get it ?
How do I start branding my name and services
How does it work
Sales Strategy and Branding
Sales: The Essential Rim of the Business Eco-System Wheel
You can sell a product or service. A product is a physical item while a service is something you would implement or execute on behalf of someone else.
Product ideas to consider selling:
• Hand-crafted art and artifacts for exporting
• Fruit for selling at a fruit stand or using in the production of cosmetics
• Honey that you produce as a bee keeper
• Mustard condiments produced from mustard seeds
• Handcrafted furniture
• Paintings by emerging artists
• Recycled goods made into products such as purses made from recycled juice and soda containers
• A restaurant that offers food menus that others enjoy eating
• Yogurt served in containers that are edible
Ideas for services to consider offering:
• Providing education to children as well as adults in a school
• Purifying water at the site of wells that may be tainted with arsenic
• Providing guide services to travelers
• Developing marketing campaigns for local businesses
• Running food stands for others
• Providing tailoring services
• Manufacturing furniture for businesses and residences
• Offering cooking services to families
• Selling wireless phones for phone corporations
• Providing people to build buildings, houses, roads and or bridges
• Offering outsourced call center services from other countries
• Providing computer consulting services
Places for inspiration
Kiva (www.kiva.org) is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.
Kiva provides a list of entrepreneurs who seek loans and a description of these entrepreneurs’ business concepts.
Visit the Kiva website to read the inspirational stories of these entrepreneurs. http://www.kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses.
Aid to Artisans (ATA), (http://www.aidtoartisans.org) an international nonprofit organization, is a recognized leader of economic development for the craft industry.
By linking artisans to new markets and buyers to culturally meaningful and innovative products, ATA provides needed economic opportunities to artisans while preserving the beauty of global handmade crafts.
Financing: The Fundamental Rim on the Business Eco-System Wheel
One of the greatest talents that most successful entrepreneurs possess is the ability to persuade others to invest funds and resources in a startup during the idea creation phase of a new venture. You are not alone if you have major concerns about attracting the finances you need to get your startup idea “off the ground”.
If you are reading this and thinking you do not know anyone who would consider investing in your startup we suggest transforming your thinking into a more constructive thought process in which you believe in yourself and your own ability to achieve financing.
Micro-financiers (Do a Google search at www.google.com using the key word "micro-finance" to find potential micro-financiers that you may want to research as one method of financing your startup costs.)
Family traditionally is the first place to look for funds to pay for some of the startup costs associated with a new venture. Even if your family has no resources to offer you can still talk to family members about introducing you to people they know who might be able to help. More money then you can imagine has been raised in this manner.
Friends, even casual acquaintances, can at times provide financing and resources for a startup. Even if a friend is not able to directly help, you should ask each friend or person you contact for help to also provide you with 3 names of others they know who may be able to help.
Governmental support is also a possibility. If applicable, you can also let the local non-governmental agency associated with what you are doing know your needs in case there is some support available.
Barter or trade is a method by which you could provide a needed service such as consulting/management advice in return for the resources needed for your startup.
Savings take a long time and effort to accumulate in the amount most people need to start a new venture. There are many risks involved and you may not ever be able to replenish the amount of money you took from your savings to invest in a startup. On the positive side though, if you use your own savings you do not have a loan to pay back.
Bank loans are not usually available to early-stage entrepreneurs unless you have a track record of a previous success and/or the assets to put up such as a home you own in return for securing the bank loan.
Networking refers to attending events, conferences, seminars, and any activity where by you can meet others who might be able to help your further your startup's development.
Online networks are online websites where you can connect with people you know to ultimately gain connections to people they know. One well-known online network is LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com. According to the About LinkedIn website, “LinkedIn is an online network of more then 30 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.” LinkedIn is available in English, French and Spanish. You can use the search field at the top of every LinkedIn web page to search for people and companies that might be willing to finance your startup. You can sign onto LinkedIn and connect with others that would in turn potentially be willing to connect you to the people you are trying to meet.
Memberships in community organizations may be a place where you can meet like-minded individuals interested in your startup idea. Use the opportunity to share some information about your startup with the people you meet. You may find others who want to help you make your startup a success.
Strategy: The Tactical Rim on the Business Eco-System Wheel
Strategy is the method you utilize to go about achieving the underlying goal of your startup. It’s recommended that prior to spending any money on your new venture that you first come up with the strategy or strategies you plan to utilize to make your startup successful. Devising the right strategy often requires a great deal of market research on the history of your competition, potential customer needs and wishes as well a taking into consideration the economic climate and cultural factors that could impact your startup.
Examples of startup strategies:
Low cost leader by charging less than the competition
Luxury cost leader by charging more than the competition
First to market by having your product or service in the market place prior to anyone else. This strategy is often referred to as the “first mover advantage.”
Creating sustainable growth for a startup means that the new venture will eventually make more money then it takes to operate the company and that the profitability of this venture is possible over an extended period of time.
Creating societal wealth means the company you are starting wants to create a product or service that will make the world a better place. The product or service you plan to create will enhance societal value. Educational institutions and schools are good examples. Another example is providing foods in the market place that are nutritional in value can have a major positive impact on a society’s health.
Paradigm shifting brand for a startup means creating a product or service that revolutionizes the world! Examples include the first developers of airplanes that not only manufactured the airplane but also found a way to commercialize the product in the market place. An emerging product in this category is space ships. Although it may sound far-fetched today, there are several corporations today developing the design and plans for the day where by we get in our space ship the way we get in our car or on our bicycle. Some wealthy business owners are even today adding space ports to their garages.
Branding: The Memorable Rim on the Business Eco-System Wheel
Branding is the core foundation of your startup that is necessary to make your product or service blossom and grow. “Branding” is a commonly used marketing term that refers to a distinctive image, usually in the form of a logo or company mark that represents a company or product. In recent years a company’s brand has become an asset with a financial worth known as “brand equity”. The marketing use of the word “brand’ is borrowed from the process of burning a rancher’s mark into the hide of a calf for identification purposes. When building your brand, the following checklist is helpful for making your startup bloom.
What is the meaning behind the message your product and/or service represents?
Coaching: Try writing the history of why you are starting this venture and what is the deeper meaning behind why you are doing this and what you hope the legacy of the new venture will be in the market place. Review the history and pull out any information that seems relevant toward the meaning. Then write up some draft messages you hope to communicate when marketing the product or service.
What is the brand essence of your new product or service?
Coaching: The brand essence of your venture is the “heart and soul” behind the product and service you plan to develop; the core DNA of your product or service. The brand essence is the foundation of your brands true identity and the brand essence typically stays the same over time. An example of brand essence is the medical corporation International Patient Assistance Centre headquartered in Singapore. A review of the corporation’s website (http://www.ppac.sg) leads one to believe the brand essence for the medical company is “dedicated and experienced patient care teams”. If you are not able to come up with the brand essence for your venture try reverse engineering the process by asking yourself what would you like the brand essence of your venture to be and then make a list of action items you would have to do to achieve creating a company with this type of brand essence.
What is the brand advantage?
Coaching: What sets your brand apart from that of the competition?
Try answering the following:
What is distinctive about the brand?
What differentiates this brand from the competitor’s?
How do customers perceive the brand?
What emotion does the brand evoke?
Who appreciates the brand? Why?
What do customers get from the brand?
Where do customers go to find the brand?
What do customers see in the brand that the founders didn’t?
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