How can you be successful in business? Simple: you have to have something that separates you from the pack. What makes you different is called a unique selling proposition (USP) or a competitive advantage. This advantage isn’t sustainable if it can be easily copied. That’s one reason NOT TO use price points to position your business. There’s always a competitor who’s willing to do it cheaper.
What exactly is a brand or how is a brand defined? Simply, a brand is a combination of perception, association, and expectation to an audience. As a home business owner, your clients are the audience. In an equation: Brand = Expectation + Association + Perception to the relevant community.
Chris Gattis left an excellent comment on Homepreneurs blog today: “…Most small business start-ups begin with bootstrapping techniques to offset a lack of cash. However, many hopeful entrepreneurs are sitting on the sideline waiting on the economy to get better before starting. Now is a great time to get started. The generally down economy will keep you focused on finding sales and keeping costs in check. Once the economy picks up, and it will in time, you’ll have an organization and systems in place ready to leverage for growth.”
One advantage big name business has it brand recognition. Small and home business don’t have the years of history, memorable tag lines or high marketing budgets. All is not lost however! By taking a few simple steps, your business can become at least a local if not regional or nationally known name. Hopefully this is for positive reasons and not because a welding experiment went bad and burned down your town! Below we list a few key bootstrap branding steps to help you and your business become a known quantity.