As I toiled away on my elliptical machine tonight, I re-read Tina Seelig’s book “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20.” And what I love most about this book has to do with what makes a small business owner successful. Is it being a marketing genius? Is it being a financial wizard? Is it having a parent with a very large bank roll? They all help, but that’s not it…at least not for the long run away.
At the end of the day, it really just boils down to a couple of traits or states of mind; traits/states of mind I would like to share with you. The presence or absence of these traits/states of mind will tell you if you have the stomach and the know-how to become a successful small business owner.
- Turning failure upside down—entrepreneurs can take failure because they know that failure shows them how to succeed the next time. Failure is temporary. Failure is sometimes necessary. And, guess what? It took Thomas Edison something like 1,000 “steps” as he liked to call it to perfect the light bulb.
- Knowing that “no” sometimes means not now—let’s face it, very few people in life like hearing the word no; especially as it relates to their business/baby. Successful entrepreneurs understand that “no” might mean call me next week when I am in a better frame of mind.
- Try everything, at least once—Successful small business owners will do just about anything to keep their dream alive. And, they get creative…both inside and outside the box. They are constantly thinking about what is next for their business and questioning whether if they are doing everything right and everything they should be doing. Just like their business, they are in constant motion.
- Test and learn beats fast and furious (…just ask the rabbit)—successful small business owners don’t waste money on big splashes, they take a disciplined approach to just about everything. They aren’t tentative, but they do their due diligence.
Here is my favorite and the most important part of being a successful entrepreneur.
- Give yourself permission—the permission to start, the permission to stop, the permission to take risks, the permission to accept failures, the permission to say you were wrong, and the permission to say you were right. Whatever permission you are denying yourself…give it freely. You don’t have to wait for permission from someone else. Who cares what they think? Give yourself permission to start doing what you love today!
Since this blog isn’t about my normal marketing or market research topics, I have decided to end with a quote from Thomas Edison rather than “Happy Marketing”. Here goes:
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Here’s something from me…I give you permission.
While most of us would agree that great care should be given when selecting a name for a new company or a new product, many people don’t have a true process they go through when selecting a name.
Since the name of your company or product/service is going to be with you for hopefully a very, very long time, it is important that you get this part of building your new business/product/service right.
Here are four quick and easy tips to naming a new business, product or service.
- Keep it Simple— less is (most often) more when selecting a name. Think about your target audience when you are naming your company. Since you are building your product and service around their wants/needs…why wouldn’t you build your company name around these wants/needs as well? For some, simple could mean naming it after the family like SC Johnson (who makes things like Windex).
- Make it Memorable—while “being memorable” means different things to different people, to me it means selecting a name that is easy for your target market to remember. So nothing complicated or hard to remember. Or worse yet…one that is so close in name to a competitor that you often get mistaken for them (which could be a good or bad thing depending upon the competitor). For example: JiffyPop. How could you forget that name? Popped corn in a jiffy!
- Make it Relevant—is important for you to select a name that is easily relatable (by your target market) to what you do. For example: Toys”R”us. When seeing this name for the very first time, would you have any doubt or misunderstanding as to what this company does? Another great example is ProPixFix…a new online photo restoration service. The name clearly tells you what they do.
- Make it Familiar—my final and favorite naming tip is make it familiar…meaning make it sound like you have heard of that company before. When you start a business, you will have almost no brand recognition or equity. By having a familiar sounding name, you might get people comfortable in giving you a shot, even though you are new. For example: Fast Forward Strategies. This marketing strategy company started in 2002 with no brand awareness/equity. The company benefitted from the name sounding like a strategy company their target market had heard of before.
Ok, so what do you do if you have a “bad” name and you are stuck with it? Help fix the bad name with a tagline. Look for a future blog post on the topic of taglines coming soon to my blog.
Have more quick and easy tips on selecting a name for your new company, product or service? Let me know in the comments section below.