Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Fun Stuff

Later, we can discuss how to choose a business name but for right now we assume you have one.

The most important thing you will do for your brand identity is to do these three things:
  • Get a paid email service
  • Purchase a domain name
  • Develop a website

Whatever product or service you sell is best sold amongst its peers. You want to run with the best out there. Using a free email service does not speak well of your dedication to the finest for your clientele. Along with that, doesn't sound better than Free email services are best used for throw away addresses. If you are interested in a particular newsletter or forum but want to keep your company out it, then those are your best choices.

Domain names are very inexpensive. You can get your own for as low as $1.99 per year at There are more packages available.

Why do I need a domain name? Because when you set up your website the address will be or .com instead of freewebsite/ Your business cards, which will be professionally done, will impress. Your customers will not have to contend with pop-up ads, spyware and other annoyances. You will be providing customer care at its best.

But I don't know how to set up a website! First, there are three very good solutions to this:
  • At most good sites, there is a set up called wysiwyg. You simply follow directions and set up a very plain site that contains information about your company and how to get in contact with you and/or personnel.
  • You hire a professional to do it for you. Hold them on retainer so they will do updates to the site on a regular basis. There is nothing worse for credibility than to have out of date contact and product information.
  • You hire a student from a local college and pay them a reasonable fee. Even a high school student knows enough about site building to give your company a totally professional package.

Having your own domain name and website usually includes personal emails, either included in the package or for a little bit more.

In the next post, working with marketing.

First Thing To Do When Starting Your Business

You absolutely have to know who your target market is before you can write a business plan. Sit down and grab a note book. Write out what you are selling and who would most likely buy it.

Being African American does not mean your customers will be because customers are dictated by the product or service you offer:
  1. What if you are selling Wok Widgets? They are the best widgets for woks to be found anywhere. Wouldn't a predominately Asian market sound just about right? The residual customer base will trickle down from an eclectic array of people who love or dabble in cross-cultural foods, vegetarians and those who are nutritionally knowledgeable. However, If you were to pick this latter group for your main target, you will only hit a very small potential clientele.
  2. What if you are selling fine Linens? Here we have a larger, more affluent group who, despite smaller numbers than those in question 1, will spend more money per item. They also include clients of all races but mostly those who spend on high end items. Which group spends the most on clothing?
  3. What if you are selling a service as in personal assistant? Which potential clients seem the best suited for your business? Remember, we are looking at affluence stemming from the film, music, media and other very large industries. Adding to that, let's include "old money" in here.
  4. However, what if you are selling red, black and green wrist bands? Yes, that would be us… with a trickle down market from Reggae lovers.

As you can see, out of these four, African Americans represent the smallest number except for number 2 and especially 4. That is because we have always catered to style and respect our consciousness.

Of course, if you have an innovative, out of the box and cross-cultural new idea that might work in any city or section of town, your work is really cut out for you. You will need to do your homework on who lives where, median income, children/no children involved and a host of other things. Each question requires its own in-depth study.

Giving serious thought to exactly who will buy your goods or services is extremely important to the success of your business. It is the first thing you do before writing a business plan.