business rebranding

4 Reasons Why a Business Owner Should Consider Rebranding

In today’s modern day marketplace, branding is everything.  But what is branding, and what qualifies as good branding or bad branding?  Here is a great definition of branding:

  • “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”

Branding is important because of how much competition there is in the marketplace today, and because of how easy it is to fall prey to not having a strong enough of an image.  Branding is all about your image or lack thereof.  With the competition that is being experienced today, a good image is everything and will be the make or break point of a business when all of the cards are one the table.

You may think your product or service is unique, but if you look closely (and I do mean look more closely than a five minute Google search) you will find that you are by no means at all the only person offering whatever product or service that you specialize in.  Because this is now very much so the case, you need to make a point to really study your client base and your selling demographic and make a decision as to how you are going to best sell to them.  If you can do this, then you can get your products in front of people more easily, and your brand will be more significant to them.

Tips for Better Branding

Here are some reasons why you might want to take another look at how you are branding yourself, your business, your product, or your service:

  1. Your brand doesn’t stand out from the crowd of other brands.  You want your brand to be the bee’s knees.  It needs to pop, and it needs to be especially impressive and interesting.  Your brand must be something that will catch the eye and that potential customers will be drawn towards.  In this way, your brand will be absolutely top notch if it does this.  If not, you might want to consider rebranding.
  2. Your company has changed.  If you’ve experienced a merger or an acquisition, then it’s time for new branding.  You want your brand to totally reflect your company’s image, so if your company is now something different from what you started with, then it’s time for some new branding.
  3. You’re not attracting phenomenal new hires.  This is an interesting one.  One of the best ways to tell how your brand is doing is not from the customers, but instead from the people you have coming to you asking for a job.  This is huge.  Potential new hires know to look for a powerful brand to work for.  After all, they want to have a great career.  So if your business is no longer attracting top talent, then it may be time to rebrand.  There’s nothing wrong with accepting people from career assistance programs, but it’s never a bad time to rebrand!
  4. You are at all embarrassed to hand out your business card.  If you feel this way about a business card, what does that say about your feelings about your brand?  Strengthen up your brand and make new business cards that you can and should be proud of.

Branding is everything, and the process of branding can even be a decision making skill, at least when it comes to getting known and out there in the marketplace.  If your business hasn’t had a facelift in its branding, then now might be the time to rebrand your business and give it a new look.

Online Business

5 Tips for Growing Your Online Business Before the End of the Quarter

We all want to grow our businesses and boom our brand and do well with our products and services.  We want this, and rightly so too.  We want to really get ourselves known and get out of obscurity and into the forefronts of buyers’ minds when they think of our type of product or our type of service.

If we work online or have an online business, competition is as tough or even tougher than it is with a brick and motor business.  There is such a push right now to go the online route and to engage in an online business that it is hard to push out of obscurity and actually make oneself known online.

For a lot of online business owners, especially online business owners who are still pretty new to the online business game, it can be difficult and confusing to figure out how to grow the business and push out and away from obscurity and not being very well known.  Listed here are some tips and tidbits of data on how you can grow your business:

  • Narrow your focus.  You need to find your target audience and pitch to them exclusively.  Marketing is expensive, and if you’re a one man or one woman show then you don’t need to go and use scattergun marketing techniques.  Perform surveys and gather data on your customer basis in ways that enable you to learn exactly what your target audience is, what products of services they want, and how to service them.
  • Find out what advertising does work.  Advertising is almost magical when it does work, and it’s a pain when it does not work.  Using the proper advertising method is key to targeting your client base and getting them to realize that you have the products and services that they want.  Experiment with multiple different advertising techniques to ensure that the one you use is the one that is getting you the absolute best results.
  • Automate what works.  Get rid of what does not work.  When you find a business technique for your online company that does work for you, try to put it on autopilot if you can, so that it continues to operate that way without any work or effort from you.  Set it up so that it is constant and regular.  Set it up so that it is always working that way.
  • Engage your existing customer base.  When you have customers who have already bought products and services from you, continue to grow your business with their help.  Really engage yourself and them to get an idea from them what they like about you, and what they could see improving.  Survey those who have bought products and services from you, and get their feedback.  Try to get them to leave you good reviews online, and try to get them to refer you more business.
  • Study your competition.  Do you have a competitor who just always seems to stay one step ahead of you?  If this describes you and your business, then you should consider trying to study and examine your competition, and try to learn from them.  Obviously, they are doing something you are not doing.

Savvy business owners know that they can learn from their victories in business just as much as they can learn from their failures in business.

This might seem like a lot of work to do, and it is.  Breaking through into a new marketplace and really taking a business off the ground (even an online business) is a tricky and often difficult thing to do.  Take these steps and learn from their results and you will do better for it in the long run.

Protecting Kids from Failure

Parents: Protecting Kids from Failure Putting Them at Risk for Addiction

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of life is living the life of a parent. We struggle closely as parents with second guessing ourselves and wondering if the parenting approach we are using is the right one or not. Time and time again we ask ourselves if we are doing the right thing. Often times we don’t know what the answer is. More often than not, we find ourselves questioning our decisions almost immediately the next day or the next week. When it comes down to it, we just have to do the best that we can and hope for the best in the long run.

What I want to talk about on this subject is the factor of success versus failure when it comes to our children. I want to talk about how we approach creating success for our children as opposed to allowing them to experience their own failure. The millennial generation is our generation of children. The new generation for those of us who are new parents is also our children. If you are a parent right now with a child who has not yet come of age, you are either parent to a new generation youngling or a millennial. But I want to look at the difference between creating success for your child and allowing them to fail.

This is a pretty huge thing. I don’t feel like it gets enough recognition. We are in a position today where most of us can pretty safely guarantee strong support and survival and the future success of our children. College is readily available, and the job market is wide open. Many would say that millennials have more opportunity than any generation before them in the 20th century. But is it really the right thing to succor and help your child all the way into adulthood and beyond? Is it really the right thing to do everything for them? Possibly not.

Consider Allowing Failure

I would like you to consider for a moment the possibility that allowing your child to experience their own failures and their own hardships in life is actually a better alternative to mollycoddling them and assisting in their success all the way. People are hardened by their failures and they are strengthened and made better for them.

I know this speaking from first-hand experience having struggled with drug and alcohol addiction at a very early age and also from the experience of someone who has worked with thousands of young adults and who has helped see the power and the ability of a young adult who has experienced failure and who jumps back from that and accomplishes far greater things than other young adults who never experienced failure could do. No, I am not saying that you should simply let your young adult suffer from addiction or other serious problems. That would not be very good parenting skills. I am saying that it is important to find some kind of middle ground between doing everything for them and not doing enough. Most parents I feel tend to err on the side of doing everything for their children. They feel that it is their duty and obligation as parents to see their children through long after they achieve adulthood and ensure that their children achieve great success.

Just look at today how many millennials and younger adult still live with their parents and compare that to how quickly young adults flew the nest in previous generations. What we have here today is a situation where parents are too overly protective of their children. This creates rebellion and desire for individuation in the hearts and minds of young adults. What they end up wanting to do is rebel and go off and do their own thing against their parents’ will. This is part and parcel of why there are so many young adults who are now addicted to drugs and alcohol. A sad situation but a very real one.

Assistance Programs

Assistance Programs: Why Employees Should Feel Safe to Disclose an Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction is becoming a steadily increasing and sadly more and more regular aspect and facet of day to day business in this country.  It is pervasive and regular in a lot of different ways now, and this is disturbing and problematic, to say the least.  Drug and alcohol addiction sadly just gets more and more common with no sign of it going away or dropping down.  In fact, it is actually getting more and more common as the years go by, no matter what efforts are taken to take it down a notch.

The grim truth of the matter is that, because substance abuse has become such a common and impinging factor in normal, day to day life in America, it also has become a lot more common in the workplace too.  More and more businesses are suffering from employees who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, which has just created even bigger problems in other areas of life too.  This is bad news, bad news indeed.

It’s not just “workers” we’re talking about here either, rather an entire class of Americans.  Perhaps the most concerning aspect of drug and alcohol addiction t been with the increase in substance abuse amongst general, working-class American residents.  In recent years, the middle class has begun to get intensively targeted for drug dealing and drug pushing, in general, a lot more than they ever were, and the result has been a strong percentage of this nation’s working, middle-class having become addicted to drugs and alcohol. The middle class drives the life force of the nation too, so having a heavy percentage of them addicted to drugs and alcohol is quite concerning for the future of the nation as well as for their own lives on a personal basis.

To carry forth this idea, studies now show that substance abuse amongst the nation’s working class is at a new all-time high.  Now, more than a full forty percent of the nation’s working class and middle class have admitted to abusing drugs and alcohol at least once in the past year alone, and fifteen percent would agree that they are indeed addicted to some substance of some kind or another.  This is quite concerning as this is the demographic that drives the nation in many different ways and to many different goals.  If something isn’t done soon for these individuals then the problem will of course only get much, much worse long before it gets any better.

Employee Drug Use and What to Do About It

The impact of employee drug use in the nation today is quite severe, to say the least, and it has been for some time now only getting worse.  For example, workers who reported current illicit drug use were more likely to have worked for three or more employers in the past year and to have higher rates of unexcused absence and voluntary turnover in the past year than those who did not report drug use, all because of their drug use. The truth be told, not only is it dangerous to have an employee who abuses drugs and alcohol on site almost every day, but it is also simply just more work for them to engage in.

Company drug policy makes a difference in this nation, and now more than ever before this needs to be put into place.  Statistics show that workers whose employer did not have a written drug policy of any kind were actually about a good two times as likely to report that they used illicit drugs in the past month than employers with written policies about drug use were.  Employees need to feel safe about disclosing their addictions to their bosses.  It isn’t the end of the world for them.  It doesn’t mean that the addiction will continue.  It doesn’t mean that they will keep doing what they have been doing.  It doesn’t mean any of that at all.  What it does mean is that they will get help and they will get clean from their addictions.

Jobs and Substance Abuse

Professions Most Associated with Substance Abuse

As business owners, entrepreneurs, even department heads, managers, bosses, CEOs, any upper-level position in business really, we need to know the prevalence and the regularity of drug and alcohol addiction within the American workplace.  The truth of the matter is that drug and alcohol addiction is very prevalent and very usual.  Drug and alcohol addiction is a common and regular occurrence that makes for difficult situations and hardship left and right.

We need to know and understand that these issues and problems are quite regular and common, but in the same token we also need to recognize that some professions attract these issues more so than others do.  Some professions and some areas of business tend to attract and make for a lot of drug and alcohol addiction, and some do not.  Written below is an excerpt from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration on what they have to say about drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse issues in general:

“The SAMHSA survey wrote for all to see the exact numbers by different industries and found that drinking and drug use varied by type of job, depending on the job. The biggest numbers for heavy drinking the past month were seen in trades like mining and construction. Nearly 18 percent of miners are drinking heavily and frequently, while close to 17 percent of construction workers can say the same too.  Rounding out the top five heaviest drinking professions were hotel and restaurant, arts and entertainment, and utilities to add to construction and mining.  The lowest rates of drinking were seen in healthcare, education, government, and finance to name a few.

What we know from this is that miners drink more heavily than anyone else, and that could be explained by the stressful nature of the difficult and dangerous work involved.  It could also be noted, though, that it may not be the job itself that dictates how people drink or why people drink.  There are a lot of different points here that need to be considered.  It may be that people who drink more or less are drawn to certain jobs. For example, miners are mostly young men, who are more likely to be heavy drinkers than people in other demographics are.  In fact, young, male demographics are the most at risk for alcohol abuse and addiction.”

What this Means for Businessmen and Women

So what I take from this is that, if I were planning on going into business in mining, construction,  hotels, restaurants, arts, and entertainment then I would put more attention and more direction on the business in terms of preventing drug abuse and excessive drinking.  I would be paying a lot more attention to these areas than maybe I would be if I worked in a different field.  That is to say that, I would keep a close watch and a close eye on the HR departments of those businesses to really ensure that any possibility of drug and alcohol addiction was totally locked down.  I would make certain that drug and alcohol addiction was something that we could all watch out for and keep a handle on.

You really do have to watch out in professions like these.  You really do need to keep an eye out, because drug and alcohol addiction can and will have a very dangerous and disturbing effect on a person’s business.  Drug and alcohol addiction can and will rip into a business and cause intensive and excessive problems and crisis issues the likes of which may have never been experienced before.  Because of these factors, watch out in these business areas, and make sure that addiction does not become the norm here.

Grief

When a Loved One Overdoses: How to Deal with the Grief While Continuing to Work

An overdose occurring within the family is the single most horrendous thing that can happen as a result of drug and alcohol addiction.  It is that one thing that the family members and loved ones of addicts fear the most, and it is the one thing that is sadly quite likely to happen if the addicted family members do not get help with their drug and alcohol addiction crisis.

An overdose is a big worry and a big concern to top them all.  It often involves death.  At the very least, for those who survive, it is a near-death experience.  Abusing drugs and even alcohol too always runs this risk, though, and overdoses are all too prevalent in our society today considering how common drug and alcohol abuse and addiction is now.  For example:

  • In the year 2010, pharmaceutical drug overdoses were established as one of the leading causes of death in the United States of America.  Can you believe that?  And these are drugs that are supposed to help us too.  In further digging, though, it becomes apparent that total drug overdoses killed more Americans than firearms or motor vehicle accidents did in 2010.  The death toll from drugs is just now purely catastrophic and it doesn’t seem to be going down.
  • As of the year of 2012 (just two years later), overdose deaths involving prescription opioid analgesics (which are essentially medications used to treat pain) have increased to almost 17,000 deaths a year in the United States!  When these numbers are crunched and compared to other drugs, it becomes obvious that these substances actually kill more Americans than all other drugs combined do.
  • It’s not just pills, though.  Starting in 2000 and through the years to 2013, the age-adjusted rate for drug-poisoning deaths involving heroin increased for all regions of the country, with the greatest increase seen in the Midwest of the nation, an area that until that point had not seen much in the way of heroin abuse and addiction.  Drug poisoning (overdoses) is the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States now, though, with no less than a staggering 43,982 deaths occurring in the year 2013.  That’s eight times the deaths in 1993!

This is just a glimpse at some of the facts and statistics on overdose that I was able to find.  Overdose is a big problem, to say the least.

Working Through the Grief

If you experience having to bear witness to an overdose, then I can understand that times are hard for you.  Probably the hardest that they have ever been before.  I can understand that this means that things are rough and tough and problematic.  I can understand that this means that you might not be sleeping well or eating much.  I can understand that you might not be performing so well at work.

The best advice I can give you is to look to the future and to work in the future, create in the future, and think in the future.  Abandon the past.  Disregard the depression and the grief of the present.  Focus entirely on what you are shooting for, what your goals and ambitions are, and how you will create it for yourself down the road so that you never have to bear witness to drug and alcohol addiction ever again.  This must be your main and primary focus.

Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, is a serious life threatening crisis issue.  Addicts get it.  We get it.  It’s not a mystery to anyone.  If you’ve just had an overdose in the family then you need to move on and not be stuck in the past.  Get out of your grief.  What’s done is done and until scientists invent a time machine there is nothing you can do to change the fact that the overdoses occurred.  Move on to the future and you will be better for it, and your future will end up being better as a result too.