Creating Online Synergy with Your Cleaning Business

The Web provides a means for you to deliver valuable services to your customers that enriches your customers’ lives and saves them time. In doing so, you will increase customer loyalty. The Internet is primarily a social medium. The most effective and profitable web sites are those that foster community among their visitors.

It is crucial to understand that on the Internet, the user is in complete control. Hard selling will not work, and will probably antagonize your prospects. Profitable web sites are information rich, resourceful and intelligently maintained. They post articles, answer questions and control the display of their website that is relevant to their target market. Web sites that are organized with plenty of internal links make their important pages only a click or two away. Effective sites write content in a clean and modern style that can be quickly scanned by the eye.

You can reduce the cost of repetitive questions and requests from your target audience by allowing them to access information about your business from your web site. In doing so, you can be assured that your target audience is receiving information about all the services that your business offers, such as incorporating a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page to your site. Your site should also enable communication between yourself and the potential/existing client. Ideally, you should offer your customers the choice of submitting their inquiry by more than one method, e.g. by online form, comments section and email message. As you deepen the relationship with your audience via online newsletters, raffles and other marketing campaigns, you’ll develop a precise flow or direction for your web sites main purpose.

Utilizing a web designer or performing the layout yourself does not need to take months and thousands of dollars. Typically, a good business plan for your website should list and adhere to your company’s main objective and follow through on that throughout the web. Some businesses only want to build an email list for their newsletter and other promotional advertisements. Others want to create an atmosphere similar to a show room. They want you to feel like they’re right there with you every step of the way. Just decide on your hierarchy of priorities. Branding yourself and your business online can be an extremely lucrative endeavor when practiced responsibly.

Five Characteristics of Great Business Names

Five Characteristics of Great Business Names and Five Popular Trends to Avoid

Written by Susan L. Reid

Deciding on a name is one of the most exciting parts of starting up a business.

The only problem with choosing the name of your business is that so much rides on your business name. It’s a little like choosing a name for your baby. A little like? Make that a lot like! It’s no easier choosing a name for your business than it is choosing a name for your baby.

What’s in a business name? You want it to be everything. Sadly, many business names are nothing. Deciding on a great business name takes time. It takes thought. Moreover, getting it wrong could spell disaster for your business. Getting it right, however, will give customers a reason to hire you, connect you to your niche market, and save you thousands of marketing dollars.

You want your business name to have a big impact on people. This, in turn, will have a big effect on your market. A name that’s too far out may make it difficult to brand. A name that’s too generic and common is easily ignored. Naming your business “Sarah’s Cookies” may make all the sense in the world to you. In most cases, however, your own name means very little to your customers because it says nothing memorable or of distinction.

The key to picking a great name for your business is to make it memorable. Make it distinctive. Don’t make it silly or cute. Your name should reflect your market niche and identity and be able to reach your customer base easily. So don’t mess it up!

Top Five Characteristics of a Great Business Name

1. It’s short.

2. It’s specific and reflects a specialized business: Jiffy Lube, Home Depot.

3. It’s unique. Consider using words that are not in the dictionary: Alkamae, Google, Squidoo.

4. It’s creative. Don’t copy, borrow, or modify existing famous brand names. Got Milk? has its own branding. Leave Victoria’s Secret to Victoria.

5. It’s an easy name to say, spell, and remember. Use proper English construction so that when put in a sentence, it will work: “I just purchased a book from Amazon.”

Five Popular Business Naming Trends to Avoid

1. Don’t abbreviate your business name. Though it may make communication and correspondence easier, acronyms are sterile.

2. Avoid anything that ends in “global”, “enterprise”, or “Inc.” They’re passé.

3. Avoid using your own name. Build your brand on your company, not on your name. That way, if you decide to sell your company one day, it will be easier to sell.

4. Don’t hyphenate your business name. It makes remembering and writing it difficult. Plus, a hyphenated web name is hard to read.

5. Avoid geographical names unless you’re trying to create a strong local affinity. The name “Willow Oak Center for Arts and Learning at Robertson County” works because this is a business targeted specifically for Robertson County in Tennessee.

Once you’ve found your name, consider trademarking it through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and registering it through the Secretary of State offices. If your business operates on the Internet, be aware that domain names are not registered through state or local government, so just registering them at domain registration sites is not enough to protect your great business name.

There is more to naming your business than just coming up with something that sounds good, is clever, or you just happen to like. Naming your business is a serious matter. Your business name reflects your image, your brand, and your position in the marketplace. Because your business name is crucial to your overall branding success and marketing efforts, make your business name count.

Make it great!

Copyright ©2007 by Susan L. Reid, DMA

Susan L Reid, DMA, Small Business Start Up Coach, Consultant & Accidental Pren-her™ is the author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success. Known for taking the fear out of starting up businesses, Susan provides value, inspiration and direction to entrepreneurial women starting up and launching small businesses.

To get your copy of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success, go to WME Books or visit www.Alkamae.com. For ideas and start up tips, sign-up for our free e-Zine for entrepreneurial women called LAUNCH YOU! We are blogging at: http://susanreid.typepad.com

 

  • Thanks Susan for sharing your insightful article!
    Jj Soule’