Monday, August 17, 2015

Packaging your business

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     to help you better manage your small business.

     Packaging is more than what you see on a bag or corn chips. Packaging is important in your small business--even if you don't sell corn chips.

     Big companies spend lots of money on packaging. And it ain't just on bags and bottles and boxes. Companies also package themselves. They call it branding.

     Owners of small businesses also need to brand or package themselves. You need to package your business in a way that's attractive, memorable, and sticks in the minds of customers and clients. 

     Example: Maria runs a catering operation. She has grown the operation over the years into a high end, upscale resource for the types of clients she targets. She uses social media--pictures on Facebook, for example--to separate her unique business from other caterers. Pictures show gloved servers dressed in chic, formal attire ready to take over and handle an event--all of the event, from soup to nuts. Other pictures zoom in on table settings with wine being poured. Still others are long shots showing tables with guests and couples dancing on a portable dance floor to the music of a live band. In short, all of Maria's social media pictures show an event, with people enjoying themselves at an upscale affair. All this has the effect of conveying enjoyment, not the food being served. This branding lifts Maria's catering operation out of the mundane, and it separates her from other caterers--where food is usually the total focus. It firmly implants in the viewer's mind how their affair can be taken to the next level.

     Packaging or branding your business is being done whether or not you pay attention. Your business has a life of its own, a reputation that grows and spreads. You can let it grow on its own, or you can guide it.

     Social media offers many opportunities to control and guide your branding. You are what people see--and talk about. 

     To take your business to the next level, always do a business plan. And that plan should include branding or packaging efforts--the reputation of the business as a whole.   

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