Free Gift Basket Business Online Learning Guide

Branding Your Business

Branding your business and creating a business identity is necessary before opening your “business” doors.

 

There are essential steps you should take to decide what your business identity will be, and how you’re going to branding your business.

 

Creating Your Business Identity

Before you ‘open’ your Gift Basket business be sure to:

  • Research the ‘business’ of gift baskets and have a clear idea of what you’ll be doing and who your customers are.
  • Complete a formal or informal business plan, or at the very least – create a business plan outline.
  • Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each, and then determine which ‘legal structure’ your business will operate under. Most small or home businesses begin as a Sole Proprietorship, but consider the risks before you make a decision.
  • Check and confirm all legal requirements or zoning restrictions if you’re going to operate a home business.

 

Establish Your Business Identity

Here are steps you can follow to establish your business identity:

 

Business Name and Tagline:
A business name and tagline will create excitement and buzz for your business and will be a key element in your future marketing efforts. You want a name that’s easy to remember, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and one that relates to the product or service you’re selling. A tagline is an integral piece of your unique business identity and is meant to be in use for as long as your company is in business.

A tagline is a word or phrase that helps people to identify with what you’re selling. Examples of taglines are:

‘Just Do It’ [Nike]
‘What happens here, stays here’ [Las Vegas]
‘Think Outside the Bun’ [Taco Bell]

 

Before you open your business doors, there are essential steps you should take to decide what your business identity will be, and creating branding for your business.Think of three to six different business names and taglines. You’ll want to make sure they are not already in use, and you’ll want to research to confirm they’re available. You can check availability of a business name through your state Secretary of State’s office. You’ll enter your proposed business names to see if that name is already registered. You also want to check at the Federal level to see if a trademark is in force for both your business name, and tagline.

Once you’ve decided on several (say, at least five) names and taglines, you’ll want to research them to make sure they’re available. You don’t want to use them if they’re already being used, especially if that business is one of your competitors or is located in your area. You certainly don’t want to infringe on someone else’s trademark or service mark.

Be sure to establish your business address and telephone numbers before you register your business with your state. This way, you won’t need to update your records with the Secretary of State’s office once you get a business address and phone number and your personal contact information won’t be used for your business contact information.

Whether or not you initially plan to have a website to sell your products on the Internet, it’s highly recommended, that once you’ve registered your business name – you should, immediately Register a Domain Name.

Domain names are inexpensive (under $10. per year). It’s getting more and more difficult to secure a good domain name, so you may regret waiting to register yours. You don’t have to have Hosting until you’re ready to launch a website. You just pay the domain renewal fee each year, or you can register a domain name for five or ten years at a time. Choose a domain name that either: a) is the name of your business or b) is short & memorable and directly descriptive of your product or business.

While it’s tempting to share your new business name, domain name and tagline with all your friends and family – it’s best to keep it under wraps for a while. Keep it a secret until all are registered. There’s always the chance that someone will overhear a conversation and register your name or use your tagline before you get the opportunity to register it yourself.

recommended hosting: Hosting Connecticut, LLC

 

Establish an Address and Phone Number for Your Business:
In most cases, it’s best to have a separate address and phone number for your business. You don’t want your home address listed on your Business License. When operating a home business, use a PO Box as your address, or use a private mail services, as a UPS Store.

If you’re a one-person business operating from home, you want to emulate a professional business. When you’re first starting out if you have a cell phone, use that number or purchase a second cell phone and use it as your business line. Most mobile phone providers have a ‘Business’ option for mobile phones used for business purposes. You want to be sure to record a professional-sounding voicemail greeting, so clients or customers have that best ‘first impression’. Another phone option, is to purchase a pre-paid cell phone.

 

Employer ID Number with the IRS:
You may not be required to have an EIN but getting one is most often a good idea, as it makes it easier to open a bank account in your business name and will allow you to keep your social security number confidential.

You can complete an online EIN application on the IRS website. With your successful online application, you’ll be issued your EIN on the spot, so you won’t need to wait to open your business bank account.

You can continue to use your original EIN if your business location changes, or if you change your business name. You can also use the same EIN for multiple businesses you operate.

For a home business already in operation, you’ll only ever need a new EIN:

  • If you are the subject of a bankruptcy.
  • If you take in partners and operate as a partnership.
  • If you purchase or inherit an existing business that you operate as a sole proprietorship.
  • If you change your legal business form to LLC and plan to hire one or more employees within the next 12 months, you’ll need a second EIN for the LLC.

 

Open a Business Checking Bank Account:
Part of having a business identity is to make sure you separate your business finances from your personal banking and finances. Most banks and credit unions offer Business accounts, and while you won’t earn interest on your business funds, having a business checking account will assist you in establishing credit for your business.

When you open your business checking account, also consider opening a savings account at the same time. The savings account will earn interest on accumulated funds, funds you can use to pay future bills, plus it’ll be a positive stepping stone when you apply for a bank credit card in your business name.

 

Creating a Business Logo:
A good logo plays double duty. A good logo draws attention to your business, and gives people a positive association between you, your logo, your products, and your business.

A logo should be a simple ‘less is more’ design, along with your business name. Your decision whether to include your tagline or not. Limit the logo to three colors.

A graphic designer can deliver the logo files to you in a zip file through Email. Make sure you get your logo in both web and print formats. Backup the logo files you receive from the designer onto a flash drive, so you’ll always have a set of original files, if needed in the long-term. You’ll want to use the logo files when you’re ready to get a website.

recommended graphic designer: MochaBay Design

 

Ordering Business Cards and Business Stationary:
Once your logo is ready to go, you can then go ahead and order your business cards and stationary.

 

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