The internet has revolutionized how people communicate and spread ideas and information. You want to find where the best Mexican restaurant is within 15 miles, all it requires is a simple google search and you’ll be presented with a load of options. But how do you distinguish your restaurant from others? One easy and cheap thing to do is to design a website. Designing a website is necessary for a business to survive in this new age of instant information in order to attract potential customers and give those customers a good first impression to help drive sales. In order to ensure a positive website experience there are a few things your website should include:
Importance Of a Website
Ease of Usage– The most important thing that a website needs to prioritize is its ease of usage. If a website is laggy, slow to load, or offers up errors then the person visiting the website is just going to get frustrated and bounce back to the search results to look for another business. A smooth operating website reflects the experience the user envisions at the business itself. And why would someone go to a business that is slow, hard to navigate, and overall uninteresting. If you have a clear menu of most common needs at the top and even a search bar for your website it ensures that the customer will be able to find whatever they are looking for guaranteeing a higher chance of people buying stuff on your website or visiting your store. Don’t bury things like contact forms and items to buy rather make them as a main menu option or even put some options you are pushing in the menu to help push sales.
Visual Appeal- When you open a website and see a bunch of black times new roman text on a white background the users eyes will be overwhelmed and have nowhere to focus. This will lead to less customer engagement and less effectiveness. The way to make your business’s website more appealing is to introduce pictures of the business, employees, and happy customers. This gives the viewer a positive impression of the business enticing them to either place an order online or come in to the physical store. Second include a bold title of your business’s name and a phone number or address if applicable to help reinforce the image of the business and drive calls and/or visits. Also include a color theme for the website usually matching the logo of the business to help reinforce a strong brand image. This strong brand image will help keep the thought of the business in the persons memory making them more likely to come in and develop into long term customers.
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In order to operate and grow any successful business you have to brand it, be able to lead your staff, know how to communicate effectively with all those you encounter and have the will power and the dedication to stick through the ups and downs of business. If you have read our post on Coco Chanel and her beginning you will understand that business and a successful one at that doesn’t alsways come easy! In fact in any business you are in you have to be skilled or at least somewhat knowledgable on how to succesfully market your business. After all, the key aspect of gaining clientele and generating business is to market yourself. In the retail industry, where the Chanel brand resides, visual marketing or merchandising is perhaps, the most important marketing tool and will ultimately help you to define your brands image.
Window displays are the most direct way you can engage your potential customers attention and attract them into your store. The Chanel brand is considered a luxury brand and because of this the store window displays must showcase elegance, class and beauty. So how do you convey these things in a simple window display?
The key elements to creating the ultimate window display actually take months to compile and create. Window merchandsiing takes creativity, organization and planning. Afterall the display in your store windows is the first visual contact that your potential consumer will have with your merchandise.Window merchandising also requires the help of a skilled team. Think florists, carpenters, window installers, electricians, and stylists to name a few. Each will bring to life a certain part of your “marketing” campaign. What exactly are the key elements to focus on to gain the most out of this aspect of visual merchandising?
~Key Elements of Visual Merchandising~
Windows- First and foremost you must have state of the art floor to ceiling windows. If you want to get really technical, being able to open these windows from your store front can help make window displays far easier. Acquirring the help of a professional window installer will also aid you in looking at types, quality and styles of windows. Your store front windows will be one of your most valuable assets invested in your store
Color- This is basically the core of your display. Colors help to set tone, mood and must flow with the merchandise displayed
Texture- Texture will lend the touch and feel aspect to your visual merchandising dispaly. A contrast in textures along with the right mix of colors can definitely boost the visual you are presenting
Landscaping- This is retail talk for the placement of prop stands, merchanidse and other decor. Think height, up, down and placement.
Decorations- These are the little details of simple props that you add to the mix of your merchandise. These decorations can help magnify merchandise or to create the look/feel you are trying to conjour
Expression- Also known as what you are communicating to the consumer. What is it you are trying to say with your display. Does it speak for your brand?
There are many aspects of business that you must be aware of and have an open mind to grow and succeed. Understatnding the importance of visual merchandising and marketing can not only help to brand your company it can also lead to the growth and success that you are after!
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Many times we will find that as we are speaking to people they don’t really seem to be hearing what we are saying. They may be hearing us and our words but they aren’t really opening their minds to the message we are presenting. It is important that people hear what you have to say and that they are taking in and processing what you are saying, especially in business. One of the steps in truly succeeding in business is speaking so that you can be heard. Check out this video on how to get people to hear when you speak. If anything it may just make you think about the way you communicate and if there is anything you can do to improve the way even you hear & listen to people.
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Coco Chanel was a woman of many firsts when it came to business. She stood independently in a time when a woman doing so wasn’t quite the norm. After all, she was the first woman to ever brand a perfume with her name as the label, the first woman to ever wear trousers and she single handedly revolutionized the little black dress. Her independence and business risk taking brought her from a girl out of the orphanage to one of the leading luxury designers still to this day. Although she is not physically of this world anymore her name and brand continues to live on and is a huge name in the designer world. That being said what are the factors to consider before deciding to take that business risk? A risk is just that, something that is not guaranteed and could end up hurting you and your brand in the end. Other times a risk can be just what was needed to push both you as the business owner and your business/product to the next level. It doesn’t have to be just in the fashion industry but can relate to all avenues and types of business. Coco Chanel proved that taking a business risk could ignite success in the fashion world, but what about other businesses, think marketing, garage door companies, even pool deck and concrete coatings. Yes, the diversity of the businesses I just mentioned is huge but when it comes to risks in business it pertains to ALL types of business.
Questions To Ask Before Taking A Business Risk
Is the business risk you are considering spontaneous? As in have you really taken the risk you are considering into careful consideration? Is it an idea you have had for some time? The longer you have been contemplating the risk the more sound of a decision to take it, it may be.
Worst Case Scenario? Have you thought of what would happen should your risk you take fails? Looking at the risk from the worst case scenario view point and how you might deal with it gives you a little more control over the outcome should your risk fail
Will the business risk help you grow should it work? Have you also thought of what the overall benefit would be should you succeed at taking this risk? As in, does taking this risk and what goes into it make sense with the benefits or growth that you would gain.
If the risk starts to fail will you know when to get out? If the business risk you are after is proving to not work will you know when to let it go and move on or start on another strategy? This is VERY important because if you should continue to try at something that is not working you can only get yourself and/or business into a deeper hole with greater negative side effects.
Taking a risk in any aspect of life is just that a risk. There are no guarantees, no concrete proof that it will work out in your favor. Coco Chanel didn’t let that stop her because she believed in her abilities, what she was doing and which directions in fashion consumers may take if they were introduced to something new. Do your research, think your potential risk through thoroughly and have confidence in yourself and your business abilities. But do NOT become over confident because many time you may lose sight of when to back down and let things go.
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Often times it is found that successful people not only possess determination & discipline, but also great leadership skills. What characteristics make up those of a great leader and how do you effectively exhibit these characteristics? We compiled a list of the most important leadership characteristics to refine in order to not only become a great leader but also for the success of your overall business!
Characteristics Of A Great Leader
Passion- Although it is not the sole characteristic that will make you a great leader, PASSION is an important one. Why? When fellow employees or workers see the drive, motivation & dedication that comes hand in hand when you are passionate about something it helps to boost others morale as well. Passion often leads us in the right direction, coupled with commitment you are a force to be reckoned with!
Commitment-As we said passion must be fueled by commitment. Commitment will help you to stay dedicated and focused so that you will get the job done. When you lead others and exhibit a high level of commitment to any of your projects, the company as a whole etc. it tells people that you are here and are here to stay and see something through. Commitment is very attractive!
Positive Attitude- There are many things in life that can bring us down and make us feel like giving up, especially when you are putting in the hard work and things don’t seem to be moving forward, or you feel as if nothing is working out as it should. Remaining positive with a good attitude is not only mood boosting for the leader it also helps to keep your teams mood elevated and positive. Working with a group of positive upbeat people will help maintain happiness and a healthy environment.
Communication- Perhaps one of the strongest qualities a leader can possess is good communication skills. How you communicate with others is very important. People what to feel as if you are talking to them instead of at them. By communicating effectively and making others feel that they have an open communication line with you as their leader can make all the difference. Leaders who possess good communication skills often have stronger teams and are more productive then those that lack in the communication area.
Able To Delegate- Delegation of tasks goes somewhat hand in hand with good communication. Again others what to feel as if you are talking to them instead of at them. However, those in your team also what to feel as if they have a strong leader that steers them in the right direction. If you exhibit confidence and are able to delegate effectively you show others that you are a strong leader and will lead them to greatness!
In general to become a great leader you need to be able to balance these characteristics equally. Sometimes it may seem harder then other times, especially when your team is made up of different types of people that all have their own perspective of things. Stay strong & focused and maintain at least these 5 characteristics and you most definitely prevail with top leadership skills.
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Taking a look at Coco Chanel and her drive to brand her company and make it a success, got us thinking about what it is successful people have in common. Often when we look at someone who has reached a high level of success we may feel envy towards them or simply that they must have had a great deal of luck. While luck may have helped some people, in most cases of successful people they all have certain habits in common. So what exactly are those habits and how do you start to develop them so that you can become successful too?
Habits Of Successful People
Self Care- Let’s establish something right now, it is NOTselfish to take care of yourself! In fact highly successful people usually take great care of themselves. Everything from regular exercise, eating well, taking a day off to re-energize, saying NO to people when you are tired and stretched to thin, these are all practices of successful people. Why? Self care is important in that you stay level headed, maintain stress levels and don’t overwork yourself because that all leads to less effectiveness and less stability.
Don’t Give Up-Have you ever heard the phrase, “Easier said than done”? It rings true in the case of success and accomplishing your goals. Sure it sounds great to voice your goals, but putting in the work and endurance is often a lot harder. Successful people don’t give up! They may only take small steps on some days but the point is they are still moving forward. Little by little they are buckling down and getting closer to the end goal. Many times people throw in the towel at the first few obstacles. Stay focused and remember small steps are better than no steps at all!
Always Learning-Successful people are forever expanding their minds. Reading, taking a class, researching things online and continuing certificationsare just a few examples of continuing to learn. If you are always open to learn new things you are forever expanding your mind and perspective. Highly successful people are always learning and opening their mind to new things.
Time Management-Many people invision that successful people must be workaholics, working around the clock. This however, is not true! Instead highly successful people manage their time and accomplish more because they do. Often times throughout the day we become sidetracked especially in the day and age of technology. Think cell phones, texting, tablets, social media, etc. Creating a workspace that helps you stay focused as well as discipling yourself during “work hours” will help you accomplish more, and believe it or not, you will have a bit more free time later.
Mornings Are Important- That’s right morning routines are very important when it comes to the lives of successful people. Creating awareness, as well as mental clarity and alertness can set the pace for your ENTIRE day! Those people who wake up and meditate or have an exercise routine, stretch, organize themselves etc. set the tone for the day and often have more energy and stay focused longer. They also end up accomplishing more throughout the day!
In general it is safe to say that developing healthy habits, a sense of organization and a daily routine will help keep you less stressed, more focused and feeling positive to conquer your day and take another step closer to reaching your goals and level of success you desire. Not all days are going to be good days, but if you embrace what’s in front of you stay motivated, determined and consistent you will feel as though you are actually in the driver’s seat and have a better handle on accomplishing whatever you set your mind too!
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What exactly is a “Brand” or branding your business? Many people associate business branding with the company’s name or logo. While this is partly true it is not entirely the truth. Why? A brand is more than just the face, name or visual aspects of your business. Instead it incorporates how people feel and what they think regarding your brand. In the case of Coco Chanel she had a wide sought after brand and was hugely successful. However, when people started to associate her with Nazis her brand popularity plummeted and her stores were forced to close. It goes to show that the public’s perception of your brand and what they associate with it greatly affects your success. It doesn’t have to be only one isolated thing that affects their view of what your brand stands for but experiences, correspondence and interaction with you or those that work in your company etc.
Let’s take for example, a plumbing company out of Arizona, while a completely different brand than Chanel and it’s line of hand bags, perfume and clothing, it is a prime example of how the proper branding can work for you and help to grow your business. When starting out as a new company they knew they would be lost in a sea of other plumbing companies especially in a bigger city such as Phoenix. They new that they had to brand their company in the right way and hold true to values, a vision statement, and customer experience. So how did they go about doing this and did it work for them?
Guidelines To Successfully Branding Your Business
Brand Ownership- The founder of the company did his research and new that he had to establish Brand Ownership, which basically means taking control and deciding on what experiences and feelings you want your potential customers to experience when it came to his brand.
Set Your Brand Apart From The Rest- Next he read reviews and studied his competitors brands. By doing this you are able to gain a better understanding on what types of experiences customers have had both good and bad and thus create your own experiences for potential clients that will set you not only apart from the said competitors but also make you someone who stands out in the marketplace. You don’t want to be lost in the sea of other companies like yours, you want to stand out and stand out in a positive way.
Not Everyone Will Always Be Happy- In any business no matter how hard you try or what you do not every customer will always be happy! However, the way you handle the unsatisfied customers and what you do to better their experience speaks volumes for both your business and your brand. Customers want to feel heard and know that they matter. Especially when spending money on your product or services. They want to feel as if you really care about their experience once money has exchanged hands and the transaction has been finished. Chanel may have had a downfall for awhile and things may have looked bleak but in the end she came back stronger than ever.
Revamp When Needed- While you want to stick by your brand and the ideal you have created, never hesitate over time to refresh things. Stay dedicated to your morals and values but know that the world is forever changing as well as marketing tactics and such. By rolling along with the times while never compromising your business standards or experience you are sure to succeed.
By following these guidelines and continued perseverance, hard work and dedication this small Arizona Plumbing Company has continuously grown over the years and are now a widely known sought after company. They still hold the small business family owned feel but their customer experiences are valued and thus their brand stands out in the marketplace. They have succeeded!
Often people ask themselves when starting out in ANY business, how is it that you actually succeed? It’s a tough question because of so many variables, different thought processes, and ideas of what success really is. Check out this short video on 6 tips for success in business for ALL spectrums of people, places, and business goals.
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I’m sure many if not all of you readers have heard of the brand Chanel. From clothing, to handbags, and perfume this famous and luxurious brand has it’s hand in all aspects of the fashion world. How exactly did this brand come to be so famous and where did it get its beginnings from? How did it become so successful and who really is CoCo Chanel the woman behind it ALL! Sit back and read on my friends we have the whole story for you!
Coco Chanel, real name Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, was born on Aug. 19,1883 in Saumur, France. Some may envision she was born into a life of privilege and luxury, however this is definitely not the case. Instead Coco, grew up in an orphanage where she was taught how to sew. Once she was out on her own in the world she had a brief signing career that lead to her name being changed to Coco. On the music scene she was known as Coco and it soon carried over into her everyday life. Although her singing career didn’t last long, she still found passion in sewing and creating clothes. In 1910 she opened her fist clothing store in Paris where she sold hats! With its success she quickly expanded and had stores in Deauville & Biarritz as well. In 1920 she launched her first ever perfume named Chanel No. 5. She was the first designer to ever brand a perfume with her own name. In order to distribute this perfume she agreed upon backing by department store owner Theophile Bader and two business partners and brothers Pierre & Paul Wertheimer. Paul & Pierre would receive 70 percent of the profits, Bader 20%, and Coco herself only 10%. With the perfumes great success Coco fought hard over the years to renegotiate the first agreement!
Although Coco Chanel saw great success for many years with both her perfume and clothing line, she eventually ran into some very rough waters. In 1930 with the economic depression in full swing she began to see a negative effect on her brand and company. With the start of World War II she was forced to close her stores doors for good. But wait, it gets worse. During the war Coco Chanel was close friends with a German Military Officer and was allowed to stay living in her apartment when most others had to leave. When the war ended many threw shade, hate, anger and disgust toward Chanel. They thought of her as a traitor and being in conspiracy with the Nazi’s. She could not escape the negativity and the hatred that was continuously thrown at her by others. Coco Chanel then left Paris and the fashion world and was not heard of for many years.
Making a Come Back
We mustn’t underestimate this woman however. At the age of 70 she made a come back into the world of fashion. At first her return was received with horrible and hurtful reviews. This did not stop Coco, in fact it probably only pushed her harder. After a bit of time she began to regain her fame and respect from all those in the fashion world and those in the consumer world. Coco Chanel’s story simply goes to show that there will always be accomplishments and defeats in business, hey in everyday life to be completely honest. But if you are determined and want something bad enough you will find a way and persevere. Although Coco died January 10, 1971, her designs and fashion presence, womens suits, little black dresses, and perfume have left an everlasting trademark on the world! Her designs were revolutionary during a time and era where they stood out and often stood alone at first. Perhaps one of my favorite quotes of the great Coco Chanel, although she was speaking of clothes, is “ Luxury must be comfortable, or it’s not luxury”. I have taken it to mean it might not be comfortable getting there but if it’s done right and with tenacity and hard work it’s beyond enjoyable once you get there!
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Welcome! I have created this blog in hopes of not only sharing the legacy of the infamous brand Chanel, but also the story behind the woman who created it all. From her rough beginnings to the success & defeat she experienced throughout her efforts to brand her name and desgins, the story of Chanel can be appreciated by all business owners. The business owners that are just starting out and have hopes, goals and big plans for their businesses, as well as those who have started and made their said businesses a growing success. Business is not easy, it takes blood, sweat and tears! I hope that the story of Chanel and it’s trials and tribulations inspire all of you on your own journey. This site is meant provide posts on tips, facts, new & innovative techniques to growing, branding, and marketing your business.