How to Create the Right Business Name

How to Create the Best Business Name
Creating the perfect business name takes research, planning, thought– created to withstand time and serve a wide range of purposes. A few pointers to consider:

 

Search it. Are the words unique enough that searching online for your company will be easy for potential customers?

Say it. Try pretending you are answering the telephone. How would you say the company name? Do you get tongue-tied? Is it a name you are proud to say aloud? Is it a name your customers would pass along?

Ask around. Ask a few unknowing people what they think of when they hear the business name. This could bring out associations you haven’t considered.

Keep it short. Simply put, shorter names function better. Most successful companies are 2 syllables: Apple, Google, Nike. Your company name does not have to describe all aspects of your business. Too many descriptive words can be difficult to remember.

Be Flexible. It’s important to choose a name that won’t “box you in.” If you want to expand services or add products, choose a name that will allow your company to grow, change and develop.

Take risks. Inventing an entirely new word can make your name stick, becoming instantly memorable for your customer base.

Trust your gut. Asking around for opinions and associations is important, but ultimately, your name can be as original and unique as you’d like it to be. To be sure the creators of GoDaddy heard resistance on such a name, but much of what your company becomes depends on branding and marketing.

 

Choosing the right name can determine business success. Have fun with it and above all else, choose a name you’ll be proud to market and work hard to build and develop.

The Key to a Successful Logo Design

Simple is best. Yes, I said it! And mean it. Do I cringe while writing this because I make a living by creating logos? Not a chance. I want to share what I’ve learned after developing thousands of logos for companies around the world. A business needs a recognizable mark- which may mean a chosen typography style and/or color palette and iconic image.

But what solidifies your brand is how you style everything else and what design elements you choose to style with your logo. The act of creating a visual cohesiveness that you use throughout solidifies your brand.

Think of your top 3 favorite brands- maybe a boutique retailer, hotel or magazine. What do their logos look like? In most cases, I’d bet they are clean logotypes (a logo built from typography only).

W magazine's logo, a typeset serif W

*above: W magazine’s logo, a typeset serif W

Building your brand requires a lot of work and consistency beyond creating a logo, so consider staying away from too much color, lots of detail, and things that are difficult to reprint. Versatility is key.

However, if you want a detailed and colorful logo, consider having a secondary, more simple version of the logo that works well at various sizes and can be printed easily.

Consider building visual unity through:

▸ a brand color palette
▸ mood board
▸ signature images and photographs
▸ custom artwork
▸ business collateral

 

Simplicity and consistency help achieve professionalism and trust- a way to visually say “I’m good at what I do.”.

The Best iPhone Photography Apps

The Best iPhone Photography Apps for Photo Editing

Social media integration is imperative for most businesses. This means posting on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter regularly. Often posts are image-based and quickly taken from an iPhone; most of the time natural lighting isn’t quite enough.Here are the best apps for editing photos on the go:

1. Afterlight: More than 30 filters available. Finite adjustments like brightness, contrast, saturation. Simple borders available, polaroid borders, circular cropping, light leaks. Perfect for making minor adjustments for close to a #nofilter aesthetic.

2. PicTapGo: Ability to easily layer filters, apply various levels of filter adjustments. Can save “recipes” for editing to apply the same effect to other images instantly. Perfect for quick editing.

3. Picfx: Dramatic photo filter layering such as vintage film settings, scratches, light leaks, textures, and grunge. Can adjust levels of filter application. Great for adding light variations to an image.

4. Filtergram: Clean and clear editing style filters. Lots of options. Light leaks, lens flares, blurs. Image adjusts: brightness, contrast, saturation, temperature, etc. Great for creating a crisp, professional style image.

5. Camera+: Fast photo filters and adjustments. Detailed editing tools such as soft focus (hides wrinkles!), film grain, exposure, highlights and shadows.

6. Mextures: Filters for layering: radiance, grit and grain, light leaks, emulsion (vintage photography techniques), grunge, landscape color gradients, and vintage gradients. Great for dramatic editing with an art-like quality.

7. Luminance: Quick and simple filters and adjustments: tone curve, brightness/contrast, exposure, white balance and more. Great for editing quickly.

8. PicStitch: App for creating photo grids. Almost 70 free grid templates.

9. Waterlogue: With a couple of quick clicks, turn an image into a watercolor painting. Several watercolor settings including natural, bold, luminous, travelogue, and more. Fun way to turn a photo into art.

Beating Procrastination. Just Start.

Beat Procrastination. Just Start. Advice that Works.
Procrastination can be the root of emotional distress. Fear of performance or avoidance of a making a decision is often the reason for putting a task off until later, or more simply the reason of, “I just don’t feel like it.”Recently, I was given the best advice from my dear friend Hannah Davis Warner, celebrity personal trainer and fitness expert on the advisory board of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Her words,

“You know the best way to get over not feeling like it? Just start. Just start. If you tell yourself I’ll do it for 5 minutes and if I really can’t stand any longer, I’ll allow myself to stop. But more often than not, that 5 minutes is just what you need to keep going.”

Try it. 5 minutes at the gym. 5 minutes reading emails. 5 minutes spent doing the task that keeps getting rolled over on your to-do list. The best way to get something done is to begin.

“The shortest answer is doing the thing.” -Ernest Hemingway

 

Easy Ways to Build a Website

Easy Ways to Build a Website
I am asked often by clients, “What is the easiest way to build my own website?” So I am always on the lookout for easy solutions that won’t break the bank.If you are in the market for a low-budget website you can manage on your own, here are a few suggestions for template sites with a nice, clean aesthetic:

1. Square Space: A great spot for clean and minimalist website templates for blogs, portfolios, business websites and e-commerce. They offer custom domains, mobile versions, 24/7 support for a monthly fee. Pricing is between $8/mo and $24/mo.

2. Virb: This site has a wide variety of clean and modern themed webpages with prices beginning at $10/mo. Features include media galleries, blogs, stores, Etsy integration and more.

3. Other People’s Pixels: Minimalist websites geared toward portfolio-type content. Pricing packages are either $16/mo or $26/mo. Great site for clean, simple and modern portfolio sites.

4. Shopify: An e-commerce and hosting solution. You have the ability to edit all the HTML and CSS of these templates, which is nice but not something all small businesses want to tackle or hire out. Shopify offers great marketing, SEO, and support. Pricing is between $29-$179/mo.

5. Big Cartel: Big Cartel is for small e-commerce websites only. Pricing is between $0-$29.99/mo. Set up, check out, and customizations are super easy to implement. Custom HTML and CSS can be applied as well as additional customizable templates available for purchase.

6. Goodsie: You can create a professional e-commerce site without knowing how to write code. Pricing structure is $30/mo or $75/mo. “Genius Idea: Making a point-and-click product look like it was made by a professional designer.” –Mashable

7. IM Creator: This site has amazing, very simple templates for informational websites. The templates and customization tools can be explored on their website without signing up for an account. Domain and unlimited hosting plans start out at $7.95/mo.

8. Folio Websites: Portfolio, blog and mobile site in one. Pricing is $14.60/mo. Clean and minimalist templates, perfect for photographers. Advanced SEO.

9. Storeenvy: Storenvy has the e-commerce community feel that Etsy does, with page templates that allow for a more couture and customized look. “E-commerce Transformed With Storenvy’s Social Shopping Platform” –Business Insider

If you happen to have used other great website builders, please feel free to reply and share.

You can also follow my Pinterest board for Easy Ways to Build a Website that I will update as I discover new and different solutions.