Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Little Thing That Makes A Huge Impression

Some of you may remember an earlier post I did about coming up with a name for your company and how it can actually be quite a challenge despite seeming simple.  There’s another aspect of branding that goes along with choosing a name, and that’s creating a logo.

Now, those of you that are creatively-minded and artistic might jump at the chance to design your own.  In fact, I know there are some people who will actually enjoy that part more than the actual building of their business, but for those of us who have little artistic talent or vision, it’s probably best to leave your logo design to the professionals.

Think having a good logo isn’t important?  Think again.  How many logos you see on a daily basis?  Sometimes they’re incorporated with the companies’ name, but sometimes they just stand alone and you still recognize them.  Why?  Because the designs are easily recognizable and well done.  Imagine you’re at a coffee shop and the person sitting across from you is using a MacBook.  You can see the Apple logo on the top.  It doesn’t actually say “Apple,” but you still recognize it.

What about Adidas?  AT&T? Shell gasoline?  Audi?  VW?  You recognize all of these companies without even seeing their name.

Marketing consultants will tell you that this image recognition is a large part of branding because it has to do with getting people used to seeing your company, etc. etc., and they are absolutely correct.  And it can have the opposite effect, too.  A logo that is poorly designed, or even offensive, can push customers away and leave them with a negative opinion of you.

So back to the topic at hand.  What do you do if you’re like me and you need a design but you don’t have an artistic bone in your body?  You have two choices:

1) Try to design it yourself (which in my case means it will probably come out looking like a 5 year old did it)

2) Have a professional online logo maker like Logaster do all the design work for you so you can focus on running your business and leave the artsy stuff to people with talent

The way I look at it is it’s my business.  I want to make a good impression in all instances when people are exposed to it, whether on my website, business cards, advertisements, or letterhead.  Having a good logo is like wearing a suit to a business meeting; you don’t have to do it, but you might not make the impression you want if you don’t.

Priorities

As you know I’ve written a few entries about how, as an entrepreneur, you sometimes have to give up things in the short term in order to hopefully get even better things in the long term.  For example, I talked about how living in a smaller apartment can help you save money that you can invest into your business.  Sure, you might be able to afford a bigger place, but do you need one?  Probably not.

Sure, you could afford to go out to dinner more often, but do you really need to?  Shouldn’t you be working, anyway?  It’s cheaper to make something at home and eat it at your desk.

Well, I was recently reminded of this “save now for future benefit” thing again.  A few of my friends are planning a surf camp vacation in Costa Rica this summer.

I will not be going.

And I am jealous.

I need to save money and as you may know, it’s hard to take a week off when you’re working on starting your own company.  Once things are up and running, maybe, but not in the early phases.  I’d be super behind if I did that.  And course, I need to save the money that I would otherwise spend on that trip.  Partying and learning to surf for a week definitely sounds like something I would be interested in, and was it ever hard to turn it down, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

So I told my friends they better send me daily pictures and updates.  I have a feeling that might just make me even more jealous, though.  Here I am in my small apartment working and my friends are all out learning to surf in beautiful Costa Rica.  Ok, now I’m getting depressed, because I’m basically just taking a break to write this entry and then I’m gonna get back to working.

It’s kind of weird, though.  After a while you get used to saving money and being frugal and stuff and then it doesn’t really hurt that much to not do things because you really can justify that it wouldn’t be a good use of money.  My old roommate and best friend is one of those people who impulse buys like crazy every time she goes shopping.  You know how they put those impulse items in the checkout lines at the grocery stores?  She’ll buy at least one or two things from each trip.  I used to do the same.   It’s like, “that [insert candy or magazine] looks so good!”  And then you pick up the magazine to read the article you saw advertised on the cover (which almost always ends up not being what you expected) and realize that you’re about to spend $4.99 for a magazine.

Now I hate spending money.  Do I want to spend $4.99 on that?  No.  That’s a lot of money.  Who buys that stuff, anyway?

It’s empowering to feel that way.

I Think These Are So Cool!

I know I usually write about business type stuff but I’m just going to be a girl in this post!

I have always loved funky, unique pieces of clothing or jewelry. When I was in college, my outfits could be pretty wild and in-your-face! But now that I’m older, although I still love funky accessories or clothes, my taste is much more subdued and mature.

In fact, I prefer unique accessories over clothing itself—accessories are easily interchangeable and can be used or worn on a near-daily basis without making you seem like a hobo, like wearing the same clothes daily could do! I love searching out and purchasing one-of-a-kind or different accessories. In example, I found some hand-printed silk scarves made by an artisan last year—she only created a set number of each design. They were kind of pricey but completely worth the purchase! I also have all kinds of bags, for different occasions. If it looks unusual or really cool then chances are good that I will want it! Shoes are another love of mine—I have so many different pairs of shoes, each one of them unusual in some way that at home, they have overflowed from my closet to boxes beneath my bed. It drives my husband kind of crazy but to be fair, I don’t have that many clothes (well, relative to some women that I know, anyway). My clothing takes up maybe half my closet space and I will routinely go through my wardrobe to give away or toss outdated pieces.

Out of all accessories available to wear, however, I think that I love jewelry the most. I have countless pieces of jewelry! Some pieces are from my husband and friends, but most were purchased by me, for me, in my excursions around the World Wide Web. I especially like hand-made, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, and also odd-looking jewelry. The weirder or more unusual the jewelry, the better!

The other day, I was looking around online during lunch at work and found something called a spoon ring. I had not heard of this before so I looked through several photos. It turns out that spoon rings are the handles of either authentic or re-created vintage spoon handles, curved into a circular shape (with the spoon head removed) so that one can wear it as a ring. The curved spoon handles are polished and smoothed down on the inside that they are comfortable to wear on the finger. I found several stunning, intricate designs that I would love to have in my jewelry collection. This weekend, when I have more time to browse, I plan to look online for more spoon rings and buy a few for both myself and friends!

Setting Your Own Schedule

One of the advantages of being an entrepreneur is that you basically set your own schedule for everything.  Most people work 9-5 or so and that’s that.  Now obviously as an entrepreneur you are probably going to be working more than 9-5, but the point is, its entirely up to you.  If you want to take some time off, or even a few hours off, you can do so.  You don’t have to get it approved by anyone, you don’t have to answer to anyone, you just go do whatever you want to do.  Need to go to the post office in the middle of the day?  No problem, just go!

Speaking of freedom throughout the day, one of the things I want to learn more about is financial trading.  To me, that seems like it would be the ultimate job (assuming you were profitable, of course).  The market is only open from 9 to 4 (Eastern time), and that seems like a pretty short workday to me.  Plus, nothing even says you would have to trade every day, so if you wanted to take a day off it would probably not be a problem.  And from what I understand, some people don’t even trade every day (maybe the particular market formation that day doesn’t look favorable?).  Seems like ultimate flexibility.  No bosses to answer to, not even any clients to answer to.  Of course, the main risk with something like that is that every day you face the possible risk of losing your money.  As a normal business owner you can still lose money, but it must be different for a trader.  They have to put their own capital at risk in order to make money.  Sounds scary.  I don’t know if I’d have the nerve to do that.  I spent some time recently reading the site of Financial Trading School so I’ve kind of got that stuff on the brain right now.

Speaking of money, today is April 1st and that means that tax time is just around the corner.  I’ve got most of my stuff ready, I just need to take it to my accountant.  I usually get all my stuff prepared ahead of time but then I kind of procrastinate actually bringing it in.  I don’t know why.  I’m naturally a procrastinator although that is something I’ve been working on recently, but that is a topic for another post in the future (no irony intended… get it… cuz I’m procrastinating writing a post about procrastinating… never mind).