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In physics, relativity refers to Einstein's theory of time and space aren't absolute like the fluidity of business

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Is Implementing Your Solid Strategy Your Number One Priority?

image[10]There are many facets of building or growing a company. The two most important components in planning should be a solid strategy and a creative element. Imagine cooking Thanksgiving dinner for a family of ten and not having recipes ready. The day before Thanksgiving arrives and you spend an hour or two finding recipes and buying everything you need. By now you are behind and will end up cooking all night. The same goes with business. Trying to set up a strategy the day before (or even a month before) the launch could be corporate suicide. Not sure where to start on your strategy? Here are three tips on where to begin:
  1. Business concept – What is your business? Or how do you want it to grow? (If you are going that route) What is the product and whom are you marketing to? What will be the point of the business and why will it be an advantage against competitors? It is very important to get this on paper and keep it short and to the point.
  2. Financial – This may be obvious, but point out sales, profits, cash flow and ROI (return on investment). Money is very important in a business and knowing where money will go is a must.
  3. Business positioning – Basic information about the company including legal forms, owner and key personnel info, and the mission statement of the company. This basic information will be good to have on hand when it is needed.
The creative element will be incorporated in everything you do. If you are opening up a coffee shop you have to think “what makes mine different and why will customers choose me?” Research is important. Check out competitors and visit them as a customer. Creativity is very important in our evolving world. Younger generations need to be entertained and the public expects things to be designed/presented in a professional manner. There are many more steps to ensure that your solid strategy and creative element is your number one priority. If you have further questions, please contact Baker Creative or leave a comment.

Boomer Roadblocks

This week is National Retirement Planning Week and Baker Creative wanted to look at the progress baby boomers are making in retirement. It turns out retirement may be further in the future than we thought.  It is no secret that the economy has been on the lower end of the ladder for the past several years and as it turns out it is affecting our older generations. image[1] According to the IRI, baby boomer's confidence in retirement has decreased 7% in the past two years. Baby boomers have come across expenses they were not aware they would have. Increasing medical bills and college tuition from their children has become a roadblock from the goal of retiring. For some though, retirement is boring and the love for the corporate world is creating an issue for younger generations. What does this mean for baby boomers and generation y? Baby boomers may have to push back their retirement 10 years, which could cause issues with generation y to get jobs they went to college for. This could cause businesses to suffer. With the emerging world of technology and moving into the digital age, baby boomers are not as educated on the technology side as generation y is. Businesses that cater to the retired could also suffer. Retired communities, golf courses, leisure vacation spots are all targeting the baby boomers to sell their product. If there is less of an audience to sell to, it could result in these businesses taking a financial short fall. Generation y is seeing the impact of this issue as well. Graduating from college is getting pushed further back because there are no jobs to go to. These younger adults are settling for retail jobs and restaurant jobs while waiting for their job in the field they studied for to open up. This could set them back to excel up the corporate ladder. For example, after five years of searching for a career, a recent college grad will enter in an entry-level job that does not pay as much as they need at their age. This will make it hard for them to pay off loans, buy a house, start a family or invest in a new car. This trickle down effect will most likely delay their retirement due to a late start in their careers. It is understood that some baby boomers do not have a choice on whether they consider retiring or not. For those who love the corporate world, consider retirement or at least take a generation y worker under your wing to pass on your knowledge and legacy. They can learn a lot more from you on the job in comparison to what they might have in college.

3 Ways to Recognize Crisis Within your Business

Many companies have little issues with crisis. They have great customers and their product is a success. What happens when the quality of service decreases? Or you decide to add to your product and people do not like the change.  Customers are the most important value to your company and if they are not happy, it could cause negative outcomes. image[2]
  1. The review sites aren’t buzzing with good vibes. Smart business plans include knowing where you stand on the review sites. Believe it or not people and customers will get on popular review sites to review you or read about you. If a customer has a bad experience and the issue is not solved, they will be more likely to tell their story on a review site rather than social media. Now if you only have one or two bad reviews, that is normal and people will have their opinions. If bad reviews are coming every other month, that is something to look in to.
  2. Complaints within the company are becoming more frequent. A good example of this would be a restaurant owner talking to customers because their experience was poor. The complaints could be about service, atmosphere or the product. When the complaints become regular that is when the business owner should evaluate their establishment.
  3. People are getting offended with the company’s social media. When companies decide to utilize social networking in the business plan, it is important to do research and figure out how you want to portray yourself online. Even though you may be into politics and have strong personal beliefs, this would not be the place to express that.  Your customers could range from all types of people and insulting someone by talking about religion does not look good on your business. It sends a message that your customer’s feelings are not important. A good example of this is when a representative from Chick-Fil-A said negative comments against homosexuals. Again, people have the right to their opinion but when it reflects a company that serves all types of customers, these comments can have a negative view on the company.
If your company recognizes these problems, it may be in your best interest to hire a PR professional to strategize a plan and help you through whatever your crisis may be.

Podcast – Why Social Media Bios Matter

Welcome to a preview of one of our first FREE podcast. Learn from Baker Creative why it is important to have good bios on your social media networks for your company. We go through what makes a great, responsive bio. Why social media bios matter Please comment below or contact us at baker-creative.com for any feedback.

Leadership Training for Gen Y & Beyond

We have all heard that Generation Y is a new breed of employees. They are used to a fast-paced world and are up-to-date on the latest technology. Knowledge of the Internet allows them to find information in a split second and connect to almost anyone around the world. If a Gen Y feels bored or that they don’t matter, their work ethic will deteriorate. In an economy like this, we think, “how can they be picky?” With most of their qualifications, many companies will be eager to hire the new mind of a Gen Y. How can a company be flexible to train Generation Y to be great future leaders? (more…)

The Not-So-Lucky Marketing Mistakes

luckymarketing Some companies depend solely on luck when working on a marketing plan but in most cases, luck won’t get you by. Since St. Patrick’s Day just passed, we thought it would be beneficial to share tips on how to avoid bad marketing. Here are some tips on what not to do with your marketing strategy: Do not get distracted by the sparkle. When you are new to marketing or changing your marketing plan, do not get side tracked by flashy websites and the “famous” agencies. Sparkly things can blind you to what you really need and want for you company. Do your research and figure out if your goals could be met by an agency. No, your audience is not everyone. There is not one product or one service that everyone needs. A lactose-intolerant will never have a need to visit an ice cream shop or a person who does not want children will not need to be sold baby products. Some companies believe that if everyone is not targeted they will be missing some key customers. Instead focus on a certain group and make them your key target. Be a leader, not a follower. As business owners, we all have business heroes to aspire to.  But following their every move could be devastating to your business. Think, if you like a big name in your field, there is a chance others follow them too. If other business people notice that all you do is copycat a big player, they might stray away from looking at your services due to the fact you are not authentic. Be your own person. Seeking approval from everyone and their mom is a big no.  Ask yourself what are some things your whole family agrees on? The best car in the world? Or the best actor in Hollywood? Most likely, all your family members have different opinions. Same goes with you committee. They all have their own opinions and the fewer people you involved in the marketing strategy the better. Customers do not want to buy in to a company that seems to have many mixed messages. Do not starve your budget to keep your business skinny. If you are trying to market by spending little money, your company can suffer. Every company, especially start up companies, need to get their message out. Paying for a professional may be the best solution. Do it yourself marketing can be very difficult and time consuming and should have an experienced agency leading you to a most successful launch. Keep your towel instead of throwing it in. Your plans could be well thought out and constructed, but if there is no action on those plans, money and time has just been wasted. There are many companies who do not follow through on the marketing plan because of fear of the unknown and taking that leap off the edge. Remember this, you may fail but with failing come growth and learning and that only results in being closer to success. Check out baker-creative.com for more information on a marketing agency.

Overcoming the February Winter Blahs

winter blahs The hype of turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving and a white, winter land of Christmas has come and gone. February has arrived along with its long days of cold and on and off again snowfalls.  We are longing for the days of green trees, warm sun and barbecues.  Until then, we are stuck in the “blah” state. How does one overcome the feeling?
  1. We know it’s cold but take a brisk walk outside, preferably when the sun is out.  Getting that fresh (cold) air in your lungs will give you energy you need to get through the day.
  1. Change the background of your computer.  If you have a beautiful snowy background, that may be secretly keeping you in a funk. Change it to a beautiful tropical island beach or a sunny desert.  Seeing warm weather will trick your mind into believing you are warmer.
  1. Plan fun indoor activities.  Winter is the time to visit museums, go to indoor sports games and see movies.  Just because it is cold, doesn’t mean you have to stay home.
  1. Change up your diet.  Limit coffee and sugars.  Eat fruits, veggies and protein to keep your energy up and positive.
  1. Don’t forget to exercise.  Taking a hot yoga class or move it in Zumba class.  These classes will make you sweat and release that stress from the lack of sun.
These little tips could increasingly improve your mood and make you work harder to get to the finish line: Summer.  Get a family member or a co-worker to take on these challenges with you so you stay accountable.

The Rise and Fall of Celebrity Branding

celebritybranding In recent news, Lance Armstrong has been in the lime light for taking performance-enhancing drugs and blood doping.  Lance Armstrong has been known for battling cancer, winning seven Tour de France competitions and partnering with Nike to start the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign.  His story has been an inspiration to many and sure enough still is.  Let us state that battling cancer and starting a foundation to help those who have or had cancer is a huge success and in no way are we speaking negatively toward that.  What we are discussing is the drugs he used to improve his performance in the Tour de France’s that made his story more of a success then it was. With these new allegations about enhancing his performance with drugs, Lance has significantly brought down his brand. Like many others before him, like Martha Stewart and Tiger Woods, these celebrities need to remember that everything they do affects their brand because they are their brand. Martha Stewart was sentenced time in prison and lost many of her Martha fans. Now, she is rebuilding her brand and trying to gain the trust of her following, which is not an easy task.  Tiger Woods melted the hearts of many golf lovers when the truths about his affairs were made public.  After loosing his wife and the respect of women everywhere, he worked to make his name in golf again by coming clean about his affairs, going on a sabbatical from the sport and going to sex rehab.  Woods currently still competes in golf tournaments but has permanently cast a grey cloud over his head. Brands can be destroyed in a matter of minutes and may take years or even never to be recovered.  These examples need to be a lesson to major brand celebrities or companies that doing something illegal may ruin the rest of your brand’s life.