Build Your Brand and Income With an App for Your Business

Saturday, 24 September 2022

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The expression, "There's an app for that," has changed from an overused catch phrase and slogan to an expectation for modern consumers. When individuals find brands they trust and rely on, they typically look to download an app for a personalized and smoother experience than a website can offer. Businesses without an app may seem old-fashioned and out of touch. Read about the process and benefits of creating an app for your company. 

Initiating the Process 

The best business ideas aren't necessarily something new but solve a frustration many consumers have. Get an idea of what customers want by investigating your competitors' apps. Customer reviews provide insight into the most frustrating challenges and design flaws. 

Once you isolate what your app needs, determine the cost of hiring developers who can do the job well. In rare instances, you can create the app by yourself with no-code or low-code programming, but building, refining, and testing typically require teamwork. Plus, time on development takes you away from other vital tasks. Research costs and design a budget that allows you to contract with a quality team and stay connected with technical staff to make adjustments and updates over time. 

Working With Quality Developers 

Testimonials and work samples can lead you to the right developer. Learn about the amount of work an agency or freelancer gets to find if they're reputable. Meet to discuss your needs and pay attention to communication styles before contracting so you know what to expect on the project. Learn crucial details like what platforms the team program in. If you only offer your solution to one operating system, you could leave out a sizable portion of your customers. 

Refine your management skills to help the project run smoothly as you direct your team. One Agile framework that works well for app development is Scrum. Teams self-organize to complete work in short "sprints" and learn through experiences. A crucial component is improving by focusing on wins and losses. Improve your team communication and collaboration with the Scrum framework, which you can master by taking an online professional development course. If you’re wondering how to choose an advanced certified scrum master course, make sure to choose one where you'll gain advanced strategies and tactics and complete a final assessment that certifies your skills. 

App Launch and Maintenance 

Some users may hesitate or forget about downloading the app. Reward users for signing up and provide additional perks when they invite others to join. Once you create the app, beta test its functionality. After launch, monitor it regularly and read reviews to ensure it works as intended. Find out which functions people desire and which features you need to drop. 

Reaping the Rewards of Your Hard Work 

You will see many benefits from building and maintaining an app. When you track usage and activity, you can find out what services or products are most valuable to customers. Add value by providing incentives to customers for repeat business and building brand loyalty and awareness. 

Studies show that push notifications obtain high engagement and open rates that email campaigns can only dream of. The alerts allow you to notify customers of specials and promotions early and add an air of exclusivity for app users. An app also provides a more secure method for business transactions

A thriving company needs an app as soon as possible to capitalize on the service the software can provide and the extra business you can earn. Find a capable development team and facilitate smooth communication and collaboration with them to create an app that puts you as a frontrunner in your industry. For more business insights, explore Business Idealists today!

For more business insights, explore Business Idealists today!

The article was written by a guest author: Joyce Wilson


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New Feature for Dating Apps

Saturday, 13 August 2022

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If you were on dating apps at some point, you would notice that many guys include height in their descriptions. That is especially on Tinder, which does not include specific categories to fill in. Height followed by fluent in sarcasm that is. The reason for it is simple. It is one of the first questions girls ask, or so I was told so. 


Height seems to be, aside from looks, one of the top selective criteria for women. No need to go into why is that and if it is shallow or not. Dating apps are a bit shallow but we are not here to change that. 


I recall my friend analysing a profile picture of a guy, who did not include his height. She reviewed all his pictures and tried to guess his proportions toward objects in the background. Height or the lack of it was clearly a deal breaker for her (and would be for me too, so I am not judging). It is also one of the things that guys lie about the most often. As a side note, this lie always made me laugh. Unless the guy plans on wearing heels, this dishonesty will pop up in the first few seconds of meeting in person. Anyhow. 


Today's dating apps include various filters, such as age, location etc. Why not simplify everyone's lives and include a filter on height? Why not be cheeky and monetize this feature to get extra income from female users?


For most ladies, this seems to be more important than age. It would save time and filter out people who mind the height difference, those who don't and all that without judgement or awkward conversations. Above all, no more guessing of proportions against door frames and bedside tables (let's do it for my friend!). 

This idea was created using a Daily dose of frustrations

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New Ideas: Kinder Eggs for Adults

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What does a kinder egg & jewellery have in common? Both make girls happy. This is what we established with my friend during our creative afternoon, where else than on the beach. 

We both brought kinder eggs to our respective partners at some point in time. To our surprise, they did not share the same excitement. Mind you we are both ladies in our mid-thirties. Yet, Kidner eggs still bring joy. I remember that for my graduation, my date brought me a big flower and he included Kinder eggs in the bouquet. I loved it. 

The reason why kinder eggs work is a. the chocolate and b. the surprise. The actual toys inside are a bit meh, especially when you get a puzzle. If you got one, you know what I am talking about 

Now starting with this, we thought of what else brings ladies joy. We used the 3C Creativity Tool for Complimentary Combinations and got very quickly to jewellery. In contrast to disappointing toys, a necklace or earrings always bring joy. 

If you want to turn this idea into a profitable business, you can create a subscription model, when the lady gets a chocolate egg delivered every month with a new toy inside. Be it a piece of jewellery or, in the version for adults, lacy underwear. 


Need an original engagement proposal? Your girl loves Kinder eggs? Well, here you go...



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New Ideas: SPF + Hair Growth Serum

Saturday, 6 August 2022

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I joined a kayaking team-building event on a hot sunny day. It's worth mentioning that I do not wear (or own) hats or caps. The main reason is I look stupid wearing them—my vanity. After a couple of hours of kayaking, my hairline was the colour of a lobster. In a few days, it started peeling like a snake. A Zoo-situation on my scalp that looked like a major dandruff problem. Not a beautiful sight. 


It's been a few years since I started noticing my hair thinning. My burned scalp was yet another painful reminder that the hair density was not what it used to be. Did I reach the point that I need to start applying sunblock with a cotton bud into my hairline? Am I going to grease up my hair like that after just washing them? Oh no. 


A quick google search directed me to Amazon, which sells non-greasing sunblock for hairlines. A genius product, isn't it? I thought about it for a moment. When my hair started thinning, I got fancy leave-in sprays to minimise the shedding. My logic here is this. You lose hair so much that you buy a special spray to keep them there. This means, you probably also have an issue with the sunburned scalp. The areas that need hair are also the areas that need sunblock, right? 


Why not combine the hair-thickening sprays with sunblock? One less bottle on our shelves and one extra benefit to our hair. What's more, you will protect your lovely scalp from possible scalp melanoma


If you decide to create this product or know of any company that has this, drop me a message, and I will become forever grateful to you and forever customer of theirs.


The above idea came from a frustration that I wrote down and then thought about it for a few days.  One of the best approaches is to keep writing down your daily dose of frustrations. If it frustrates you, it probably pisses everyone else too. Ok, perhaps it is just you if you are a major grouch, but you got the point. After you find your frustrations, you can use the 3C Creativity Tool to start innovating. This idea was created with the Complimentary Combinations


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The Quick-Start Guide to Becoming an Ecopreneur

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You’ve decided to use your passion for the environment and business skills to do good in the world. Ecopreneurship is the ideal option for merging your entrepreneurial spirit and love for Mother Earth, but it’s essential to understand what you’re getting into before diving in headfirst.

As with any type of business, starting and running an eco-conscious company requires dedication, hard work, and know-how. Business Idealists want to help you launch strong with these practical tips and resources!


Do Your Research

The first step is to determine precisely what is involved in ecopreneurship. Here are a few tips to kick off your research:

  • Learn about the triple bottom line method (i.e., environmental, social, financial) that ecopreneurs adhere to. 
  • Look into other successful green businesses and corporations, and learn how they structure and operate their organizations. 
  • Learn how to partner with other eco-conscious entrepreneurs and organizations.
  • Consider returning to school for an online business degree.


Set Your Business Up for Success

Now, to the business side of things. Here’s how to position your eco-friendly startup for long-term success:

  • Create a business plan that thoroughly describes your values, mission, target audience, financial goals, marketing strategies, and more. You can learn how to start a new company here.
  • Choose a location for your green business (e.g., retail space, office park, your home).
  • Establish a reliable accounting system using reputable cloud-based software
  • Select the legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership) that your company needs to thrive. 


Spur Long-Term Growth

Getting started is a feat. But you must know how to sustain success. 

  • Develop a visual identity and voice that reflects your mission and values.
  • Promote your environmental brand and boost your online presence via social media, email, and paid ads. You can take it up a notch by creating eye-catching banners for your digital marketing materials. 
  • Invest in cost-effective marketing and organization tools.
  • Find a mentor and network to meet other eco-conscious professionals.

Yes, becoming an ecopreneur is the perfect way to combine your passions for planet earth and business. But don’t get too deep into launching your company without first having a firm grasp of what to expect. Implementing the tips above will help you start on the right foot, but never stop learning how to strengthen your knowledge, skills, and perseverance!

If you enjoyed this article, you can find more helpful content on BusinessIdealists.com!


The article was written by a guest author: Joyce Wilson

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A scientist, a queen and the devil walk into a bar...to discuss your next idea.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

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A scientist, an artist, the devil and a queen walk into a bar. Don't be fooled; this is not a start of some joke. It is yet another creativity tool to help you find the most fruitful & implementable idea. Here is how it works. 


Imagine that the scientist, the artist, the queen and the devil get together to discuss an interesting topic. The topic is the problem you are trying to solve—the more specific your problem, the better. 


Let's say that you want to create productivity guided journals, and your challenge is how to make them successful and sell at least 10,000 copies within the first year. 


The four characters are your archetypes that present themselves in many meetings and other group dynamics. You will notice that a person often switches between several roles as the discussion progresses. 


This creativity tool helps you streamline and organize this process for the most efficient, focused and impactful outcome. What's more, you can do this exercise completely alone. 


The four archetypes & what they represent


The scientist

The scientist is your 'nerd', the data-driven archetype. They want to know everything, understand everything and find out answers. The scientists will ask questions such as: How much will the printing cost? Where will it be printed out? How will it be shipped? 


It is that friend (or your aspect) who can kill your creative buzz with practical questions and extremely valuable to make any creative idea achievable. The scientist's role is to ask these questions and do the research to find most of the answers. They are the ones who will make everyone pause for a second and do the necessary research. They will want to base their decision on facts. 


The scientist's genius: The scientists find facts and aim at making informed decisions to ensure the success of your projects. 


The shadow aspects of the scientist: If you do not keep the scientist in check, she may quickly go down the rabbit hole of over-researching and never making the final decision. Every project has an element of the unknown, and the scientist has to be able to let go, take some risks and work with some 'assumptions' and 'educated guesses'. 


The artist

The artist is your creative aspect. It is the one who gets quickly excited and can come up with one hundred ideas no matter how practical or impractical they are. The artists ask questions such as: How can we make it better? How can we make it more interesting, unique, more fun, more valuable, stand out? What would make it cool? Which idea would give the most value? The artist pushes the status quo. In comparison, the scientist would pick the most practical and doable concept, but the artist advocates for an idea that is the most creative and valuable to users. 


The artist's genius: The artist is your creative mind. We are not speaking just about artistic creativity but any creative ideas. For the artist, the opportunities are limitless. 


The shadow aspects of the artist: The artist may come up with lots of ideas, that is also lots of impractical ideas. They may have difficulty choosing one idea. Alternatively, they get too excited about an idea and have an even more challenging time letting go. If others start nitpicking their creative genius, they may get stubborn and overprotective, especially when they feel that others do not share their vision. The artist may not take enough time to think about implementing an idea and may oversimplify the concepts. 


The devil

The devil is a unique archetype. The devil is the so-called 'devil's advocate' and, in other words, your typical 'party-pooper'. In the creative process, the devil has a very critical role. Their task is to find all possible issues with your idea. While often buzz killers, they may be able to prevent your project from failing by identifying all flaws ahead of time. After the devil points out all the issues, your task is to make sure you have a solution to most of them. 


The devil's genius: They can see issues and flaws in ideas where others can't. Foreseeing and forecasting future problems is one of their strengths.

 

The shadow aspects of the devil: They may discourage you from an idea that could have been successful. If the devil gets to speak too soon in the creative process, they may kill the creative flow early on. 


The devil and the artist are almost the opposite archetypes, yet they need to work closely together to produce creative yet successful ideas and projects. The key here is that both the devil and the artist have a dedicated time and space to speak. If this time is unstructured and they can talk over each other, frustration usually festers. 


When it is a time for the devil to speak, her time needs to be presented as a necessary time in the creative process. Otherwise, the people who are 'using the devil's archetype' are often labelled as 'too negative' and dismissed. As a result, 'the devils' on the team often stop speaking up and pointing up issues with an idea, which leads to more significant disasters later on. If we listen to 'the devils' and truly hear them out, your business will always be more successful. 


The queen

The queen archetype is your leader and decision-maker. She does not speak much, instead listens. She can condense the topics in a few sentences with critical points. 


The queen's genius: The queen's strength is her ability to draw conclusions and summarise critical topics. She can pick which issues are already solved and which need further analysis and decisions. The queen archetype represents a unique mix of mediator and leader. She is the sense of reason when others become too involved in their archetypes. 


The shadow aspects of the queen: The queen is drawn to finding conclusions. If she becomes impatient with the bickering of the others, she may tend to jump into final decisions prematurely. This happens when she wants to ensure that the project is moving quickly enough to meet the timelines and overall goals. 


The queen needs to find the right balance between making quick decisions yet being patient with the process. She has to decide when the idea needs more information and thus entrusting the scientist with further research when is the time for the creative ideas, and when is the time for the devil to speak up. She is the one who can stop others from interrupting and giving equal space for each member. 


How to utilize the four archetypes?

Now, when we understand the four archetypes, we can get their support in our creative process. Instead of finding four people representing all four archetypes, you can switch the roles on your own or with other participants. The process is simple, put yourself in the scientist's shoes, the artist, the queen and the devil. I genuinely feel their role and 'spirit' will come through you on the blank canvas of your next project. 






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How to create a killer business name.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

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Picking a business name before settling for one business idea is like buying a wedding dress before getting a boyfriend. It is exciting, and all, but chances are you will get stuck with a misfitting name (and a dress). Having said that, choosing a name is super-exciting, and I am guilty of coming up with names, and picking wedding dresses, way too soon. This article will take you through the key points to consider when picking your business name.


Do you already have some names up the sleeve? Check if you can answer 'yes' to all the below. 

  1. Is it memorable? 
  2. Is it easy to spell and pronounce? 
  3. Is it relevant but also expandable?
  4. Is it better than your competitors? 
  5. Is it available (URL, trademark, social media)? 
  6. Does it have only positive meanings in other languages? 

I prepared a bit more detail for each category in case you do not have any name yet or if you replied 'no' to any of the above. 


1. Make it memorable. 

This seems obvious: when you mention your name to anyone, you want it to stick. You want it to stick so that people can find you later. Usually, you will remember some words and word combinations more easily than other. So what makes names memorable? Here are a few tips.


Unique combinations 

Unique combinations will make your audience pause for a second. This extra second will be an extra second to digest the name and remember it for longer. The combinations can be complementary, contradictory or completely random. If your business idea is based on one of these combinations, you will have an easy job coming up with your name. 


Some examples of unique name combinations are Mystery & Make-up (complimentary), Pink Floyd (random), Rolling stones (complimentary), Guns 'N Roses (random). 


Alliteration, Rhythm & Rhymes 

Names that rhyme or have a rhythm are easier to remember. So do names with alliteration, that is, when the same letter or sound occurs at the beginning of two words. People also enjoy saying them. There is a fine line between a creative name that sticks and a cheesy one. For that reason, I prefer names with alliteration and rhythm instead of rhymes. For example, Coca-Cola, Best Buy, BlackBerry, Dunkin’ Donuts, Brooks Brothers are so easy to remember thanks to alliteration and rhythm. 


Try to come up with a few name variants that have an alliteration or rhyme. If you get stuck with words, you can use pages such as Thesaurus.com for synonyms and antonyms and RhymeZone to find words that rhyme. 


Tell a Story 

Creating stories is one of the tricks to memorize long lists of unrelated words. Our brain is capable of retaining stories substantially longer than word combinations. You may have a story about how you came up with your name, or even better, have your name tell the story. 


One of my side hustles was called Blue Moon Studios; why? Because I got to work on it only once in a blue moon. Unfortunately, this was so much true that it never fully took off. 


The founders of ‘Virgin’ admitted through their name that they were completely new to the business, hence the name. I bet you will never forget their name now.


2. Make it easy to spell & pronounce.

Once, I was helping a friend to come up with a band name. After some wine and throwing ideas around, we came up with the name Gypsy Genes. My friend saw himself as a bit of a nomad and gypsy soul, so it fit him and his music. He was immediately sure that this was the name. The rhythm of these two words made it easy to remember and pronounce. However, the name had one pitfall, which we did not see. When the name was announced on the radio, people thought it was Gypsy Jeans


Try to say your name out loud. Share it with someone and ask them what they understood. Imagine how understandable it will be when you say it over a call when the signal is not strong. Once you start hustling, you will be spelling your name over a call a lot. Make it easy on yourself! 



3. Make it relevant but expandable. 

I remember a story from a successful entrepreneur who wanted to name her business after her dog, and so she did. She owned a candle business. It took her about a year to convince people that her business is not about dog cookies. 


Your name does not have to be necessarily related to your core products. Some even argue that associating it too closely with your core product may lead to future troubles. Mostly if you decide to add new products to your product line. 


On one hand, if you relate your name directly to a specific product, your customers will easily understand what you are about. On the other, if your name is loosely connected to your business, you will have more expansion options. The right choice depends on what you plan to do. 


Consider relating your name to your business core that is such a key point of your business idea that it won’t change. Such a core can be some of your business values or why and how you do what you do. 


Your name should, however, not be easily relatable to completely unrelated industries. Try to share your name ideas with someone who has no clue what your business is about and ask them for feedback. This may be the best investment of 5 minutes. 


Can you see what Fiverr, Shopify, Pinterest, Facebook, Paypal and similar companies have in common? The names are directly related to what the business is about. Fiverr is about gigs that cost 5 dollars, Shopify, and the rest does not need an explanation. The names communicate what the business is about but do not prevent its growth. 


4. Make it better than your competitors. 

Check out your competitors and the names they choose. Check out other businesses similar to yours that are located in other countries. What is it that they did right, and what is that they could have done better? Is their name more memorable than yours? Then you better sit down with a pen and paper and keep brainstorming. 


5. Make it unique.

Speaking of competitors, your name definitely cannot be too similar to any other business. Trademark protects a name from using or creating nearly identical names. The related law will prevent you from using Adldas, Starbacks and similar. Now to the tricky part. In U.S., the law states that certain sets of words are considered the same such as curtain and blind. In that view, Betty’s curtains and Betty’s blinds would be considered as the same name and not allowed. 


When I am coming up with names, I immediately check each for available URLs. It happened to me way too many times that I got excited about the name, which was taken. 


If you plan to have your business only in a specific country, picking your local domain may solve this issue. Avoid adding dashes to your URL so that you can keep your favourite name. People will keep forgetting the dash and ending up at your competitor's site! 


If your URL is available, check the key social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest for availability. While you would be able to create alternative usernames, it will always make you a little more difficult to find, and besides, your business cards will look a little untidy. 


6. Make it foreign-language-friendly. 

Maybe you plan to stay in your home country and never step across borders. Even so, cross-check that your name is not something obscene in another language. It will prevent unwanted attention and traffic. If you have any other tips on the best name, share them in the comments below.

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