Monday, May 25

Getting started and re-discovering your current brand

Now is a GREAT time to get into owning and marketing a business – unless, of course, you’re pleased with where you are at and what your company stands for. I wasn’t. (Read “The Story” on

So, where do you begin? During this recession, anything is possible! Discover what are the things you are good at and what you love doing. There’s a certain fire – a confidence – inside of you that is needed to start up what you’re wanting to do. Whether you’re buying a business from someone, looking to start something up on your own or looking to make a few extra dollars, this is for you. Here are a few basics I came across while exploring the idea of creating All I ask is that you link to my site from your web site (even if it’s facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, a personal blog or web site or your company’s web site. It GREATLY helps my SEO (which is something you’ll learn about later in this lesson.)

· Research your business as if you were creating a business plan for a bank (even if you’re not). Google “sample business plans” and take it from there. You probably don’t have to get as detailed as most do in the financial aspect, unless, of course, you ARE doing it for a bank. Then do it.
· CREATE A WEB SITE. It may seem intimidating and expensive, but it is NOT. I didn’t know jack about designing a web site. I didn’t want a cheap-o looking “BLOG” type. I wanted a reputable web site. After all, I was going after thousands of people to check the site out and see if they found my services of need to them. I found a friend,, who told me about THE BEST ADVICE HE COULD HAVE GAVE ME. With just a basic knowledge, I was able to create a website on my own and save thousands of dollars! Their support team seems to work 24 hours a day and help me with EVERYTHING!
· Create a brand. You may think: “I’m only working out of my house. Why do I need a brand?” Trust me, you do. Think of some of the brands you know – Pepsi, Microsoft, BP or even the local day care. They all have brands. You think of something, whether you realize it or not, when you see their name, their symbol or hear their name. In this day and age of social networking, think of how many of your friends have “brands.” What do you think of when you see their pictures? Their laugh? Their voice? Sense of humor? Smile? See, we all have a personal brand. Your business needs one. (See my don’ts for what NOT to have in a brand).
· Set up a PayPal account at This is a fast, convenient and easy way to receive payment for your services and or products.
· Go cheap on a web site. Cheap web sites look like what it is… a cheap web site.
· Brand your name. REMEMBER: This is under DON’T, as in DON’T BRAND YOUR NAME. In hindsight, I don’t know if I’d do my name differently. I learned this lesson AFTER I bought the URL. The reason: What if you’ve had enough of the business? Sick and no longer want to work for it? Or my favorite: It’s gotten so big, you want to cash in and get out? Now your name is attached to it! You’ll find throughout my site a couple of references to JRC and that’s why. JRC can stand for Jay Rod Corporation or Jimmy Rollins Caligraphy for all I care once I’m out of it. was chosen because of its ring and an easy jingle (to the tune of Sweet Home Chicago… go ahead, sing it. JayRooood-Chicago. I know, I like it too! However, not all of us were blessed with a “jingly name,” so get creative when you create your brand.

· Research chambers, associations and trade shows and spend some time getting out there! You could have the greatest service in the world, but if no one knows about it, you only have the greatest service in the world… that no one knows about. Spend the time to get out there and meet people. Trust me, it’ll pay off.
· Become an expert on what you’re doing. Blog about it. Submit your blogs to those association web sites that I told you to find in the first bullet point. Go on “how-to” web sites (such as, make a few bucks and submit a “how-to” about your area of interest. Also, join, a.k.a. Help a Reporter (dot) com. This is a universal list of sources and specialists in various fields. It gets your name out there, which is what you want, right?
· Join,,, and if your skills are mobile and can be done with the use of a computer, join and

· Sit back and expect people to find you after you’ve spent a bunch of money on advertising or promotions. Remember, you only get out of something what you put into it. In other words, if you put a BUNCH into your business, you’ll get a bunch out of it.