How Do You Know If Your Business’s Website Design Is Good?

March 18th, 2012

How do you know if your business’s website design is good? It all depends on your website visitor. How they view your site and the purpose that it serves. You have less than twelve seconds to grab your site visitors’ attention and hold them on your site. So creative design is VERY IMPORTANT. Also you must make sure that your website can reach as far and as wide as possible. This means realizing that there are a lot of site visitors that use high-tech devices to access your website. These days, people can browse the internet using their mobile phones. Making sure that you follow the correct guidelines that we recommend will ensure that 95% or more of site visitors will be able to access your website.

Let’s start with answering a few questions. Such as: What would you like to feature? What’s your target audience? Is it kids, teens, yuppies or seniors? Married? Single? Will it be in plain text? Full color? Or would you display flashy images or videos from the internet? Perhaps a little bit of everything? So, when you’re planning the design of your website, you must take all of these things into consideration. This is essential in effective lead generation for your business.

Now to the design. You want to start with a clear design and layout. Don’t exaggerate the use of Javascripts or Flash that can affect the major functions of your website menus and sub menus. Make sure that important information is easily accessible on your site. Also, avoid using any colors that may be irritating to your visitors eyes. If you want people to visit your website on a regular basis and do business with you, you want to make sure that every time they visit, they feel soothed and relaxed. This is because loud colors and schemes may disturb site visitors and discourage them from returning to your website. You can always follow the basic primary colors when you feel at a loss. Yet most people use the color wheel.

The overall look of your website should follow the basic types of color schemes. There are 3 types: Analogous, Complementary and Monochromatic. Analogous color schemes make use of colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Complementary color schemes are those colors that you combine that are directly across from each other on the color wheel. Monochromatic color schemes are those same colors with different hues. The colors used in any color scheme needs to be balanced with the overall design of your website. Professional advice from a good website design company will benefit you greatly in determining the effect of those color schemes on your website. This ensures that you’re able to effectively connect with your site visitors.

Next, use a uniform theme that is clear and concise throughout your web site. Themes are the overall design of your website. Every page of your website should have a connecting factor to other pages by making use of a consistent layout and color scheme. Also, each page should stand on its own, making use of images and information that would be appropriate to the product or service that you offer to your customers.

In addition, pay careful attention to your use of fonts. Fonts are the styles of lettering. The two basic types are serif and sans serif. Of the two, the san serif is being used by most websites because their content is easier to read than the serif fonts. When choosing a particular font to be used in your website, it’s vital that you know how much lettering your site will have and ensure that you use the same font throughout. Using too many fonts of different shapes and sizes can become unpleasant and overwhelming to your site visitors. As before, seek the advice of a good website design company on the best fonts to use for your site.

Another good tip is to use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) when designing your website. In this way, the content and navigation bar will have a consistent look and feel. Since the outline is arranged to take place through CSS, no matter what, it will appear as an “eye pleasing” design. The CSS design techniques also allow you to play with sophisticated layouts without making your website “out of touch”. Keep in mind, simplicity is beauty.
Remember the goal of your website design is to connect with yours site visitors, make them feel comfortable and not scare them away.

Your web site must also be USER-FRIENDLY. It should be easy to navigate, highly memorable and very useful to your site visitors. A site map is also good to use. This is essentially the “table of contents” for your site. It enables your site visitors to more easily determine what your web site has to offer. Also, you want to leverage eye catching graphics, engaging photos and flash to give your site an exciting look and feel.

Lastly, your contact information should be strategically placed above the fold (the portion of a web page that is viewable without scrolling) of each page. Make sure that your contact information is able to viewed on EVERY PAGE of your site. This way, your site visitors won’t have to go back to the “Home Page” or “Contact Us” page of your site just to find your contact information.

In closing, the elements of good web site design are simple if you follow this advice. You can be confident that your visitors will enjoy your site and return to it time and time again.

How To Use Branding To Grow Your Business?

March 11th, 2012

Not only big companies or corporate names need to think about branding , this can also be applied to small businesses as well. Branding says a lot about you and your business, and this certainly true for a home-based, one person operation to a multinational company. This only means one thing, that having a good brand name or branding strategy can add a couple of figures to you sales. It doesn’t promise you to become large company overnight (no strategy will!), yet it will give you steady and visible results before you know it.

Your business, service or product’s most valuable asset can be it’s brand. It’s your corporate identity. An effective brand tells the world who you are, what you do and how you do it. It’s how your business is perceived by your customers. With a powerful branding strategy your company’s market position can actually be elevated. For example, you can go from “the low price leader” to “the top choice for professionals”. Once your brand has a high perceived value, you can charge a premium for your products and services well beyond what your competitors are charging. It’s even possible for your brand to dominate your niche.
Also, the value and recognition of your business, service, product and yourself determines marketing potential. Therefore, branding is a basic part of building your business. Clients, consumers and customers should always remember your name, products and services so they can easily refer it to others and this can also build loyalty for repeat transactions.

Here are a few tips that can get you started on how you can use branding to grow your business:

Develop Your Business’s logo – A good logo will give the first impression and fast recall of your company. One of the most important factors is to ensure that it doesn’t imitate any existing brand designs for copyright issues. It’s suggested to get a simple and catchy brand name that comes with a simple logo.

Develop Your Company’s Core Values – Review your company’s mission statement. If you don’t have one…write one. Your brand reinforces and supports your mission. Take a look at Pizza Huts mission statement and core values.


We take pride in making a perfect pizza and providing courteous and helpful service on time all the time. Every customer says, “I’ll be back!”
We are the employer of choice offering team members opportunities for growth, advancement, and rewarding careers in a fun, safe working environment.

We are accountable for profitability in everything we do, providing our shareholders with value growth.

Have a PASSION for excellence in everything we do.
EXECUTE with positive energy and urgency.

Be individually and collectively ACCOUNTABLE for growth in people, customer satisfaction and profitability.

Find reasons to RECOGNIZE the achievement of others and have fun doing it.

LISTEN and more importantly, respond to the voice of the customer.

Think SAFETY first.

Think about how their mission and core values are demonstrated in their brand. Think about their logo, advertisements, commercials, employees and management, fulfillment (when you place your order) and customer service. Get the idea? An additional word on fulfillment and customer service. Develop high standards of customer service so that clients feel that you’re always willing to go the extra mile to solve their problems. Remember that customers who get good customer service, come back and bring more customers with them.

Develop A Strong Public Image – Be consistent, it’s important that your business keeps a single character or appearance. This means having a consistent message, trademark, publicity and company values. You do this by integrating your brand strategies through your company at every point of public contact. This will help build company loyalty that will reflect to your customers. The internal workings of the company must always be in place and shouldn’t be changed. This will help build the company’s dependability and will connect powerfully with your clients. Developing a company image and strictly adhering to it will result in your customers appreciating your service as well as your employees. By letting the business stand for something that you believe in, more and more customers will start appreciating your brand building your reputation. And reputation is something that every business would like to have, yet only a few get.

A strong brand will also project an image of a large and established business to your potential customers. People usually associate branding with larger businesses that have the money to spend on advertising and promotion. Once you create an effective branding strategy, then it can make your business appear to be much bigger than it really is. An image of size and establishment can be especially important when a customer wants reassurance that you will still be around in a few years time.

A strong brand projects an image of experience, reliability and quality in your business. Many people see the brand as a part of a product or service that helps to show its quality and value. It’s commonly said that if you show a person two identical products, only one of which is branded; they’ll almost always believe the branded item is higher quality. Most people believe that a business won’t put their brand name on something of poor quality. Also branded businesses are more likely to be seen as experienced in their industry, products and services, and will generally be seen as more reliable and trustworthy than an unbranded business.

Develop Strong Marketing – Another good reason for developing a strong branding strategy is to make your sales force more effective and efficient. When your market recognizes your brand, you don’t have to spend a lot of time with new prospects explaining who you are, what you do and how you do it. Your brand already has already educated and built credibility with them. So now you can invest almost 100% of your time on sales rather than educating your prospects about your business.

Develop New Products And Services – Another way that branding benefits your business is that the efforts you make increasing your brand awareness, through promoting and marketing your brand to your target market, automatically transfers to ALL OF YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. This includes any new products and services that you roll out in the future. So, even when you’re promoting your brand, you’re also indirectly marketing all of your products and services. And this means that customers for one of your products and service will be more likely to buy other products and services from you as well.

Separate Yourself From Your Competition – The main reason for creating strong brand for your business is to differentiate yourself from your competition. A strong brand will deliver your message clearly, confirm your credibility, connect with your target market emotionally, motivates your prospective customers to buy and concretes their loyalty. So it only makes sense to understand that branding isn’t about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, yet it’s about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem. Consider Jerry Garcia’s insightful statement:

“It’s not enough to be the best at what you do; you must be perceived as the only one who does what you do.” – Jerry Garcia

To be effective your branding must be strong, you must have a well defined strategy, your expertise and message has to be clear. Or you’ll get no results. For example, many years ago, there was only one local market. If you wanted to buy soup you simply went to the market and bought soup. Then came supermarkets with 6 different types of soup. If you didn’t recognize the other soups you’d most likely buy Campbell’s. Remember people buy brands not products and services. A brand promises the same positive consistent experience every time. Empowering you to buy with confidence and making your decision easy. So it was easy to make a buying decision. Yet now there are literally millions of companies on the internet locally, nationally and internationally. All competing for local markets in the US! So now powerful branding is even more important than ever before!

In closing, to succeed in branding you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. To effectively use branding to grow your business, you must invest the time in researching, defining, building and promoting your brand. When done correctly, your prospective customers will draw this simple conclusion, “I’d have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else except you…regardless of price”.

Why You’re Not Getting the Results You Want From Your Marketing

January 10th, 2012

Before the 1980s, selling was simple because the marketplace was a lot less crowded. There was less competition, fewer choices, and not much information available to a customer. If you wanted a Chevy, you’d simply go to the Chevy dealership and get one. There weren’t 6 dealerships to get a Chevy from, 5 magazines rating the different Chevys and 12 websites giving feedback and surveys on the various makes and models of Chevys. Nope, there was just one dealership. So it was easier for customers to make a buying decision. “In the days of simple selling, the seller had the power because the buyer had very few choices.”

Now we’ve got a new situation, there’s now increased competition, information, choices and more buying resistance. Buyers have access to a tremendous amount of information about a product or service. Buying cycles are longer. There’s now price competition that didn’t exist before. “Now buyers have the power because they have more choices and access to more information.”

Adding to this is “The Carbon Copy Scenario” (see our other article). This is the consumer’s inability to determine whether any of the companies they’re considering are any different, better or worse than any of the others. Since all of their marketing is underdeveloped, underleveraged and essentially says the same thing, the only difference the customer can determine is…the price!

As a result, many business owners are forced to compete on price, which is always a losing proposition. Compounding the situation, their marketing strategy doesn’t address “The Buyer’s Spectrum” (see our other article) and “The 6 Stages Of The Customer Buying Cycle”. Since they lack effective follow up systems, the majority of potential new customers are lost to their competitors.

We’re going to discuss the 6 stages of the customer buying cycle and how it affects you.

Franchise Anyone?

December 6th, 2011

What is keeping you from owning your own successful and highly-profitable business?

It is no secret that business ownership has always been desired and sought-after. Since surges of immigrants starting coming to America over 100 years ago, freedom and liberation was the lifestyle that everyone desired, and business ownership is undoubtedly the best way to achieve that. The fundamentals and benefits are no longer a big secret anymore for the entrepreneur, but the mystery has instead been replaced by the myriad of modern day elements like patents, entities, taxation, merchant services, online marketing and more. Moreover, for any great business, you need a great concept that is going to take this business to great heights. Unless you are one of the very few that can come up and prove a perfect necessity of today’s culture, a very satisfying means of business ownership is utilizing an existing formula that is currently working – I’m not talking about stealing someone’s idea, I’m talking about the entrepreneur’s best form of partnership…franchising.

The benefits of owning a franchise are relatively straightforward; one has the ability to pick up where the franchisor left off, meaning they can take full advantage of all of the mistakes the franchisor has already made. Owning a franchise is not necessarily turn-key, but one will have the knowledge on where to build or set up shop, how to market, who to hire, what other services to utilize and so. This can save a new franchisee tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars getting their business up and running, and successful. For some business systems, special supplies, equipment or software is necessary, and it certainly makes easier if someone else had already done the research on which is best to use and has already set up a relationship with such vendors; another money saver.  When it comes to marketing, any business owner can tell you that there are a million ways to spend your money, some of which are very effective, while others not so much.  A franchisor with a strong radio, TV or web presence will usually make your business grow that much faster.  All of these elements ultimately help you achieve your first goal as a business owner – to break even or get your return on your investment (ROI).

According to the SBA, 50% of new (regular) businesses will fail in the first year, and 50% of those will fail in the second year.  This gives a “mom and pop” business a 25% chance of success of making through 2 years. Beyond that, many will have to hit the 5‐year mark before they obtain the ROI.  Now compare these numbers to the typical franchise where approximately 85% are still operating after 5 years and many hit the ROI point after 2‐3 years.  Statistically, it is obvious that getting behind a franchise system is the smartest way,  for the right person, to be a successful business owner, but it isn’t right for everyone.  Still for those who are interested in going this route, the task of finding the best‐suited business for them is daunting.  Currently, there are nearly 3,400 franchise concepts represented in the US, and while I cannot claim to know everything about all of them, a franchise consultant can sort out the franchise template and navigate my way through the federally‐regulated franchise documents to assist anyone in making the best decision for themselves.  Now, what are you waiting for?

What is LinkedIn?

November 8th, 2011

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is basically the Facebook for business owners as well as for employees. The way that LinkedIn is set up is tremendously different from other social media sites. Linked in is basically like putting one’s resume up for everyone to see. This can help both the employer and the employee.

How does it benefit business professionals?

LinkedIn enables business owners to connect with each other and find networking opportunities. This helps them build their network and can potentially lead to more clients.  Since LinkedIn functions as an electronic resume (that includes more information) it can lure connections to one’s business. When using LinkedIn professionals and employees can be sure that they can safely connect with others, which means that there will hardly be a chance for some random person asking to be a connection. By utilizing LinkedIn, one can be sure that they can essentially create a synergy of knowledge just from talking with other business professionals of various backgrounds.

Are You a Chaser or Living Your Dreams?

October 14th, 2011

As I watching a football game, the fans were booing the home team. I often think how would a fan feel,  if the players came to their jobs and booed them at their performance. The fan is paid to be entertainment, but not good enough to be in the game. I have heard of the tedious workout schedule Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods have.  As I imagine how most  employees would say if they had to work 10 to 12 hours day, I visualize a lot of complaining. Most of us want the benefits of a better life, but do we want to pay the price? I can recall a minister friend of mine that liked my ’96 black ragtop Cadillac, he wanted the car, but not the car payment or better yet, the responsibility that comes with the car.

Ask yourself, “When will our economy get better?”  I have heard 2nd half of this year, 2015, and 2022. No one person  or one party can fixed this, it must start with ourself. I do agree Wallstreet can take a lot of blame and rightfully so.So what? We can keep blaming or become apart of ‘your’ solution.

As I speak to each one of you, you have no idea the talent pool my clientele has. Collectivley, we can help each other or point someone in the right direction.  This is why I have decided to reconstruct my next event. I know what I would like to schedule, but the event is about you. I want to hear from you: I only have one question. The more responses, the better the format will be.

Please click on the survey question to let us know, how can better assist your business needs for my next event. Thanks

Coop’s Event Survey

Recap of Coop’s Tax Tips

September 15th, 2011

As the economy keeps changing, I am noticing how you are adapting to it. I have enclosed the future top ten jobs. Two things I want to notice:

1)    All of the listed jobs requires a minimum of a BS degree.
2)    I am about to mentioned the A-word, one of the top three jobs is Accounting/Auditor. Auditor is the A-word. The IRS, FTB and BOE are hiring auditors. They are terminating other staff people, but are hiring a boat load of auditors and their sole purpose is to retrieve money for our pockets. Our government is broke, so please learn how to be in compliance on the new rules and regulations.

Remember, there is “no premium on ignorance.” Being Average is over with people, our new economy does not allow for being average.

Q. Why would having your e-mail end with hotmail, AOL, yahoo, etc. make your business lack credibility?

A. I got this info from an IRS auditor. It is called pre-screening and it does hurt your credibility in other areas. By having your email end with the aforementioned domains, this does not show that your business is credible. If the IRS should see your email which contains one of the previously mentioned servers then they can view your company as a “hobby” rather than a business. If you are applying for MBE this could have a negative impact on your company as well.

Q. Can you name the 4 items that will sniff out an IRS audit?

A. Your e-mail address, the type of entity you are established, home base business and if you self-prepared the returns.
Single member LLC, Schedule C & E business, and home based businesses

Q. Did you know that one entity can have a 35% chance of being audited why another one has only 10%?

A. Sole proprietorships have 35% while corporations have 10%

Q. Do you know what the IRS requires as a tax deduction?

A. The qualifications for a tax deduction are: proof of receipt and proof of payment.

Other questions: Do you know what MBE is? What are the pros & cons for buying/leasing a car? Who do you need to build a great team?

A. MBE is Minority Business Enterprise certification. Most white men are excluded from this category, unless they can prove their heritage. Examples of MBE would be: White husband & wife, and the wife owns 60% of the business (wife-woman is a minority-one part), black husband & wife own a business (black man, black woman, and woman-three part).

Lease Buy
Gas Gas
Insurance Insurance
Repairs Repairs
Lease Payments Auto Interest & Depreciation

How to build a great team using MBA: Marketer, Banker, and Accountant

M- Website, blog, and social media, (catapults your business)
B- You should know the name of branch manager and loan personnel. They need to know you as a human being not just an account number
A-they are able to catch all safety net of building your business

Externality, What Does It Mean?

August 17th, 2011

I have spoken to several of you regarding your concerns about our economy. This is why I encourage you that if you have a job, do something on the side to generate revenue and if you have a business create another revenue stream that will compliment your company. As you can clearly see, our government is not looking after our best interest. Here are some figures for you to think about:

Unemployment rates:

18 to 24 years old- 25%
Blacks- 16%
Whites/Asians- 8%
BS degree or higher- 4.2%
Overall- 9.2%
Los Angeles County- 20%

Externality, according to Wikepedia is defined in economics as an externality (or transaction spillover) is a cost or benefit, not transmitted through prices, [1] incurred by a party who did not agree to the action causing the cost or benefit. A benefit in this case is called a positive externality or external benefit, while a cost is called a negative externality or external cost.

Now, statistics above are great examples of “negative externality” we did not ask for this, but we are truly caught in the middle.

I posted a joke on Facebook. I asked knock knock who’s there? Who? Not your job! This is not a joke; jobs are moving overseas at an alarming rate because labor costs and corporate taxes are cheaper. As long as there are no tariffs taxes imposes on these US companies, heck even I would take advantage of that if I was in that industry. Here is one of “our” debates, there are 43% Americans that do not pay Federal income taxes, but big companies have over $2 trillion overseas tax free. In addition, they have hired over 100k non-American employees. It may not fair, but it is legal on both sides. We have a welfare system for the poor as well as the rich. Personally, I like the rich welfare system better. In my opinion, this has to change on both sides because “we” the people are in the middle, paying for this!

FAA has furlough (laid off without pay) about 4k employees, some will be called back; some will not. You may not think that this will affect you, please think again. If you work for the government federal and below, this could mean budget cuts in your department. It has already happened to two people that I know.

Exactly What is E-mail Marketing?

June 29th, 2011

Email Marketing is an effective and affordable way to stay engaged with current and prospective customers.

Here’s what happens when you use Email Marketing:

  • Your customers are reminded of you.
  • Your customers repeat business with you because you give great advice or information through your emails.
  • New customers appear since current customers share your emails with their coworkers, friends and family.

Seven quick Email Marketing tips:

  1. Less is More, Get it Out the Door.  We are all short on time, whether you are creating an email to send or you are reading emails from your inbox.  Share only what’s important and get it done.
  2. Do YOU.  Write in your voice, share your perspective and let your personality shine through your emails.  If you have a sense of humor, let it out!
  3. You Have What It Takes.  You don’t have to be a bestselling author to create an email.  Write about what you know, and share it.  You have a passion for being in the business you are in, so share what you know.  It’s not about what you can get, it’s what you can give in email.  Give and they’ll keep coming back.
  4. Don’t Offend.  Avoid the topics of religion, politics, sports, or just plain getting too personal about your life.  You don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable, so stick to what you know
For more information about CAS Buck you can email us at
CAS Buck

How To Brand Your Business

May 25th, 2011

What comes to mind when you hear the terms “Swoosh”, The Golden Arches or Starbucks? The term “swoosh” may lead one to think of a pair of shoes, a set of golf balls or maybe a pair of sunglasses, all manufactured by Nike. The term “Golden Arches” has become synonymous of the McDonald’s Corporation, and the term “Starbucks” may revert your memory back to a good cup of coffee you had this morning. Other than the fact that they are billion dollar corporations, what do Nike, McDonald’s and Starbucks all have in common? They are all big companies that understand the importance and power of their brand.

Today, brands are more important than ever. Your company’s brand is its identity – it is what sets your company, product and services apart and makes you stand out from your competition. Your brand can take many forms, including your company’s name, logo, slogan, color scheme or jingle. It establishes the “personality” of your company, its products and services, and it allows your current and potential clients to view your company, products and services with a certain level of trust and credibility. Your company’s brand is, therefore, one of the most powerful elements in establishing your company’s “Corporate Identity”, as it indicates what your company is able to offer and provide to clients.

Branding is often used as a marketing strategy. Clients have to be aware of your brand to consider using your company. Branding familiarizes the public with your company’s products and services. In establishing “brand awareness”, you want clients to have the ability to recognize and associate your brand, whether it is a name, logo or slogan, with your product or services. Your goal is to have clients think of and desire your brand of products and services over that of your competitors. Just as Coca-Cola wants consumers to desire their products over that of Pepsi, you want your brand to place you at the forefront of your market.