Category Archives: Business Owner Insights

Nurturing Brand Identity

October 25, 2017 - Jen Washburn

 

An effective brand identity goes far beyond a cool logo or sexy color scheme. It’s more than a memorable name or a catchy tagline. A good brand identity encompasses more than even a product or service. It’s a first impression. An elevator pitch. The experience someone has when they think of you. A company’s brand identity should be evident from its first interaction with an audience to its last.

Brand Identity

A well-defined brand identity influences the way you market to consumers and includes your company’s visual, emotional and conceptual identities. Following a few basic principles can help you build and maintain a strong identity that ultimately pays off with loyalty to your brand.

Be consistent with your name and visual identity.

Make sure you are using the same company name and logo across all external communications, including your website, email signature, social media platforms, marketing materials, trade events, advertising and even customer invoices. Consistent representation of your brand is the first step in building a strong brand presence.

Use a consistent voice.

When you communicate with your audience, you want to develop a tone that aligns with your service or product and to which your target market can relate. Your brand voice should be an extension of your visual brand.

Leverage the emotional appeal.

When customers think of your company or see it represented visually, how do they feel? Identifying and understanding the emotional appeal of your brand allows you to better connect with your core audiences as you communicate your company’s values.

Know your company’s mission.

Identifying the values your company stands for and how they support your brand allows you to craft a strong mission statement that you and your employees can look to when making decisions for your business. That mission statement will become the North Star for your brand.

Stay true to your brand.

Integrating your brand into every aspect of your business allows you to present a unified and cohesive image to customers, partners, employees and other stakeholders. The level of commitment to your brand is reflected in how you allow your brand to be represented, both internally and externally.

Consistency in your branding efforts will create exponential value for your business. Consumers will be able to more easily identify your brand based on the characteristics you’ve established and more fully recognize your company’s growing presence in the marketplace—all while you reap the financial rewards of providing consistent brand reinforcement in every interaction.

workplace conflict

Resolving Workplace Conflict

February 22, 2017 - Unishippers

While the recent presidential election may be over, the state of politics is still a common topic of conversation among coworkers. Differences of opinion can, at times, result in workplace conflict. Relationships can get strained while discussing controversial topics. Read on to learn about the different types of workplace conflict and strategies to help resolve it.

The workplace is comprised of a diverse group of employees with varying viewpoints on many subjects. While a diverse staff offers plenty of unique perspectives that can benefit your business, these varying viewpoints can also generate conflict. Work relationships and morale can be harmed as a result, and so can your business. A study on workplace conflict found that in 2008, U.S. employees spent 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict. This accumulated to nearly $359 billion in paid hours for the year.

Frustration between individuals or groups happens for many reasons, including:

  • Change
  • Disagreement
  • Irrationality
  • Stigmas/discrimination
  • Diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Stress
  • Harassment

As a leader, there are steps you can take to resolve conflict and turn it into a growth experience for your team. There are also steps you can take to prevent conflict from occurring in the first place. Having clear, frequent communication and a well-functioning organizational structure are some of the best ways to prevent conflict from initially developing. Encourage employees to discuss issues and misunderstandings with their superiors before it reaches a tipping point. Clear definitions of professional roles, responsibilities, and reporting structures help to improve both communication and accountability.

If a conflict does arise, your employees will look to those in leadership roles to resolve it. It is important to create a safe, supportive environment to discuss the conflict with those involved. Be sure to monitor your own and others’ actions, being alert to any confrontational behaviors. You can begin by identifying common goals and interests, as well as standards for working through problems. Together, come up with clear solutions that all parties can commit to.

If conflicts cannot be resolved, it may be time to involve a Human Resources professional who is trained in conflict management. This is especially true if:

  • Employees threaten to quit over the issue
  • Respect among employees is lost and disagreements become personal
  • The conflict affects organizational success

Conflict naturally occurs in any group of people. While it may initially feel tense, conflict has the potential to be a healthy experience for your employees if managed well. Encourage employees to debate and offer new perspectives, while moderating closely to ensure a healthy, respectful working environment.

Unishippers franchise owners are small- and mid-sized business owners just like you. From hiring, staying up to date on technology, managing your staff and more, we know that a lot goes in to growing your business. That’s why Unishippers provides helpful tips to keep your business in top shape, from shipping and beyond.

3 Tips to Successful Social Media and Blog Posts

August 24, 2016 - Unishippers

When you’re running your growing business, taking the time to update your blog and social media pages can seem like an overwhelming task. You know it’s helpful, but how do you find the time to do it well? Here are three tips to get you started:blogimage

Know your Audience

The first task is to know who you’re talking to. What kind of people are they? What kind of work do they do? Why would they be interested in your products or services? The more you understand your readers’ background, interests, and challenges, the easier it will be to write for them.  Your blog and social media posts should provide value to readers. Knowing who they are is the first step in getting them to read what you write.  Continue reading

The Elevator Pitch

April 20, 2016 - Unishippers

It happens all of the time. You’re at a party, a family function, playing golf, or yes—waiting for an elevator and someone asks you the question: What do you do?elevator

Crafting a 30-second pitch to spark interest in your work or business may seem simple enough, but any short speech takes time to pack a persuasive punch. Here are some questions to consider before starting: Continue reading

4 Costly Small Business HR Mistakes

September 28, 2015 - Unishippers

Employees can be the heart, soul, and backbone of your small business.  But if you don’t have any human resource plans in place, employee challenges can also become a drain on you and the company.  Being prepared for human resource issues is a smart way to protect yourself from unnecessary expenses (or worse, litigation), no matter how large or small your staff. Take a look at the following to see if you’re making any common HR mistakes.  If so, it’s time to take action to better manage your employees and protect your bottom line. Continue reading

Leverage Your Downtime

September 8, 2015 - Unishippers

If your small- to mid-sized business is like many others, chances are that things slow down from time to time. And while slow days in most work environments are rare, when they do come around, it’s important to make the most of them. Here are some things you can do when you find yourself with a few free moments.
Continue reading

Five Ways to Be a Better Manager and a True Leader

May 18, 2015 - Unishippers

Are you a manager or a leader? Some use the words “manage” and “lead” interchangeably, while others talk about the differences between the two. The truth omanagers-vs-leadersf the matter is this: every leader may not be a manager, but every manager should be a leader. Think of it as managing things and leading people, a concept that is especially true for small business owners who generally must wear multiple hats. Continue reading