Excerpt from the Merchant Maverick article What’s the Best Way To Get a Loan For My New Business? featuring quotes from The Golding Group CEO Kyle Golding among others….
Perhaps it’s an understatement to say that starting a business is hard work. With countless judgment calls, details to attend to, plans to make, and business-related things to learn, quite frankly, it’s a wonder that anybody starts a successful business.
One of the biggest decisions an entrepreneur with a fledgling business has to make is how to fund their business. Funding is notoriously difficult for business startups to attain; but on the other hand, additional funding could really jump-start your business.
Should you seek outside funding? If so, when? Making those judgment calls can be hard. We’ve asked some successful entrepreneurs how they’ve funded their business, and here’s what we learned…
The co-founder of VORTTX Training and Testing, Kyle Golding, has a similar story. Golding and his partner wanted to make sure they had a feasible idea before investing money in their business:
Our approach was putting some personal money (neither of us mortgaged a house or anything with risk) into the basics like website, trade show display and digital marketing (less than $5,000 total) to very strategically approach the most likely audience only. This laser focus might seem too risky to some but we knew each limited dollar spent was going directly at a very likely target.
Golding advises that,
The most important thing to do is determine if you have a profitable business concept, not how fast can [you] get funding for the first version of a product or next great idea. . . . If you play the long game with hustle and patience, you can build something not only profitable but sustainable.
Moorman was named to the list of Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 finalists by Ernst and Young. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who excel in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. These business leaders were selected by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala on June 7, 2017 at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, Perelman Theater.
“Being a finalist for an award of this caliber is recognition that reaches far beyond me. This is an endorsement of our teams’ holistic efforts to create pioneering and world-changing technologies while maintaining our focus on and commitment to our cultures of diversity and our triple bottom line missions. These missions move us beyond the limited scope of fiscal viability and embrace our global social and environmental responsibilities as we scale. It’s truly motivating to be acknowledged for that commitment,”
Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in over 145 cities and more than 60 countries.
StratIS, named one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Best Companies in America,” builds smart apartments and smart buildings for smart cities. As the only system of its kind built for the complexities of multifamily and campus communities, StratIS leads the global movement for smart cities in the commercial residential sector. Since initial rollout 18 months ago, StratIS has installed in 150,000 units across 45 states. StratIS is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. To get more information visit: https://stratisIOT.com.
BuLogics, the recent recipient of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Excellence Award, designs, creates and certifies wireless products and solutions for the Internet of Things. With ten years of IoT experience and an unrivaled wireless code library, there’s hardly a wireless product in the marketplace today without a snippet of BuLogics Intelligence. The best wireless products have “BuLogics Within.” BuLogics is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. To get more information visit: https://bulogics.com.
Golding Group co-founder Kyle Golding recently contributed to several articles about future trends in business such as Content Marketing, Consulting and B2B Marketing. Check out his advice along with a lot of other smart people) here:
LogoJoy Blog: Logo design can be an intimidating process. This image will act as the face of your brand, often being the first thing potential consumers interact with. As it is often said, “a picture says a thousand words,” and it is important that all thousand words reflect the mission and values of your organization.
From initial research to selecting different colors and shapes to be included in the imagery, there are numerous considerations that need to be made in order to create the perfect branding for your business. Luckily, we asked 15 marketing and branding experts what their number one tip for logo design is, in order to get you on track to creating the perfect branding for your business.
Logo Design: 15 Expert Tips:
“Branding concurrently connects with your audience & separates your business from the competition. A logo should be able to stand the test of time, still be relevant and attractive 5, 10 and 25 years from now. The best branding connects to the most specific target market possible, not “everyone”. A highly-focused visual directed at that target will connect the brand to the audience. The message, channel, tone, etc. should all be based on traits of the best target demographic for that business. Focus on who your attracting, not your own personal style or taste. Take yourself out of the design.”
– Kyle Golding, CEO & Chief Strategic Idealist, The Golding Group
A business is more than a collection of assets and liabilities. It is also a group of people, and the way that those people interact always has a large influence on how the business does. A company that has a positive culture will have employees that are invested in the business and want to see it succeed. They will also feel comfortable asking questions and offering solutions for discussion. That will boost the odds of finding a solution to every problem, and cause people to come up with new ways to help the business grow.
Misunderstandings can lead to accidents and other problems, but people are often embarrassed to ask for clarification. Managers should try to foster a culture where people feel comfortable asking any questions that they might have. This will cut down on mistakes in the office and it can make the explainer think about things that they had not considered. Make this change by ensuring that people are never made to feel foolish for asking their questions. Managers should lead by example and feel free to ask questions of their own, since that demonstrates to everyone else that asking is acceptable.
The best results almost always occur when a team looks at a wide variety of options from different perspectives. That allows them to identify the best course of action, and then work through any flaws in the plan. Since people who come from similar backgrounds often have similar ideas, the best way to encourage that system is to develop a diverse workforce. To do so, try to encourage workers to interact with as many different types of people as possible. If you have any ongoing partnerships with other businesses, watch them closely to see if they have any policies that you should adopt.
Too many managers dwell on failures without recognizing success, but it’s much better to do the opposite. Workers will be more motivated if they know that their successes will get noticed. Similarly, focusing on failures without applauding success creates a workforce that is more interested in avoiding public mistakes than in attaining excellence. This is one of the easiest cultural changes for most managers to implement. Simply congratulate workers when they do well, and make sure that any disciplinary actions are kept as private as possible.
Look for Honesty
Honesty is a virtue. People sometimes notice flaws in business plans, but decide not to point them out because they feel that their manager will take any criticism as an insult. That leads to businesses making expensive mistakes that they could easily have avoided. Solve that problem by making it clear that your business would rather have honest discussions than flattery. Be sure to thank people who offer their honest perspectives, and make a point of responding to them in a positive way. If it seems like their perspective is wrong, it isn’t necessary to follow their advice, but it is important to make it clear that you have considered their statements. Doing that will make it clear that they aren’t being ignored, which encourages them to speak up again in the future.
Author Bio: Brian Rees is a media relations representative for FB Solutions. In his spare time, he enjoys writing, music, and spending time outside.
Kyle Golding is an Oklahoma visual artist and founder of The Golding Group, an award-winning think tank of business process management (BPM) and marketing integration experts. Despite growing a successful business, he is also able to pursue his painting passion and succeed in that area as well. “I’ve been creative most of my life, in the music business as a professional & transitioning to visual arts,” he said. “The biggest advantage is that most people who live in Oklahoma live in a house. That means you can create a studio in a garage or spare room. That affordability of housing makes a big difference.” by Heide Brandes – for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.
Choose a name that stands apart
“Every business needs to consider a brand — name, logo, slogan, colors, etc. — that connects with the intended audience and stands out from the crowd,” said Kyle Golding, CEO and Chief Strategic Idealist at business consulting firm The Golding Group.
“The most important part of marketing a restaurant is drawing the right customer, someone who will appreciate what you do and how you do it, along with differentiating your product or service from the competition. A well-crafted name can be a big part of these efforts.”
Let customers know what to expect
“Restaurants do really well when part of their name lets you know what type of food they have or what type or style of restaurant is it,” said Golding. Think “Shake Shack” or “In-N-Out Burger.”“Any good branding needs to paint a picture of what it is before you arrive, not only the type and style of food but other expectations such as cost, service, speed, etc.”That doesn’t mean a name like “Speedy Pizza” is the ideal. There are, after all, plenty of quick-serve pizza places. The name should be “universally recognized but specific to you,” said Golding.Take the name “Chipotle” for example. “It doesn’t say ‘burrito,’ but it has the connotation that it’s Hispanic and a little different from Taco Bell, Taco Bueno, etc.,” said Golding.To arrive at that sweet spot, Golding advised, “Start at opposite ends of the spectrum and work toward the center as a compromise.”The name can also give clues about the overall vibe. When creating the name for a new restaurant and bar in downtown Oklahoma City, the Golding Group arrived at “The Manhattan,” after the drink of the same name. “It fits the style of establishment we’re trying to create — classic but comfortable, familiar but not old-fashioned.”
Adding a word such as “café” “or “restaurant” or the acronym for your city could also work, noted Golding. For example, since “TheManhattan.com” was taken, The Golding Group went with “TheManhattanOKC.com.”
“Now people are so comfortable with URLs that you can go with a little bit longer URL if you need to,” said Golding.
“Any business name should be able to stand the test of time, still be relevant and attractive 5, 10 and 25 years from now,” said Golding. If in the 1980s you named your restaurant “Miami Vice Sandwich Shop,” that name “wouldn’t make any sense today.”
Tempted to use an emoticon or emoji as part of the name? Don’t go there, said Golding.
Make sure it translates to merchandise
Consider that someday you may want your restaurant or café name on napkins or on brand extensions such as T-shirts, mugs, cookbooks or food products. How well will the name you have in mind work?
Names that are very long or rely on punctuation may not play out well on products, said Golding. If the name is based on a color, such as in “Red Café,” know that “there may be times you have to print that in black and white.”
Hire a lawyer to run a national trademark search. “When you apply for your business license with your city and state, that should be part of that process, but that will only cover your state,” said Golding. “If you want to do a national search you’ll want to consult an attorney that does that. The cost is going to be less than $2,000 for a total search and protection service from most reputable attorneys, and in the long run it’s probably worth it. You’ll spend more than that on the signs you’ll put out front, so you don’t want to take them down and start over.”
“The ability to not be closed off to new ideas or challenges to established norms is what sets apart an open-minded leader. A person who can look at the best lessons of the past and current while being open to the ideas of the future has the best opportunity to create success in themselves, their business and employees. Being able to change with the times, flexible when needed and decisive when required is a rare thing today.”
-Kyle Golding, CEO & Chief Strategic Idealist of The Golding Group