How To Turn Your Small Business Into A Global Brand

Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

There is something incredibly exciting about watching your small business grow from strength to strength. It is a testament to your commitment, hard work, and creative vision – all of which deserve to be celebrated. However, once you have conquered the local market, you may wonder what the next logical step is when it comes to growing your brand. One way in which you can do this is by going ‘global’ – by offering your products and services to an international audience. 

With that in mind, here are some top tips you can use to turn your small business into a global brand! 

  • In order to appeal to customers across the globe, you must ensure that you are providing quality products and services. This means that you should focus on developing your business instead of running with one good idea.
  • Focus on building your brand’s reputation by cultivating a strong social media presence. This is usually the most effective way of bringing in new customers, as they can access your content with just a few clicks of their mouse. Be sure that you don’t miss a trick by experimenting with social media trends.  
  • Conduct thorough market research into your target audience, which may vary slightly country by country. You should also ensure that you take your products to the right market – for example, is there a demand for the product you are selling in this country? Is this something that you can garner interest around? 
  • Another way in which you can turn a local business into a global enterprise is by tailoring your content to your audience in each country. For example, you should ensure that you have a multi-language website – so that your content is easily accessible. This will make it easier for clients who speak a different language to access your website and make a purchase. 
  • Research the way in which different countries market and sell their products – this means that you can find the best way to appeal to your customers no matter where they may live in the world. 
  • Once you have a website up and running, you are ready to begin selling your products to a global audience. However, this can be a costly procedure – especially when it comes to international shipping. Thankfully, by working alongside companies such as UniShippers, you can save money on international shipping while simultaneously providing your customers with excellent, speedy services. 
  •  As with any business, communication is key. Therefore, you should ensure that your customers across the globe are able to get in contact with you or a member of your team no matter when they are shopping. Whether this means they talk to you through email, online, or over the phone. 
  • As your company grows, ensure that you are bringing in new staff. This can help you manage your current workload, connect with customers and bring new ideas into the company. For example, if your brand is performing well in a particular country – you could set up an office space there too. 

P.S. Sharing this article that was written by my friend Rafael Rivero: https://cognity.substack.com/p/localization-an-alternative-way-to

4 Aspects Of Business To Work On If You Want To Be A Successful Entrepreneur

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Everyone who begins their adventure into the world of business does so with the hope that they’ll be the biggest success. The fantasies are all around and the idea of creating something from nothing becomes more and more enticing as the plans are worked out. A business can really change your life for the better, and not just in a financial sense. The full autonomy and the creativity together make for a marvelous duo. 

It’s not just a case of being able to set up a small business and heading on your way, though. You need to have a little bit about yourself. Sure, you do see a lot of successful entrepreneurs with very few qualifications and basic skills, but they work hard in the areas that count – and these other abilities put them in great positions. There are many aspects of business that one must learn if they’re to become a successful CEO, but some are a little more imperative than others. Here are four examples of sectors that you must work on if you’re to thrive as an entrepreneur: 

Marketing

Marketing is an extremely vital part of business. If you cannot win people over and make them fall in love with what you have to offer, then you’re not going to get the longevity you crave. Knowing how to attract people and build relationships with them is vital in terms of making your brand stick out from the rest. It’s not just your products that people will want to be attached to – it’s the entire business itself. So, knowing certain digital marketing methods and networking appropriately should be part of your skillset. There will always be little tricks you can do, too. For instance, you can figure out how to lower CPC when it comes to pay-per-click advertising. You could also figure out how best to utilize influencer marketing. The more you know about this stuff, the better off you’ll be. 

Planning And Discipline  

If you cannot lay out your plan and work on them in a systematic way, then you won’t be able to be as productive as you’d like. You need to be a strong and disciplined person if you start up a business because nobody’s going to be around to remind you what needs to be done. You’re the boss. You need to take a look at everything and see if it’s all set up properly. You also need to have contingency plans for when things inevitably go a little awry. 

Finance

You need to make sure that you’re following along closely with the numbers. When things get a little more advanced further on down the line, you’ll bring in finance professionals to help with the taxes and the rest of the books. For now, however, you need to make sure you know what’s happening financially. If you aren’t careful, then you could land yourself in some hot water before you even get off the ground. 

Charisma And Closing 

Being able to deal with other people matters a lot in business. If you can’t talk to people properly, then you should start working on it. Closing sales, networking with potential partners, dealing with complaints, and so many other areas should be smoothly concluded with the right behavior and correct wording. 

Business Potential Behind Your Passion For Home Decor

According to Google Keyword Planner, home decor searches are popular. Keyword phrases “interior designers near me”, “home interior”, and “interior design” gather the majority of the online audience. The pandemic has dramatically increased interest into home decor, as a lot of people find themselves struggling in self-isolation. 

For a creative individual who has a passion for interior decoration, the pandemic provides a unique opportunity for a side hustle business. There’s a huge demand for decor inspiration as people are spending more time at home. Home improvement projects and decor updates are on the rise. For a solo-entrepreneur, it’s a chance to make the most of your passion for design. 

Photo by Manja Vitolic on Unsplash

Treat it like a business

You need to think of your home decor side hustle as a business from day one. As a result, you can’t afford to skip essential business tools that will establish your professional profile. Google Analytics is a free tool that monitors website traffic. You will also need to invest in a CRM solution to capture customer data and keep track of all interactions. Paired with an emailing tool, you can set up your marketing activities and communication. Some email marketing solutions are free for small businesses, such as Mailchimp that’s free to use if you’ve got less than 2,000 contacts. OmniSend is another handy emailing service that sets no limit to your list of contacts. 

Focus on your USP

Your Unique Selling Proposition is the thing that differentiates your business from competitors. It’s a valuable addition that can attract customers. If you are still in the process of launching your side-hustle business, you may want to consider what your competitors are offering. What can you bring to the market that customers don’t already get from someone else? When it comes to home decor businesses, you could consider curating unique items and furniture from vintage markets and places like Etsy and eBay. Keep your costs low and find cheaper alternative to move that eBay bargain to your storage facilities. This would put you in the best position to provide unbeatable furniture offers. 

Build an online network

How do interior decor experts get noticed in a busy and crowded market? The answer: They maximise their social media place. Instagram is a great platform to get noticed and build a huge follower base. You can take inspiration from some of the most popular home decor accounts on Instagram such as US-based @em_henderson and @the_seasoned_home. You can focus a palette of colours or an atmosphere like these accounts do. Alternatively, you can also check trendy hashtags and learn a few tips from their photo captions. 

Streamline some of your services

Working alone, you can’t afford to waste time on activities that are not directly income-generating. That’s where automation can make a huge difference. You can create an emailing workflow to capture new subscribers to your newsletter and share dedicated content with them. It’s a great idea to have unique content that is only accessible to your customers or subscribers, such as online tutorials for furniture painting or choosing the right wall paint colours. 

Photo by Harrison Kugler on Unsplash

Can your home decor passion become a full-time business? There is only one way of knowing! Home design can be a profitable side-hustle business, which you can grow by focusing on your unique selling proposition and creative eye. It is also a rewarding business that encourages you to embrace your creativity and personality. 

Tax Morale: What Motivates you to Pay Taxes?

Being the business/tax geek, non-CPA that I am, I stumbled upon this news article today: https://mb.com.ph/2021/01/25/house-panel-oks-ease-of-paying-taxes-act/ I won’t talk about the bill specifically (you can read about it or I’ll write one article in the future on this). What caught my attention though is the term TAX MORALE.

According to an article of the OECD, tax morale is the intrinsic motivation to pay taxes, as most tax systems rely on the voluntary compliance of taxpayers for the bulk of their revenues. In the Philippines, the tax ministry or the Bureau of Internal Revenue rely heavily on what is declared by the tax payer.

There are some findings on where tax morale is higher in OECD’s report.

My Thoughts on Tax Morale

If you read through the findings of OECD, you’ll notice that trust plays a big role — trust in the government, trust on the plans and projects of the nation, trust in the tax institution, etc.

I honestly believe that the BIR is really trying its best to fix things internally and gain taxpayer’s trust again. But in my opinion, there are a lot of things that we, as individuals / business tax payers can do also to help one another boost our economy.

Support Legit Local Businesses: Taking taxes into consideration in our pricing and setting rates can really jack up our prices if we sell products and services. Our products and services may seem more expensive as compared to others who are not paying taxes. If we can, let’s try our best to support those who have legit official receipts and sales invoices even with the price difference.

Understand our Responsibilities as Business Owners and Professionals: When I started a business several years ago, I did not take the time out to understand how taxes work. I did not check on the financial viability of my business, especially when taxes are imputed. This resulted to me having fees and penalties that I needed to pay. At the end of the day, I realized that I was to be blamed for my ignorance. I relied on other people when I carried all of the risk.

Know how taxation works, ask questions and don’t just shove the topic away. It’s better to ask (even if you ask multiple times about the same thing) than to not know how taxes are. If you need to pay Philippine Business taxes, feel free to consult with one of Taxumo’s Accountant Partners: https://www.taxumo.com/taxumo-consult/. At the end of the day, ignorance of the law excuses no man.

Be a Good Example to Other People: It’s so nice to see people posting on social media that they have filed and paid their taxes. To be honest, a lot of people still feel scared to register and file their taxes. Posts like these help a lot. It lessens the fear of not being able to do things legitimately, or probably not being able to sustain the business after legitimizing it.

We need to celebrate business and professional failures. Let’s be supportive of people whose businesses have failed and don’t judge them. Celebrate wins, too! Celebrate things like being able to sustain a career for a few months, getting your first customer, being featured in a vlog or podcast, etc. Those things keep our entrepreneurial spirit alive and help eliminate the fear of all of these uncertainties that businesses bring.

To add to this, paying our taxes is our duty regardless of where the money goes. I brought this up since I’ve been seeing posts of people saying that their money just goes to waste because of corrupt officials. I’ve learned not to generalize. We have really great projects of the government. Some of our fellow Filipinos were given scholarships in schools. Some of our roads and infrastructure are well maintained. And I bet there are many other projects that are actually great and help a lot of people. Paying our taxes, also, (I feel) gives us the right to voice out our opinions if things need to be changed. Wouldn’t you feel like a fraud if you pushed for change and yet you weren’t actually contributing to nation building?

Embrace Technology as an Enabler: Looking at my daughter, I am always amazed at how they can easily understand how to use new apps. learn how to code, play a new online game, etc. They just “get it”. It made me wonder why is it harder for us. Looking around and asking around made me realize that these are just limiting beliefs that stop us. Most of us see a new tax app, and we immediately see how hard it would be for us and expect the learning curve to be steep. What we can do is just shift our mindset a bit and think like a child — be hungry for knowledge and constantly curious.

Be curious about tax apps like Taxumo. Don’t be shy or scared to ask for help (kids always call on Mommy and Daddy for help). Focus on the potential benefits of technology and embrace it.

Taxumo has daily FREE online onboarding sessions for those who want to learn more about filing and paying taxes. You can reserve a slot here: https://calendly.com/consultnow/onboarding

These are some of the things that I feel we could do that would boost tax morale and also help in our own little way boost the economy of our country.

Feel free to share with me what your thoughts are on this.

We can do it, Philippines! 🙂

Whatuuup?! Learning about Game Streaming

Learn more about game streaming
Mommy Ginger learns about Game Streaming

I found a new hobby! Once in a blue moon (or more often than that actually), I discover hobby, then I get really INTO IT. When I say I get into it, I become obsessed with it on a different level. LOL! Yes, I am that kind of person. Scary right?

I was just kidding. The word that I wanted to use was that I grow to love some things and I become passionate about it. A few of months back, I stumbled upon game streaming. Let me share with you first how we (hubby and I) got into this.

Separation of Work and Play

Like other people during quarantine, we shifted to a work from home arrangement for all our employees. As EJ and I work in the same company, live in the same house, and so happened to have a child together (again… kidding! Obviously we are married 😄), we found it initially difficult to draw the line between work and personal / family life. So we did what any geeky couple would do, we experimented.

We needed to find a way to turn off “work mode” when it was time for family and we needed to shift back when it was time for work. So we started with designating spaces in the home for work and spaces for family.

Game streaming room
Office Space at home
Our Daughter’s Study area and dining table

It helped a little but that didn’t stop little ol’ me from still talking about work in areas of the house where we shouldn’t. So that made me realize that I needed something that pre-occupies my brain, because I am that type of person who suddenly gets ideas on how to improve processes for work while in the middle of watching Crash Landing on You, It’s Okay Not to Be Okay or SNL. I needed to find a hobby that needed brain power.

This is the reason why I probably loved playing boardgames with friends on Friday nights prior to pandemic. I had to strategize. I admit… I’m pretty competitive. Gosh, I miss those days when we can just sit for hours while playing.

How I stumbled upon Game Streaming

But I digress. So going back, I tried playing Animal Crossing on Zeeka’s Nintendo Switch. And, I loved it! I would play it everyday. I would join groups and to this day, I am a member of several communities and Discord groups. EJ and I met great people there and they became friends — whom we never met in person and only interacted with online (yes, that is possible… haha! I say this to people who are skeptical about meeting friends online.)

We were so into it that we also created a Mystery Game on Animal Crossing called the Arbolandia Mystery Series:

Case 1: Arson in Arbolandia

Trrrutttt…. (my attempt to make a fast forward sound) fast forward to months after. I started Animal Crossing Island tour videos on YouTue. I started watching streamers and saw different games. Then stumbled upon a game called Phasmophobia (Shoutout to my friend Kat… follow her here: https://www.facebook.com/mayorakatstream) that got me interested. I told EJ about the game and we played it. We also tried to stream it! haha!

For those who don’t know, Phasmophobia is a deduction game where you find what type of ghost you are dealing with and try to achieve certain objectives. Players are professional ghost hunters looking for contracts. You can play solo (solo runs) or you can look for teammates (again friends or people who you have never met).

Check out our first attempt to figure out how this game works:

EJ and I loved it and we started streaming regularly. We go live and stream on weekdays at 7:30PM (GMT +8) and longer times on weekends (usually after 12:00 noon (GMT +8).

We just love it. I had to say that again. We’ve met amazing people and streamers like Von https://www.facebook.com/Dsector123, Psyver, Shredz https://www.facebook.com/ShredzPH, Epic Delta (https://www.facebook.com/EPIC.DELTA.EP) and other gamers from the Philippines, MandyMermaid from Glasgow, Spinal (https://www.facebook.com/gaming/spinalgaming138/), SoreFeet (https://www.facebook.com/SoreFeetLive/videos/225912582461858), Bytes (https://www.facebook.com/BytesGigGaming) and other people!

What I plan to do!

So, you will be seeing a lot of gameplay videos from me. If you haven’t followed my steam yet, please click on FOLLOW on this page https://www.facebook.com/teamarbo/ (switching from Mommy Ginger) I am also on Twitch (I just started so please do send some love my following me: https://www.twitch.tv/teamarbogaming and on Youtube.com.

I plan to keep on streaming, and it’s for us. It keeps us sane during these times. It’s ironic that a horror game can give us that.

I also plan to study how game streaming works in terms of monetizing the channel. That’s interesting for me. I also plan to build my own PC this year! I’ll see if I can do it by myself.

So stay tuned for more learnings on this blog. I will definitely share what I discover and uncover when it comes to monetizing this.

If you are earning from game streaming, feel free to drop tips below! 🙂 And to those who want to learn how to earn from playing games, stay tuned for more content.

Have a great day and see you in one of our sessions!