We love to share our thoughts, comments and celebrations at Grow Orange.  Our Journal page might be about a new product we are working on, or an event coming up.  It might just be the musings of Lynne!


Love what you do

It reminded me of the importance of loving what you do!  For us it more than a tagline - it is a way of life.  Confucius was believed to have said "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,"   I am certainly not saying that I love what I do everyday or somedays to be exact I don't want to be working in my business.  For those days I have learnt to listen to my mind and take some time out to enjoy what I like doing.  Or if it is an admin day I remember to crank up the music and clear my headspace and crack into it.   Over the last 9 years in business I have (and am ) learning many little tricks to tell my busy mind about the joy I get when I am working in my own business.  The self doubt will always try and sneak in - the emails will always pile up - but with some headset trickery I can get back on task and remember that I have a job I love - a career I love.

Key tips to help you LOVE your work

  • Ease yourself into your day.  Set up a routine first thing to set your daily intentions.  Meditate, sing your favourite song, have a long shower, go for an early morning walk - do something to ground yourself before jumping into the email queue
  • Schedule your email time three times a day - there is nothing worse than going down the email rabbit trap, and being reactive to every email that hits your inbox
  • Plan some mid-day focus time - work on your business, plan the week ahead or just get some jobs out of the way.  Turn your phone off during this time
  • Keep your hours and work in perspective - don't rush to deliver.  Set realistic timeframes and stick to them.  Be kind to you and your clients will respect you for it.
  • Create a to-do list.  Break it up into sections.  Admin, marketing, client work, Other.  Pretend to put a different hat on each time you change your section of work.
  • Make your workplace a pleasant environment.  Add some plants, candles, paintings and remember that a great environment will help the work flow.
  • Get support - call on your network for help and support. You are not in business alone.
  • Don't answer emails after hours/ respect your time off.

 

You can be the best that you are, give to your clients and give to yourself by following some of the above guidelines.

Love what you do

Watching TV, and memories

"On becoming a God in central Florida"  had me hooked from the first moment.  And took me back to 1991 when I started selling cleaning products to make a dollar or two, going from friend to friend with a toddler and a 8 week old baby - how could you say no to me when I looked exhausted and strung out. 

The next few years were a blur with the lust of being rich, making millions, taking the family to Disneyland and going to many, many, many seminars hearing about people that were rich and successful.  Now when I reflect on that experience I am torn between the fact that I was a sheep and bleated along with the masses - through to how MLM gave me my early introduction into being successful in business.

Facts: 

  1. I don't wear loads of makeup and a Pink Suit (sorry I don't have a photo see the photo below to get the general idea)  - but I do know that my personal brand is as important to me as my logo
  2. I got over my fear of talking to people.  It is very hard to believe that many years ago I struggled to walk into a room full of people and strike up a conversation.  Now ... well let's say that it is no longer a fear.  The book "feel the fear and do it anyway" was heavily promoted.  I can't tell you much about the inside of the book but I do remember the title.
  3. I learnt some of the basics of marketing, and customer service.  It was the start of me thinking about running my own company
  4. I felt proud of my accomplishments and success (however small it was at the time) - It was the first time that I could stand tall and feel that I was going to succeed.
  5. I discovered that sales people should rename themselves as solution finders.  And that is something that with Grow Orange I pride our team on the ability to do.
  6. I found the power of associating with like minded people is the only way to empower ourselves and enrich our lives.
  7. I discovered some great books, podcasts and general motivational tools that take me on my business journey

and most importantly I discovered that Orange is my colour NOT Pink!!!

Whilst watching the new show I am going to laugh at the costumes, the cheesy MLM one liners, and how we must have appeared to the outside world at the time.  Passion and Drive and Flash Cars.  I will also reflect on how this once nervous and shy woman has turned her life around over the past 30ish years to now run a fun Orange company. 

 

Getting marketing ready for the business highway

New Car or Old Car?
Often the question of the day is what system do I use for my new website, branding and other systems..  How much should I invest?  Can I do it for free..
The automatic response is to jump to the cheapest and "quickest"
In my opinion and having worked with digital marketing and websites for the past 15 years often the cheapest is not the best. Would you prefer a car that has high miles and is cheap, or a new car with low mileage and a support warranty team. A good website is like a new car. Support, warranties and experts driving them so they know that they will drive straight away and won't let you down on the business highway!
I understand that many of us start off with limited budgets - when I set up my company 9 years ago I have a very small budget - but my graphics looked amazing, my website was ace and I was able to head out into the market place looking like the professional I am!

Building a business/ neglecting health?

It's time to take a break and remember to recharge your batteries.

When I started out in business I vowed and declared that I wouldn't work all day and all night - and then I got busy!  Taking time off in the weekends became a luxury and I used to shout out to all that I was so busy that I worked x number of days straight!  This made me sound very busy and important - but the reality was I was not looking after me!  The most important part of my business.  It didn't allow me to recharge and think about the direction my company wanted to go, and as a result we all just muddled on.  Successful - Yes - enjoying what I was doing ... unsure (I didn't have time to think about it)

Covid-19 allowed me to stop and re-think my plans for the future.  Lockdown was a brutal stop, and a shock but there has been some key learnings that I am now taking into my business, and some areas that I am sharing with businesses that we help and consult.

 

1:  Treat health as an investment.  If the director of the company is not functioning on all cylinders then how do you expect your team to perform.  You are the most important asset to your business

2: Make time for friends and family.  On the first Friday of every month we have a group of friends that we meet up with.  This has been rolling for over a year now and some months we get a great turn out, and other months maybe a few have other engagements  but the date is locked in all of our calendars!

3Your business is not your hobby.  Find other things to do.  

Sometime I find a drive over the hill to the Wairarapa or a walk along a beach clears out the cobwebs - what and where is your happy zone to take some time out from your business!

 

 

The Design Process

Where to start

It started off with the vision of what we were wanting to achieve with the new logo.  Why did we want the change

  • Change of business direction
  • Need to showcase that we were more than "just" marketing
  • Needing to put the emphasis on the fact that we love to help our clients

Once we had established the overall direction the graphic element of the new brand commenced.

logo 1.

Picking the right style was then an editing process -and based on the feedback our new logo concept was born!

Logo 2

Launching our Accommodation brand

Hey Kiwi - Stay Kiwi!

Over the last 12 months we have seen many changes to the accommodation sector and we acknowledge the need to work together and support one another - particularly during tough times.

Stay Kiwi was formed, with some initial trials and errors, a strong cohesive plan has now been constructed with the goal of promoting the accommodation sector through 2021 and beyond.

As part of our branding we have created a fun little Kiwi and used bright funky colours that are eye catching.  

 

Taking a leap of faith -

Coming up with a new brand name!

It started on a Sunday drive up to the Kapiti Coast when Chris and I were brainstorming what we could change the name of our company to.  We bounced around all sorts of ideas - knowing that the key word Orange had to stay (it is the mainstay of my wardrobe and I love that colour) we looked at what other words would sum up what we all did around the office.  Key words like Coffee, Gin, Jazz, all came up in discussion but it just described my loves and passion.  It was only when we were 5 minutes from home that I cried out GROW ORANGE... and our name was born.

Why Grow Orange - it summed up what we liked to do with our clients.  We love to find many ways to help their business grow.  Although we update websites and create great social media posts these were the tools for the business and how effective they were all part of the package to help the different businesses that we worked with grow.

Once we had the concept in mind, the planning started.   

 

I needed new headshots for my Website!

“It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” — Paul Caponigro

I love photography - the taking of images, the appreciation when I see a well crafted portrait.  The marketing side of me knew that I needed to update my image on my website and social media, but it was seriously outside my comfort zone.  I knew that my camera would take an OK image and I could do some photoshopping but just like I can spot a homemade website I knew that I needed to call in the professionals.

With the help of Google and Facebook I discovered Tabitha Arthur Photography.  Right from the first email and then Zoom chat I knew that it was going to be a fun experience.  Tabitha took the time to get to know me and she sent out helpful hints on how to prepare for the photo shoot (including to remember to paint my nails)

Alana did an amazing job of my hair and makeup and was on hand during the photoshoot to ensure that I wipe off my lipstick or smudge my eyes! (It would be good if she could follow me around all day, every day) Then Tabitha did her magic.  A great photographer can take a very nervous subject and put them at ease - that is what happened with me.  I was having a nice time and didn't think about my flaws.  I trusted and knew that I would get a great photo(s) for my marketing

The end result - AMAZING.  I now feel confident when going out to the market place with my new brand that I can reflect who I am and that I have a very professional network and team around me.

-Lynne

Reinvention

Personally and Professionally

I am sure that i am not the only one that has been wandering around the house over the last few months and wondering if I was in some sci-fi movie.  At the start of the year, celebrating in the city with Chris I was excited about the year ahead.   

The business landscape changed in March 2020, and with that came some soul searching and rethinking how Orange would look in the future.  I had time to stop and think and listen.  Chris even commented that it took a pandemic to slow me down and to stop me working insane hours!

It is very scary stopping and thinking about new directions, but it is also energising.   Over the past couple of months I have spoken to a larger range of clients and realised that I have a passion of helping many different businesses.  This month we see the launch of a new coffee brand, and are working with a Wellington IT company to revamp their logo.  Many of my accommodation clients are coming back and we are running a large accommodation group promotion.  

Tomorrow is scary, but knowing that we love what we do will carry us through into our new direction of helping businesses grow!

Watch this space for our new brand launch!

 

necessity is the mother of invention:  Inventiveness and ingenuity are stimulated by difficulty. For example, The first prisoner to tie together bedsheets to escape knew that necessity was the mother of invention.

Why have a strong brand

Effective branding can help build your reputation, make you stand out from your competition and project your values to attract your ideal client.

Your brand is your voice, it is what sets you apart from others.

Your brand is your business identity – the image you wish to portray to the world – and is one of your company’s most valuable assets. Although your visual brand identity is important, your brand is more than your logo. Your brand communicates your business personality and shapes your clients’ perceptions of who you are. Your brand should project the expectations and promises you extend to your customers in terms of quality, service, reliability and trustworthiness and create trust and loyalty from those who do business with you.

A strong brand identity helps your guests differentiate you from your competitors and can positively influence their purchasing decisions, resulting in more bookings to your property.

But there are several myths and misconceptions that small business owners believe that can get in their way of developing a strong brand identity.

Myth #1 – We can design our brand ourselves

We have all experienced the effects of a do-it-yourself brand. What do you think when you are handed a self-printed, black and white business card? What happens when you get to a website that looks home made? People will judge your ability to provide the guest experience they are requiring. Don’t risk turning away potential guests with an unprofessional brand.

Myth #2 – We can’t afford to have a professional brand developed

Having your company brand professionally designed costs money, but it may cost your business more if you do not have a high-quality, visual identity. The visual representation of your identity is something that takes a skilled resource. Creating a logo that is not aligned with your vision, values, target audience and positioning could cause confusion in the market. For example, if you provide quality guest accommodation with attention to detail and a spotless venue , your lack of attention to detail in your brand will send a conflicting message to your guests

Myth #3 – We don’t need a brand

You absolutely need a quality visual identity for your web presence. How do you represent your business without one? And whether you have developed a professional brand or not, your business has a brand. Your company name, how you deliver on your promises and what your customers say about you when asked creates an impression of what it is like to do business with you - that is your brand

You can let it be developed for you through online customer reviews or your competition, or you can take control and manage it to your advantage. Your choice.

The Benefits

Makes your company look bigger

When prospects see a professional brand consistently used on your business cards, website or social media profiles, they get the image of a property that is worth a stay. They will also expect to pay more for a more polished brand and property. If you hand them a home made business card or your web presence is unprofessional, they will think you are small and it will devalue the cost of your room nights and you may also attract the wrong target audience.


Builds loyalty and trust

One of the ways you can separate your business from the competition is to have a unique brand that differentiates you in the marketplace. A strong brand that conveys your values builds an emotional connection with customers, which will attract them to your business if they share the same values. This type of connection makes it easier for you to develop a long-term relationship with those customers, leading to greater customer loyalty.

Conveys stability

You may be the best, most experienced accommodation operator in your field, but no brand or a self created brand conveys an impression that the business won’t last. A brand helps you develop an image for your business that says “I’m here to stay”. A well-defined brand identity projects a long term feel to those who see it regularly. E

Makes your business memorable

Developing a brand identity and using it consistently helps customers remember who you are. The more your guests see your brand, the more likely they will contact your business for information. Every time you get to interact with your guest, you have a chance to make a connection and create a memorable brand experience.


Has your business taken control of its brand identity?

Contact us

Setting up a new business

What should you do first

A) Brainstorm your idea - think about how it is going to generate income.  What is it about your idea that clients will want pay for?  How will they get value from your idea/ product?  How will it make their life easier?  Be ruthless at this step - your idea might be a winner in your head - but it is important to brainstorm those ideas.

B) How do you know it is time to take your business idea to the market place?  Do you have the hours required to get in behind your business, are you taking the plunge or are you going to work in your current role until you build up an income.  It's not easy to start your business and we have found it is not about time, it is about MINDSET

C) There are  different types of business ideas to consider

  • Affiliate marketing - where you clip the ticket on other business products
  • Freelancing - using your skills but within your timetable
  • Products via E-Commerce or Store
  • Services -promoting a way to help people
  • Services and Materials - eg Plumber

D) Market Research - who else is in your workspace.  This is the ideal time to think about your target market.  What problem are you going to solve for your target market

E) Problem Solving - it is not about your business - it is about how you can help others.

F) Set Realistic Goals and Expectations - your business is not going to take off over night, and if it does then how are you going to keep up.  Think about how to grow your business realistically without risking burnout.

G) Name your Business - Keep it simple, have a story and love your brand name.  The rest will flow after you think of the right brand name.

The rest of your business will stem off these facts - once you have the basics you are then ready to register your company, find a designer for your logos, website and business marketing material.

Useful links

https://www.govt.nz/browse/work/self-employed-or-running-a-home-business/how-to-start-your-own-business/

https://www.ird.govt.nz/situations/i-am-starting-a-new-business

https://www.business.govt.nz/getting-started/taking-the-first-steps/10-step-guide-to-starting-a-business/

Marching to the beat of your own drum!

One key area that I have learnt over the past 9 years in business is that it is very easy to look over the fence and see what other companies are doing.  I can't believe it took me 9 years to think more and more about what I wanted, and to stop looking to others for affirmations and acknowledgement.

 

I now march to my own drum beat.  If I want to work late into the night I do, if I want to take off and have a music lesson in the middle of the day I do that too.  By allowing me to shine it allows me to enjoy my work and my clients.  It used to be a case of just keep working and run around waving my arms telling everyone how busy I was.  And I was busy.  I was busy being busy.  Now my drum beat tells me to enjoy weekends and go for a walk or just dance around the office to get the blood flowing.

As a result of my new rhythm I am more productive, I have more energy and I love what I do.

What little areas do you need to change in your business to bring the passion back to the fore?

Key points for someone marching to their own drum beat

  • You can look objectively at both sides of an issue
  • You are passionate about learning
  • Sometimes people thing you are crazy
  • You are always refining your ideas
  • You are never bored!!!