4 Business Motivation Quotes from a New Jersey Gym

Business motivation is everywhere.

Sometimes it’s where we least expect. And other times, it’s in plain sight.

Last week’s gym sessions at Future Fitness in Medford, New Jersey reminded our web design and creative team that physical lessons have duality in other aspects of life.

The value of a marketing agency is multi-faceted, but delivered creativity might be one of the most important returns on your investment. And creativity is just as much a disciplined eye as it is a wild mind. Picking up on the subtleties of surroundings, media, culture, and other walks of life, and then incorporating them into a strategic outreach is what separates a great marketing agency from a good one.

Inspiration is a lot like and idea: it’s useless unless used.

Don’t hire a creative agency to simply create for you.

More than likely, you already have a ton of great ideas. You don’t need a creative agency to be creative. Hire a creative agency to get your creative ideas from Point A to Point B, so your market can realize your true value.

Build Your Creative Ideas

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service creative agency. Based in New Jersey (NJ), we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.

 

Cloud Computing in Simple Terms

It’s not a bird! It’s not a plane! It’s cloud computing, and (spoiler alert!) it’s not in the sky.

Despite its collateral relationship to the Internet itself, the cloud remains something of a mystical and mysterious creature for many employees and business owners alike. Cloud computing is about as much a part of our daily life as the clouds in the sky.

So what is the cloud? How does cloud computing work? Why is cloud technology so important to understand as a business owner?

PC Magazine breaks it down into one of the most simple and understandable definitions around, saying “cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.”

It’s a server that hosts information you can access anytime from anywhere. It’s a technology that enables your phone, tablet or computer to interact with programs running on servers that subsequently deliver to your device.

And, in this day and age, it’s more than an elaborate flow chart linking devices together to a mutual server. It’s more than an idea. It’s a way of life.

Simply put, cloud computing is necessary to the maintenance, success and growth of your business.

Why is cloud computing so important?

Cloud computing is a bit like insurance. Because things happen. From fires and weather incidents to malware and viruses, PCs themselves are fragile creatures. The Boston Computing Network estimates that almost one in three PC users have lost their computer files due to events that were beyond their control.

As technology continues to evolve, online servers can meet the demands of business applications like never before. And transferring the responsibility of managing that process to a qualified service provider is a smart investment that can save you time and money.

Because the impact of data loss on a business is staggering.

The National Archives and Records Administration reports that as many as 93 percent of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within a year of the event.

And studies show the cost of data breaches are on the rise annually. In 2015, the average total cost of a data breach over the past two years is estimated at $3.70 million, up 23 percent from 2013.

Cloud computing is an incredibly valuable back-up plan, or somewhat of an insurance policy, offering business continuity services that helps make sure your business is prepared to stay up and running despite most worst-case scenarios.

If your web site is hacked, your information stays safe and secure in the cloud. If there is a fire or your network is hacked, you can stay live amid the crisis. If a tornado hits and wipes out the power grid, nothing is lost thanks to the protection cloud computing offers.

In all of its (albeit sometimes elusive) glory, cloud computing is the ultimate fail-safe for the technological infrastructure of your business.

Want to learn more about cloud computing?

Contact us for information on how we can help you move your businesses forward using our strategic business consulting services.

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency and business consulting firm. With locations in New Jersey and Philadelphia, we specialize in branding, web design and development, search engine optimization and marketing, and creative strategy.

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.

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Different Types of SSL Certificates Explained

Tall, Grande, or Venti?

Just like Starbucks coffee, SSL Certificates come in different shapes and sizes. However, unlike your favorite cup of Joe, a slip up in your order can set you back more than a few fluid ounces.

Knowing what type of SSL Certificate you need ahead of time will make securing your website less difficult, save time, and prevent unnecessary administrative costs and third-party expenses.

In this post, we’ll explore the different types of SSL Certificates based on two groupings:

  1. Validation level
  2. Secured domains

SSL Certificates by Validation Level

When you purchase an SSL Certificate, you need to show the Certificate Authority that you are who you say you are. There are a couple of different types of SSL Certificates based on the method that you choose the confirm your identity.

Domain Validated SSL Certificates

The Domain Validated SSL Certificate (DV certificate) validates that the domain associated with the SSL Certificate is registered. To validate this type of SSL Certificate, you simply need to have someone with admin rights approve the certificate request.

Validation is typically performed over email or DNS. The email recipient is asked to prove their administrative privileges over the domain by acknowledging receipt and sending confirmation to the provider. Additionally, they may be required to configure certain DNS records for the associated domain.

On average, it usually a few minutes to a few hours to order and validate a DV certificate.

Organization Validated SSL Certificates

The Organization Validated SSL Certificate (OV certificate) validates the domain ownership, plus organization information included in the certificate such as name, city, state and country.

The validation process is similar to the domain validated certificate, but it requires additional documentation to certify the company identity. The order can take from a few hours to a few days, due to the company validation process.

The Organization Validated SSL Certificates display the company information in the certificate details, not the address bar.

Extended Validation SSL Certificates

Extended Validation SSL Certificates (EV certificates) require more validation than DV and OV Certificates.

Domain ownership, organization information, and legal proof and documentation are all required. The order can take from a few days to a few weeks, due to the extended validation process.

A green address bar in the browser containing the company name is the distinguishing attribute of Extended Validation Certificates.

 

SSL Certificates by Secured Domains

An SSL certificate is also further defined by the amount of domains that it secures.

Single-name SSL Certificates

Single-name SSL certificates protects one subdomain (hostname).

For example, if you purchase a certificate for www.example.com it will not secure blog.example.com.

Wildcard SSL Certificates

Wildcard SSL certificates protect an unlimited number of subdomains for a single domain.

For example, if you purchase a certificate for *.example.com it will secure blog.example.com, mail.example.com, etc. However, it will not secure example2.com.

Multi-Domain SSL Certificates

Multi-domain SSL certificates protect different domains with a single certificate, using the SAN (Subject Alternative Name) extension.

You can generally secure a combination of different host names, from the same or different domains. For example, example.com, blog.example.com, example2.com, and different-example.com,  would all be covered.

Get Help Choosing the Right SSL Certificate: Migrate to HTTPS

Selecting the right SSL certificate and migrating to HTTPS doesn’t need to be a hassle.

GOGET SECURE by Orpical Group provides professional web security specialists to assist in the HTTP conversion process. This allows business owners to obtain the proper SSL Certificate for their website, and ensure that installation and conversion to HTTPS is done properly and thoroughly.

GOGET SECURE is the only specialized, branded SSL installation service in the world. We have a unique process and proprietary information that enables us to streamline conversions. We do not provide a “quick and dirty” solution. We manually modify your server’s configuration and update old files and URLs.

Make the Switch to HTTPS

Contact us to learn more about SSL Certificates and for a free quote to convert your website from HTTP to HTTPS.

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency and business consulting firm. With locations in New Jersey and Philadelphia, we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and pay per click management.

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.

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How I Became a Better Marketing Consultant by Cutting Out the BS

Becoming a better marketing consultant is a lot like working out: you can work your tail off seven days a week, pump out extra sets and reps until you’re blue in the face, but if your diet sucks, you’re preventing yourself from significant gains.

I’ve always heard that getting a six pack (of abs) is 80% what you eat, 20% core workouts. For awhile, I thought that was a load of crap. Just lift heavier, run faster, grind harder, be a beast, insert favorite gym cliche here.

Then, one fateful day, after years of maintaining, I decided to leave the beer in the fridge, and opt out of my regular cheat cheese steak. Slowly, I started noticing results because other people were noticing results. “You’re looking good,” I heard and gleamed (flexed biceps) in return. It’s stupid, but as humans, we’re wired for reinforced recognition. It took me awhile, but I learned that people do not notice inertia, they notice the accumulated product of continuous activity and life.

Marketing consulting is a $43 billion industry, employing over 300,000 people in the U.S. with an annual growth rate of 3.6% since 2011.

Comparatively speaking, when you look at industries like computer systems design, which has an 18% sales growth, the marketing consulting growth rate is pretty weak. But in my opinion, there is no excuse for it.  All industries, in one way or another, can benefit significantly from a lean, mean, outside marketing machine.

So, why aren’t we keeping up?

Simply because we are weighing ourselves down with saturated fats and focusing on the wrong things far too often.

By no stretch am I perfect. I am, however, performing at an optimum level thanks to “adding by subtracting.” Adopting a strict NO-BS mantra has enabled me recently to be hyper-productive, where I can manage everything from prospecting, to sales, to work fulfillment, all the way up to reporting, and then on to new opportunity assessment without burning out. And this is for multiple clients! What’s even better is that I still have time, if not more time, for a little Netflix and Chill.

Here are some things that I’ve cut out of my professional diet to become a better marketing consultant:

Pointless Proposal Development

One line that I’ve been testing out lately is, “We don’t make any money writing proposals.”

While this is a pretty obvious statement, I have found it absolutely necessary to say, especially in early prospecting stages. Proposals have their time and place, but they are time consuming. When you put this out in the open, people seem more inclined to appreciate the fact that your time is invaluable.

If and when I do need to write a proposal, I use Proposify, which boasts to “streamline your sales process and help you close deals faster.” And it does…sort of. Proposify’s high-quality, easy to customize templates and online portal are great features. But still, on average, to write a REALLY GOOD proposal with research supported by data, a custom letter with prospect interactions, detailed scopes of work, budgeting, and terms and conditions, you’re looking at anywhere from 2-5 hours. Just think: How much could one of your existing clients benefit from that time. Wouldn’t it be nice to bill a few extra hours each week?

New business is great, but nobody has a 100% close rate. I’ve found that many of my prospects don’t even read my proposals and just skip right to the estimate/budget section. In fact, I have the data to support this. Below are two lost proposals in my Proposify system.

Become a Better Marketing Consultant with Less Proposals

This was a proposal that I spent roughly 2 hours on for a custom eCommerce website. The prospect spent 1 minute reviewing the proposal and decided they didn’t want to do it.

Become a Better Marketing Consultant with Less Proposals

This was actually a second proposal, revised after the scope of work significantly changed. In total, I spent close to 5 hours handling resources, researching solutions, writing and editing. All for what?

Both cases show that prospects aren’t reading word for word of my carefully prepared, thoughtful proposals. I’m willing to wager that I could work in something mildly offensive, especially in the additional recommendations section, without any real risk.

I am not saying to stop doing proposals all together. Again, they have their time and place. What I am suggesting is to be very, very careful on who you choose to write a proposal for. From my experience, and from Proposify insights, most people only really care about “what’s in it for me” and “how much is this all going to cost.” Ask yourself: Can those questions be addressed up-front in five minutes or less on a phone call or in a brief email? Ask the prospect: Do you need a formal proposal or is it okay if I simplify things? Most will say the latter is cool.

Any and All Negativity

“You are what you eat.”

“People are products of their environment.”

The list of sayings goes on and on.

Because it is all true.

To become a better marketing consultant I make it a point to examine who I am interacting with and what I am consuming (television, social media, music, etc) almost on a daily basis.

I filter out people on my News Feed that gripe non-stop. I turn off sports radio because I work in Philly and all of our teams are stacked with losers. I hardly ever watch the evening news (morning news is way more optimistic). I plead (politely) with my fiance when I come home and she channels her inner Regina George and gets hangry.

via GIPHY

Negativity is a cancer that spreads like wildfire. If you do not control it, then it will run rampant on both your professional and personal life. I have found that the trick is to create mechanisms that catch negativity before, or as it begins, to invade your space. Social media can be the biggest culprit, but there are tons of ways to filter out the crap and stay ahead of it.

The Fantasy World of 9 to 5

This post started as a shimmering thought in bed on a Thursday at 11:30pm. It then entered the depths of Evernote, where it rested until Sunday at 2:30pm, later moving into our content management system. I continue to write the same post now at 7:35am Monday morning, and I will need to resume again later as I will be focusing on work for my clients soon.

My point is this: If you want to be a better marketing consultant, you have to put your “Fantasy World of 9 to 5” to bed. It’s a unicorn, get over it.

In a highly-intrusive world, nobody really works 40 hours per week anymore. Marketing consultants know this about as well as anybody. I have clients all over the United States, and some international, which means I’m always on call.

There have been nights where I have not slept because I was physically “holding up” a client’s website as their web server collapsed. I have had Skype calls with people in Tel Aviv at 2:00am. I’ve made edits to a brochure during a Friday happy hour on my phone for a client in Dallas.

As a marketing consultant, your schedule works around your clients, not the other way around. Of course, you need to have a personal life as well, otherwise you run the risk of doing more harm than good. But a 60-40 balance of work/play is essential. It also becomes a lot easier when you are able to hybrid the two.

Lazy Lunches

I’ve never made much money while my mouth is stuffed with a two pound burrito. It’s hard to design a website, or write up a report, when your barbecue-laced fingers stick to the keyboard. And I’m definitely not super productive after a heavy meal.

Sure, food gives us energy, but if you’ve ever experienced couch-lock after chowing down on some grub, you know that your body goes through a process after eating.

High-carb, high-fat and high-sugar foods (often the things you find at your favorite lunch stop) trigger a neural response as soon as they hit the small intestine, according to Huffington Post and Scientific American. A size of your meal is also found to have a correlation to tiredness due to things like insulin spikes.

The impact of digestion isn’t the only null effect of lunch. It’s the entire embodiment of the activity. I associate lunch with “break-time”, an opportunity to leave my desk so I can wander about in search of a somewhat sanitary food truck. Lunch is an escape for most people. And as we hold that perception we lose focus, billable work, and opportunity to provide clients paramount insight and value.

Yes, lunches can be productive, especially those with co-workers, and of course, clients. Casual collaboration and physical interaction that develop around a lunch table can sometimes not be mimicked. Though in my experience, I have found that more times than not, lunch conversations drift away from creativity and problem solving, and hum closer to after-hours talk.

My substitute for a lazy lunch is snacking on fruits and vegetables and assorted, unsalted nuts throughout the day. This way I can keep my energy and focus up, without sacrificing time and money. If you are going to break for thirty minutes, do something that won’t make you feel like crap for another 30 minutes or longer (e.g. mediate, go for a walk, write, etc).

Add to this List

I am always looking to explore new ways to become a better marketing consultant to provide unprecedented value to our clients at Orpical Group. The lighter I am, the more efficient I can be, which in turn will drive more profits for our client base.

If you are a marketing consultant and have additional suggestions on fat cutting, please feel free to email me at stefan@orpical.com. I would love to expand this discussion to develop more fit marketing consultants, promote high energy environments, and ultimately gain more profits for our companies and all of our clients. Of course, I will give you credit and link back to your business and social profiles. We’re in this together – there is plenty of marketing consulting work to go around!

About the Author: Stefan Schulz, Marketing Consultant

 

Stefan Schulz is a web and graphic designer, brand enthusiast, and online marketing expert with 10+ years of diverse experience as a marketing consultant. His work has helped earn Orpical Group accolades including The Philadelphia Business Journal’s Top Branding Marketing and Media Services Companies, as well as Top Tech Employers List.

“I love working one on one with business owners and executives. I love getting tasked with a challenge and I always feel honored when someone has faith in me to find a solution. When someone says to me, ‘We need to figure this out, and we need you to figure it out for us,’ I geek out. To be a good marketing consultant, you need to be like that. It’s like being a full-time Labrador retriever: If your client throws a stick into the ocean, you’re damn excited to go out there and get it for them.”

Schedule a Free 60-Minute Constulation

Contact us for a free 60-minute marketing consultation. Gain fresh perspectives, including insight from a 3x INC-500 Winner. Leave reinvigorated with ready-to-implement creative strategies to scale your business.

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency and business consulting firm. Based in New Jersey (NJ), we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.

Trust the Process: What Businesses Can Learn from the Philadelphia 76ers Tanking, and Their Fan’s Unwavering Loyalty

Photo courtesy of Philly.com and Rob Tornoe.

By Ty Schmidt & Stefan Schulz

It’s a message Philadelphia 76ers loyalists have held on to for years: it’s all part of the plan.

To be a fan of one of the NBA teams with the most abysmally embarrassing performance records has not been easy in recent years. The team hasn’t made the playoffs in more than 15 years and only pulled out 10 wins all of last season for crying out loud.

Add to that the unwavering regional support for local sports teams, and you’ve got a group of “die hards” who are starving for a championship. The wait has been too much for some, but for those that have persevered, for those who have trusted the process, it could start to pay off.

The plan to tank in an effort to rebuild a quality team by essentially rigging the draft is finally starting to come together. Thanks to first-round draft picks like Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Ben Simmons, former General Manager Sam Hinkie’s mantra to “trust the process” is taking shape.

And with it comes a lesson applicable to any business. Whether you’re a graphic designer just starting out your own freelance practice or just earned partner at a prominent law firm in a major metropolitan city, the lesson is the same.

Trust the process.

For Hinkie and his former team, that process has had its fair share of growing pains. It wasn’t easy. And it didn’t please everyone. But it seems to be working.

Just peep the crowd at Wells Fargo going nuts over Joel Embiid, aka “The Process”, and his performance against the Toronto Raptors.

76ers fans couldn’t stop chanting “Trust the Process” tonight.

A post shared by Sports Videos (@houseofhighlights) on

How exactly does all of this apply to business?

  1. We all start somewhere. Living in mediocrity is sometimes a necessary step on the path to success. How long you stay there is ultimately up to you and depends greatly on the plan you’ve put into place.
  2. Have a plan. Businesses that have a strategic plan are twice as likely to be successful as those without. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and it may not be easy, but putting together a plan is the first step toward making it a reality.
  3. Persevere. Chances are you aren’t going to please everyone with the decisions you make. You may even upset people along the way. But it is never more important than in those moments to stick to the plan. To persevere. To trust the process.

The whole thing brings to life the Stockdale Paradox that Jim Collins explores in “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t.”

Jim Collins, who was a Stanford professor at the time, interviewed Jim Stockdale, a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and Medal of Honor recipient,  during the research for Good to Great, which was published in 2001. He read the autobiographical In Love and War, written by Stockdale and Stockdale’s wife, before the meeting and wondered how Stockdale had found the courage to survive.

“I never lost faith in the end of the story,” he (Stockdale) said, when I asked him. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

While being a prisoner of war is exceedingly more severe than being a prisoner of awful basketball, the message is consistent.

The common thread that ties most successful businesses together is they all made that leap after experiencing some kind of challenge. They all encountered hurdles along the way, but in the end they came out ahead.

They trusted the process and now they reap the rewards.

Request Business Coaching Consultation

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency and business consulting firm. Based in the Greater Philadelphia Area, we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.

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The Business Coaching Entrepreneurs Ignore

Your own experience is often the business coaching entrepreneurs ignore. Probably because you cannot put a price tag on it.

We can maintain the most accurate schedules, but ultimately, we cannot predict the unforeseen problems that life will throw our way. Being a CEO puts me in a position to have other levels of management extinguish most fires. But major disasters require personal intervention.

Embrace a good challenge

I actually enjoy a good challenge. Sure, money is a great motivator when it comes to resolution, but there is something about the fire in the belly, the drive propelled by business obstacles, that draws me to these events.

So much of business is second nature to me now, a challenge is actually fun.

When I look back on my career, I recall opportunities…some I created, and others I recognized and seized. Of course there were always challenges along the way.

Unfortunately, a few years back there was a set of related catastrophes so overwhelming that it shook me to the core. Yes, they concerned me, puzzled me, gave me countless sleepless nights…but they never broke me.

I was determined they would not shatter the dreams I was building into a rewarding reality. By rewarding, I mean much more than profitable. I have been able to do what I love, with people I appreciate, people that respect and share my vision.

Money made, and continues to make, many things possible, but in the words of William Henry Channing I wanted “….to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; prosperous not superior…” All of the above cannot be attained without principle or compassion.

I quickly realized that this particular chain of events would change my life forever.

Now let me say, I rarely find myself in the middle of anything I haven’t anticipated. I make it a point to know what may be coming my way. This set of horrendous circumstances, however, really did arrive out of the blue.

As I stated earlier in this piece, I love a good fiasco. Usually, I enjoy the amalgamation of creative thinking, logic and collaboration that results in a resolution that is satisfactory to all concerned. This disaster was very different.

My opponent was the ADA of a bordering state. If you haven’t figured it out by now (especially if you noticed the countless election ads recently shoved down our throats via mail, telephone, TV and internet), having or seeking a formidable title does not guarantee integrity. In my opinion, the individuals whom I was forced to deal with conducted themselves under the pretext of practicing justified prosecutorial law to conceal the slander they fabricated to advance their own careers.

Overcome it

Every attempt to seek a corroborated truth on my part resulted in another door being slammed in my face. Days turned into weeks; weeks into months and months into years. Occasionally there were glimpses of light, but hope was usually short-lived.

Knowing the truth was on my side, while worrying about individuals and families depending on me, I could never and would never subscribe to the philosophy: “if you can’t save everyone at least save yourself.” So I continued to fight. Ultimately, we reached a conclusion: not anything that even resembled an honest settlement, just an ending to a 3-year nightmare.

During the entire debacle, few of my business associates had an inkling of what I was experiencing. Neither did most of my family and friends. While, I was trapped in a labyrinth of lies, it was business as usual for everyone else… nothing to trouble anyone….except me. Many people helped my company and me in many ways. However, no one knew the depth of issues.

Naturally, there is much more to this story. It is my goal to recount it in a full, accurate and substantiated book, which I will to publish in the future. My goal in sharing what I have discussed today is simply to advise you that calling yourself an entrepreneur requires more than innovative thinking and an adventurous spirit.

Learn from it

Being an entrepreneur immediately transforms you into a guardian of sorts. You gave birth to an idea, which led to a business. Now you must be the sovereign protector of all who depend on you: from the loyal administrative assistant who has served you for years, to the brilliant young designer you hired last month. There may be times you’ll have to walk through hell to do it, but you must. Your company deserves it, your employers and shareholders deserve it and your good name deserves it.

My advice for entrepreneurs:

  • Even though you take every precaution to operate within the parameters of the law, those charged with administering the law are not necessarily pillars of integrity
  • Dishonesty is an equal opportunity destroyer, particularly when fueled by ambition
  • Truth, transparency, and a clear conscience may not help you when people are serving their own ego and aspirations
  • Just remember…if your grit is greater…if your fight is fiercer…if your principle prevails…you will eventually win

When I started my first company 33 years ago (yes, I was 18 years old) I thought being an entrepreneur was about getting financially rich. I started with nothing (actually $102) and turned that into millions of dollars and industry accolades.

The “rich” I feel today is deeper than the money that comes–then goes–and comes back again. Determination, which is realized in obtained results, especially when overcoming great odds, provides a greater feeling of wealth then flying first class or driving a race car. What a higher high? Forgive those that “try” to hurt you. Success is good revenge, but forgiving them (yes, you ADA) is the best of all!

Recently I was asked if I could rewrite my past, what would I do differently? My response? I cannot do that and do not know if I would. What I learned has made me a better entrepreneur and man. So not only do I forgive you, Mr. ADA, I thank you. You tested my entrepreneurial spirit and helped me realize true wealth is internal self-realization. Oh, and yes, I will be back in first-class soon and back on the track in my race car. This time it will be fun on many levels.

I love speaking and working directly with other entrepreneurs, helping businesses grow, and seeing dreams come to fruition. I’ve been asked what is the best advice you can give? And my reply is the absolute best business coaching entrepreneurs can find will come from within. Encounter challenges, embrace them, overcome them, and learn for true fulfillment.

About the Author, Edward DuCoin

In 1984, with less than a $500 investment, Edward launched Impact Marketing. He quickly grew the small company into a thriving organization that was later publicly traded on NASDAQ and listed as one of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies for three consecutive years by INC. Magazine.

Edward built his team to include more than 1,000 members and attained numerous entrepreneurial awards, including a feature in Success Magazine that recognized him as one of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs in the Country.

In 2000, after Impact was sold, Edward returned to his entrepreneurial roots and over the past six years has founded three companies and raised over $15 million in equity investment. Edward is regularly invited to speak to business and trade groups on topics such as business operational excellence and marketing.

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About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency and business consulting firm. Based in New Jersey (NJ), we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.

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How to Design a Logo the Right Way

You could be the owner of a small, family-owned architectural firm with a modest staff of six employees. Or maybe it’s just you and you’re running a Kickstarter campaign for a new product that helps keeps kids safe on swing sets. You could even be responsible for building a Fortune 500 company up from the ground floor.

Despite where you fall on the corporate (or entrepreneurial) ladder, you need the right tools to get where you’re going. And oftentimes if you dream big, you need to start small.

A well-designed company logo might just be the smallest in scale, but it is the among largest in value. Chances are your logo will precede your first in-person introduction. That makes it worth its weight in gold for any business in a world where you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Make it a good one by considering these three steps for how to design a logo the right way:

Step one: do your research

Developing a one-of-a-kind logo that tells your story while simultaneously building brand recognition is no small task. And, like anything you’ve done for your business, organization and research is a crucial first step.

From color scheme and size to font and imaging, there is a lot to consider. And there is psychological evidence to support the importance of choosing the right elements of your logo. Take color scheme for example. Huffington Post recently highlighted the use of color in an article that cites how color plays a role in emotions like excitement, creativity and trust. Companies like Lowe’s, JP Morgan and Facebook all utilize the color blue to evoke a sense of dependability and trustworthiness. Paletton is an online resource that provides users with help creating color combinations using coordinating pallets of colors. It is thought to be among the best of its kind because it’s built on a basic foundation of the color wheel, applies color theory and works with a specifically created color space.

In addition to suggestions for effective use of color in your logo, consider consulting online resource guides that offer valuable advice regarding other things to consider as you develop your ideal logo.

Aside from the fundamental elements of a logo, the most effective tool for logo design lies with you. When it comes to your business, you know best. You know the ins and outs, but most importantly, you know your why and how that relates directly back to your business plan. You know what motivates you, and understanding what you like and don’t like is a crucial element in designing a logo fit for your business.

Step two: don’t be stingy

Any smart business decision starts with a plan. A 2010 study conducted by Small Business Trends found that business owners who establish a business plan from the start are twice as likely to be successful. What does that mean for your logo design? Everything. Most business plans outline a vision, goals and the steps it will take to get there, but it is what happens every day that brings a plan to life.

A simple search of Google will reveal the resources that abound for finding logo design applications. There are free and paid options to fit most budgets, but therein lies one of the biggest mistakes you can make. It may seem tempting to cut corners. Don’t. Stick to the plan and remember the necessary steps to success.

There is a reason web sites like “Death to Stock” exist – people know when something looks manufactured. They know and they pass you up because they want something unique. People know when something is fresh off an assembly line.

Your business is worth it. You are worth it. And you are unlike any other business out there, so why not make an investment in the best first impression your business can offer the world?

Step three: Work with a professional

It might be challenging for you to admit. Because this business is not a 9-to-5 business for you. It’s your passion. It’s your dream coming to life. But just because you can crunch numbers doesn’t necessarily qualify you to design the most memorable logo for your business. And frankly, your logo is too important to risk having it not be absolutely perfect. That is among the reasons why experts who can work with you personally to design a logo to suit all of your needs is the sharpest logo design tool in the shed.

Forget working with stock photos or online “logo makers” and work with a professional who is committed to doing more than just designing your logo. Sure, they provide essential services by helping your brainstorm creative ideas, but they do more than deliver a logo. Professionals help you build your brand.

Orpical Group is a local, full-service marketing agency where we use logo design as the crucial first step for all of our clients. Unlike free and paid online logo design applications that draw from a limited selection of stock or template images, our logo designs are 100% custom-made, just like the businesses they represent.

Best of all, we walk you through the process from start to finish. And to us it doesn’t matter whether you own an architectural firm, created a new product or want to become the next Bill Gates. We not only share your belief that its possible, but we also have the tools to bring it all to life.

Want to find out more about our effective logo design services?

Contact us for more information today or complete the below form.

Request Custom Logo Design Quote

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency. Based in New Jersey (NJ), we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.

5 Pitfalls of Entrepreneurship and How To Avoid Them

It doesn’t matter if you’re the owner of a small, family-owned architectural firm with a modest staff of 12, or if you have built a Fortune 500 company from the ground up.

When it comes to big business, size doesn’t matter. Most entrepreneurs dream big. They are all in, even if that means working longer hours and forgetting to take time off. They dedicate their life to helping their company succeed above all.

You believe in your business. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have taken the leap to make your dream of becoming a business owner a reality.

Yet it is challenging, particularly as you are faced on a daily basis with choices that can make or break everything you’ve worked for.

That’s why it pays sometimes to get back to basics. Successful entrepreneurs are, by definition, driven, focused and dedicated. They know there is a difference between working your business and being your business.

So how do you stay on track and avoid the common pitfalls of entrepreneurship?

Pitfall #1: Thinking it will be easy

Solution: Be prepared to work hard

Nothing comes without hard work. While it may be true that doing what you love means you won’t work a day in your life, most entrepreneurs put in some pretty long hours.

A study by The Alternative Board found that 19 percent of small business owners work more than 60 hours a week, and only one in five small business owners work less than the standard 40-hour work week.

A whopping 97 percent of small business owners report working on the weekends as well.

Building a small business requires an investment of time and energy. It’s not uncommon to take your home with you too. Being an entrepreneur means few things out of sight are actually out of mind.

Pitfall #2: Forgetting your “why”

Solution: Prioritize work-life balance

It may sound contradictory, particularly when you’ve got your eye on the prize. You’re prepared to work hard, but burning out is a real thing that happens all too often.

That is why making time for family, reflecting on why you started your business, and doing something fun every now and then is so important. It doesn’t have to be a significant amount of time. Make sure to take time off with no laptops or phones.  Do something to help you re-focus.  An investment in yourself is a worthwhile investment in the future of your business.

Pitfall #3: Running out of money

Solution: Be financially prepared

Managing a budget and staying on track with finances can be one of the most challenging parts of starting a business.

A good first step is to make sure you’re prepared for anything that can happen. Have a healthy savings account you can draw from as you take time to figure out cash flow. While it may be trying, make a personal budget and do your best to stick to it each month.

And, perhaps most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Unless your degree is in accounting, it is invaluable to have the insight of a professional to draw on in times of financial confusion.

Pitfall #4: Giving up too soon

Solution: Build yourself a thick skin

Hearing no and encountering failure along the way is part of the game. It’s normal to learn as you go, and often that means learning from mistakes.

Don’t let a mistake break you. Instead, find ways to learn from what happened and use that knowledge to make your business stronger.

Pitfall #5: Trying to be a one-man show

Solution: Have a support system

One of the biggest and most common mistakes that new entrepreneurs make is trying to take on the world of small business alone.  There is truth to the concept that no man is an island and no business person should be either.

Having a mentor or qualified business coach from the start can be a game changer. Beyond that, drawing from family and friends, as well as your personal and professional network of resources, is a great place to find support for everything you’re trying to accomplish.

Avoid forgetting yourself. Your time as a business owner is incredibly valuable. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or reflecting on the success and growth of your business.

It all starts with you.

You believe in your business. You are living your dream. Don’t let anything, or anyone, get in the way of that.

Request Business Coaching Consultation

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency and business consulting firm. Based in New Jersey (NJ), we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.

You Don’t Need a Creative Agency to be Creative

This might sound odd, especially coming from the project director of a full service creative agency, but you don’t need a creative agency to be creative.

Wait, what?!

Give me a chance to explain.

First, look up any creative marketing, advertising, or web firm. Go to our menu of services for example. Notice that our creative agency services are not simply limited to “Be Creative.”

Why? Because that would be an insult to you and jeopardize our integrity. For us to say we specialize in being creative, would be like you going to a restaurant and asking what is being served for dinner, and the chef replying unimpressively, “Food.”

The Best Creative Agencies Innovate

The Best Creative Agencies Know the Difference Between Creativity and Innovation

The best creative agencies innovate. There are a lot of people, creative agencies, and businesses in unrelated industries that readily create, but there are few that persist beyond creativity and successfully innovate.

Recently, I was introduced to an old (before my time, at least), still wildly relevant, critique on creativity while reading about autonomy and entrepreneurship in the best selling book In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies.

The quoted piece was written by Theodore Levitt and published by Inc. in 1981. It is titled powerfully and effectively revealing: “Ideas are Useless Unless Used.” You could end the discussion there, but we will keep it going for the sake of fun and to help better shed a light on what a creative agency does.

I have read Levitt’s analysis on creativity vs. innovation numerous times. In fact, I have felt compelled on a few occasions to recite the excerpt to colleagues and friends. I’ve always felt that when a quote is often quoted, there isn’t anything more on that subject that should be said. So I want to exercise Levitt’s own words here:

The trouble with much of the advice business gets today about the need to be more vigorously creative is that its advocates often fail to distinguish between creativity and innovation. Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things…A powerful new idea can kick around unused in a company for years, not because its merits are not recognized, but because nobody has assumed the responsibility for converting it from words into action. The proof of their value is only in their implementation. Until then, they are in limbo.

If you talk to people who work for you, you’ll discover that there is no shortage of creativity or creative people in American business. The shortage is of innovators. All too often, people believe that creativity automatically leads to innovation. It doesn’t. Creative people tend to pass the responsibility for getting down to brass tacks to others. They are the bottleneck. They make none of the right kind of effort to help their ideas get a hearing and a try…

The fact that you can put a dozen inexperienced people in a room and conduct a brainstorming session that produces exciting new ideas shows how little relative importance ideas themselves have…Idea men constantly pepper everybody with proposals and memorandums that are just brief enough to get attention, to intrigue and sustain interest—but too short to include any responsible suggestions for implementation. The scarce people are the ones who have the know-how, energy, daring, and staying power to implement ideas… Since business is a “get-things-done” institution, creativity without action-oriented follow-through is a barren form of behavior. In a sense, it is irresponsible.

Redefining “What is a Creative Agency?”

Most people define a creative agency as a company, primarily made up of creative professionals, that offer a combination of strategy, design, technology and advertising services to clients.

To me that says a lot, without really saying anything. We should redefine what is a creative agency. Simply, a creative agency brings the best, most lucrative ideas that you are intensely passionate about to life and fruition. We do this by:

  • Supplementing new and supporting ideas to expand your perspective(s)
  • Converting your/our words into action, beautifully
  • Moving you out of limbo by delivering the rare know-how, energy, daring, and staying power that successfully implements your products/services into its appropriate market
  • Bridging the gap between creativity, innovation, and release to create a fluid path to profitability

Don’t hire a creative agency to simply create for you.

More than likely, you already have a ton of great ideas. You don’t need a creative agency to be creative. Hire a creative agency to get your creative ideas from Point A to Point B, so your market can realize your true value.

Build Your Creative Ideas

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service creative agency. Based in New Jersey (NJ), we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.

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The Best SEO Secrets From 100+ Search Engine Optimization Experts

The cat’s out of the bag. The cheese is off the cracker. The secret is out.

While what happens behind the scenes to make it all measurable remains a mystery to many, search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) are the way of the future. Heck, they’re the way of the past and the present too, elusive as they may seem to newcomers to the online marketing industry.

Personal experience and opinions aside, more than 100 experts in the industry have agreed on a handful of secrets you need to know to create a more effective website. Does it all start with search engine optimization? You bet it does.

And it seems complicated to the average person. All the terms like long-tail keywords and backlinking and the inner workings of Google Analytics can make the whole thing seem much more transcendental than necessary to anyone who’s not an SEO expert or working for a SEO Agency. Yet that’s kind of the point. Just because electricity is complicated from an electrical engineer’s standpoint doesn’t mean the average person doesn’t know how to turn on a light switch.

The Best SEO Secrets

So what exactly are the mystical (so-called) secret ingredients for your business’ recipe for success? The experts have some pretty strong opinions that can be broken down into categories as outlined below.

Build a strategy / process and stick to it (3.63%)

According to research conducted by Small Business Trends, businesses that establish a plan from the start are twice as likely to be successful. The same can be said for having a strategy in place for the role SEO will play in your business. Taking time to put together plans for what your SEO efforts will look like and how it is managed is the first step, but it doesn’t stop there. Sticking to the plan over time, and staying consistent with it, is the most promising way to maximize its potential.

Lead (stay ahead!) of the market / change constantly / keep content fresh / measure and improve (9.33%)

Anyone with a Smartphone or table knows it’s true. Technology is advancing faster than the average person can keep up. What does that mean for SEO? SEO strategies are evolving even faster. Staying ahead of the curve by consistently producing creative, new and unique content in this constantly changing market is the only way to go.

Avoid being “spammy” (1.04%)

Google doesn’t want to upset its searchers anymore than you do, so it’s simple. Avoid techniques that could be perceived as spamming. If you don’t, Google will know and your efforts may end up being in vain.

Hire the right resources / use the right tools (3.11%)

You may know your company inside and out, but that doesn’t make you an SEO expert. And that’s ok. Turn to a reliable resource to point you in the right direction, guide the process and produce content that is more likely to reach a larger audience with a smaller investment of time on your part.

Use common sense/ there is no secret /stop overthinking it (12.44%)

True to the aforementioned light switch theory, experts agree that one of the biggest pitfalls people make in SEO is overthinking it. And it’s easy to do. But using common sense will pay dividends in your SEO effort. Think like you are the one doing the search. You are the one looking for the answer to a question. What does that answer look like? How does it read? What draws you to click on one resource over another? These are simple questions with simple answers that make SEO much less of a secret than even the experts like to admit.

Quality content (17.62%)

There is really no secret to this one. Readers want high-quality, unique content. It’s as easy as that.

Focus on networking and internal / external linking (15.54%)

Establishing an efficient network using internal and external linking methods is key. Back-linking will help keep users on your site, and external linking to reliable sources will help expand the scope of your content.

Embrace video (2.07%)

Video is among the many ways of the future of social media. As apps like Snapchat and features like Facebook Live continue to gain even more popularity, video is becoming a necessary element to effective SEO practices.

Do customer research /build relationships / be sociable /engage (13.99%)

So you have unique, high-quality content that needs to somehow make its way in front of the right people. This is where networking takes on a less technical form than before, requiring you to know your customers. Build relationships with them by being sociable and creating shareable content. Use a variety of platforms to reach as many people as possible, but don’t stop there. Most importantly, engage.

Don’t forget details (1.55%)

Little things matter. Making sure links work, landing pages look appealing and there aren’t any spelling or grammar mistakes are just as important to the overall success of marketing as anything else.

Usability / mobile friendly / make site faster/ avoid technical issues (6.22%)

If the tool is broken, users will move on. That’s why it is that much more important to make sure your web site is user-friendly. In this day and age, that makes being speedy and mobile a necessity.

Focus on keywords, particularly long-tail (10.36%)

They are not the only thing, but keywords are at the forefront of any conversation about SEO. Doing keyword research, understanding the elements of an effective keyword and using them correctly will help take any SEO effort to the next level.

If you succeed, keep the secret (3.11%)

Most experts agree, finding a SEO strategy that works for you can be hard work worth keeping close to the vest. In this case, sharing isn’t always caring for your business. If you find a secret that works well for you, use it! And share with caution.

The above categories and percentages were calculated based on 193 public responses on Quora on 12/17/2016. 

Request Search Engine Optimization Consultation

About Orpical Group

Orpical Group is a full-service online marketing agency. Based in New Jersey (NJ), we specialize in logo design, branding, web design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM).

Since 2012, we have helped our clients realize and sustain high levels of individual and organizational performance. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. We believe in our clients. And our clients believe in us because we are invested in success.