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Branding Mistakes That Can Cripple Small Businesses



Small businesses operate in a highly competitive market, and branding can be vital in standing out. The branding process should be done thoughtfully and deliberately.

Small businesses need to invest in their brands keenly to create a winning identity. However, in branding, emerging businesses need to avoid common mistakes like lack of brand strategy and failure to research market competition.

Chanel brand name on a street
photo credit: Hans / Pixabay

Lack of a Brand Strategy

You need to develop a brand strategy while detailing your business objectives. The strategy should be comprehensive and understand the business landscape while highlighting your competition. You also need to define your brand alongside your type of customers.

Note that an ideal brand strategy is developed as a creative partnership involving the client, the strategist, and the designer. In some cases, you can leverage services of third parties like Agency Boon to get ideas on different strategies.

A comprehensive strategy will assist you in working out what products and services you should focus on. From this position, you can make the right decisions to enter and grow in the market. With a strategy, every team member is aware of their role in advancing your business goals. Even when you are alone, the strategy will guide you on how to win over customers.

Not Researching Your Competition

A new small business should understand its competition since it acts as a guide to attracting customers. Researching the competition enables you to understand what other established companies in your niche have done. Understanding competition allows you to determine where other businesses have failed and how you can avoid their mistakes in your new venture. While reviewing your competition, look at products, services, target audiences, websites and social media platforms.

Note that failure to consider these factors will likely result in you being unable to understand the competition better alongside running the risk of replicating their strategy, which might fail.

Not Understanding the Target Audience

Before you start selling your products into the market, you need to understand who your right audience is and how you plan to satisfy their needs. Generally, understand their demands and expectations. Once you do identify your target audience, designing the brand message becomes easier. Additionally, having knowledge of your audience is an indicator that your customers feel valued and likely to engage with your business.

Branding mistake


Inconsistency in any business sends a message that you don’t understand what you are offering. Small businesses need to present a consistent identity mainly due to benefits like fostering a sense of trust and comfort for clients. In most cases, starting a business with an inconsistent image can be viewed as unprofessional and untrustworthy.

To meet consistency, consider having a style guide for your business’s visual and verbal elements.

Failure to Collect Feedback

Feedback is key to improving your business. If you have feedback channels, your customers will feel at home as they consider your business trustworthy. Additionally, you need to focus on collecting feedback from the proper channels and sources. However, limiting your sources to positive reviews will not give you an accurate picture of the business.

Avoid feedback from friends, family members, employees, and relatives.


Managing a brand has its challenges, especially for small businesses. However, following the right branding strategies will likely elevate your business, especially if you have the right strategy in place.


Four Experiences to Have Before Leading a Startup



Starting a business is one thing, but keeping it going? That’s where you begin to rely on your innovation, skills, and adaptability. And if you don’t have some experiential history of pulling from, you could wind up closing permanently within a year, like 20% of other startup owners.

But if you arm yourself with the right types of experiences before becoming a founder, you have a better chance of success. Take it from me. I use plenty of my past wins (and fails) to inform my entrepreneurial decision-making. That’s why I recommend that you do the following things to improve your likelihood of long-term viability.

Businesswoman thinking strategically

1. Sell a product that just about no one wants

Until you try to sell something very hard to convert, you don’t know how tough the market can be. Consequently, I suggest you take a part-time gig selling something that will require you to stay on your toes. For instance, you might try working for one of those brands that sell items in kiosks at the mall or from tables at Costco. To test your abilities, accept a commission-only role.

Now, I assure you that you’ll spend a lot of time feeling frustrated. Don’t let it affect you. Instead, use this opportunity to improve your proficiency at engaging (sometimes hostile) people, using language that works for your audience and pivoting quickly. You may not make a million bucks at your side hustle, but you’ll become a much more competent salesperson, negotiator, and marketer.

2. Engage in activities that are outside your comfort zone

As a business owner, I guarantee you’ll find yourself in many unexpected and unfamiliar situations. Push your comfort zone regularly to help you get accustomed to leaning into those feelings. An example might be to attempt some beginner white water rafting in Yellowstone. Then, move up to more advanced water or land adventures as your confidence increases.

The point is for you to keep testing your invisible barriers. Of course, you always want a safety net and plan; you shouldn’t just set up a Mt. Everest expedition and hope for the best. And you shouldn’t do anything that would hurt yourself or others. Nevertheless, sticking too tightly to your routines won’t help you achieve much personal growth. Personal growth is essential to handle all the aspects of being the boss.

Leader in a meeting

3. Take on some challenging leadership roles

Most entrepreneurs have been leaders in some fashion or another. Maybe they headed up a committee for a local non-profit. Or they organized a food drive for the neighborhood homeowner’s association. If you haven’t, you should ensure you’ve tried some more challenging leadership roles that will test your patience, perseverance, and resilience.

What would that type of leadership look like? Sitting on a board of directors could be a good start. You’ll be expected to pull your weight if it’s a for-profit or non-profit board. You’ll also have to deal with a lot of competing personalities. Another way to hone your leadership chops is to coach any youth sport. Trust me: Coaches have to deal with a lot. From angry parents to underperforming athletes, a coach’s experiences present many teachable moments.

4. Put yourself on a very strict three-month budget

One of the most significant factors that can bring down a startup is a lack of cash. I think some of the problems are often not so much the lack of funds but poor financial management on the part of the executive team. The easiest way to understand how to spend conscientiously is by putting yourself on a strict budget.

I’m not talking about eating Ramen noodles for 12 weeks. I’m just talking about setting a budget and following it to a “T.” Don’t allow yourself to waver. This takes tremendous discipline and will pay off handsomely when you’re at the helm of your startup and trying to decide where to delegate your capital.

As an entrepreneur, you must make a lot of decisions on your own. To help you make better ones — and to potentially avoid costly missteps — it’s worth investing in some helpful experiences before jumping into the thick of things.

Advising fellow entrepreneur

These are just four things I have highly recommended you do before starting your business, but in the end, your entrepreneurial journey should be about this call for action. It’s important to know yourself, your limitations, and your strengths so you can design a business that aligns with what matters most to you. A business that will stand the test of time instead of failing due to a lack of assimilation within its industry.

It’s great to have a dream that you feel compelled to pursue. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a nightmare. Give yourself a few experiences to gain a seriously competitive edge.

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Tuya Gateway: What you Need to Know about the IoT Gateway Enabler



Tuya IoT Edge gateway enables edge bias to respond to actual events with original computing services immediately. There is a low level of inactivity, value effectiveness, secure sequestration, and original autonomy associated with these services.

Actually, the gateways are essential for converting communications protocols to enable communication between biases using entirely different protocols: gateway affiliation ability and protocol type are two important features of the server.

For example, among the various gateways used in the internet of things (IoT), Zigbee gateways and Bluetooth gateways are among the most popular. Bluetooth and Zigbee still must be ready before they can be connected to the gateway. It is therefore necessary to convert the protocols using a gateway. Additionally, the shadow is also connected to the device.

Smart home IoT

Preface to Results

Tuya’s custom gateway development is the fastest and most cost-effective way to develop a smart gateway for your business. Custom gateway development means that you go through the process of designing, manufacturing, and marketing all of your own products and services.

As a result, the downstream protocol is entirely defined and created by you. This means that the gateway designed by Tuya will only connect to the sub-devices developed by your tone, not the sub-devices in the Tuya Gateway. Custom development results can be categorized as gateway MCUs or SDK affiliations.

1. Gateway MCU A Tuya Module

By using periodic connections, Tuya modules communicate with your MCU. It is possible to stay affiliated with a gateway and control sub-devices with the Tuya module. As a result, gateway services and protocols are enforced by your MCU.

2. SDK Affiliation

Through SDK affiliation, you can incorporate Tuya’s featherlight gateway SDK into your device.

Gateway MCU result


Tuya offers a Wi-Fi module programmed with a common gateway code. In this module, Tuya gateway MCU Accessed Communication Protocol is used to provide gateway capabilities.

Your goal is to develop the MCU program in accordance with the periodic refuge protocol. Tuya also offers mcu_sdk for rapid-fire development. As a result, you will be able to complete the combination development of the periodic refuge protocol in a short time.

Using Tuya commonplace gateway Wi-Fi module, the gateway is able to associate with upstream gateways. Consequently, your microcontroller enforces the downstream protocol preference for the gateway.


  • Support for adding sub-devices that are prepared for pairing and batch adding.
  • Remove all sub-devices connected to the device.
  • Manage the blinking of sub-devices.
  • Manage clusters and scripts together.
  • Remote update (Wi-Fi modules, gateway MCU, and sub-devices).

IoT devices

Networking SDK Result


A quality UNIX operating system is the basis of Tuya_link_gw_sdk. In order to complete the gateway development, you will be able to merge it into the device computer code.

To use the upstream gateway affiliation capability of your gateway, Tuya_link_gw_sdk runs on your gateway affiliation chip. This opening can be applied to downstream protocols.

This result’s downstream protocol variety is entirely defined by you. That’s why, the designed gateway will not integrate with the sub-devices within the Tuya system, instead connecting only to your tone-developed devices.


  • It is very easy and reliable to develop colorful sense functions by using Tuya commonplace information protocol.
  • You can secure your cloud affiliation by using a one-key-per-device authentication method.
  • The healthy-established gateway, sub-device code operation, and remote upgrade (OTA) services improve the efficiency of the device computer code.
  • There is no connection between the pursuing capabilities of bias and the gateway during a temporary arrangement.
  • Computer network management that is safe and dependable.
  • The devices operate online and stand-alone.

Extension SDK result


Tuya provides a Zigbee module that is programmed with gateway code, rather than the networking SDK integration due to the gateway. With Tuya, the module acts as a Zigbee network fellow and can connect directly to Zigbee sub-devices. Moreover, tone-set biases can be created and connected for Zigbee and other protocols. The result is also crucial and versatile.


Aside from the functions of the gateway networking SDK, the extended functions are as follows:

  • A range of advanced features allows you to create Zigbee 443 and Zigbee Z-Wave confluence gateways, as well as Zigbee protocol subdevices communicating with Tuya Cloud.
  • Using the extended functions, you can do everything from creating multi-functional gateways that can be connected to other peripherals like night lights and adult female admonitions to generating multiple intelligent scripts that generate income.

Features of Tuya Gateway

By using standard addresses, IoT Edge gateways will run jumpy gateway addresses. Using this approach, bias can be controlled and information about sub-devices can be processed in a variety of ways. As an example, the information is collected, analyzed, purified, multiplied, and also stored.

Multiple functions can be handled, including information security, real-time device management, scene relations, edge-gateway communities, and long-term offline operation. In this case, the following options are supported:

  • Network protocols such as TCP, scientific disciplines, UDP, and HTTP are compatible.
  • Authentication and access management functions are similar to those available in outfit security.
  • As a result of the complete edge strategy, employers are minimized on the platform.
  • Automatically reconnects and discovers online links.
  • New protocols are established for connecting to subdevices.
  • It allows you to check the status of your router, your network affiliation, and your system.
  • SSH, Telnet, and web configuration options are available.
  • The system is updated, logs are maintained, and periodic maintenance is performed remotely.

Advantages of Tuya Gateway

  • Setting up edge-gateway community configurations is incredibly simple with just a few clicks as you bring home the bacon with edge-gateway communities.
  • Typical effects information models allow unremarkable integration results for effective development by exposing bias through effecting information models.
  • Full-link information security Secure your data by using secret writing and authentication designs and a complete authorization operation system.
  • With Remote O&M, you can manage gateway bias remotely using a secured login to the sting gateway.
  • The configuration of the rule machine and a group of rule coffers allow rule development to be changed.

There are a variety of standard IoT protocols supported. Protocol motorists are available to adjust connections to popular sub-devices. You’ll be able to use the required toolkits to develop motorists for your protocol.

  • Modbus is a protocol used to implement communication between robots.
  • BACnet protocol is intended to communicate between structure robotization and management systems for a variety of operations, including heating, expressing, air-labor management, refrigeration, lighting, access management, and fireplace discovery.
  • OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) applies to embedded field bias, similar to radio frequency identification (RFID) compendiums and protocol transformers. This protocol could be a machine-to-machine communication protocol for artificial robotization developed by the OPC Foundation.
  • OPC information Access( OPC DA) is a bunch of customer- garçon standards that give specifications for real-time electronic communication between entirely different operations. These operations are monitored by programmable logic controllers (PLCs) at outlets, remote terminal units (RTUs) attached to the network, and desktop computers. It is the responsibility of the OPC district attorney servers to keep in touch with these operations on a regular basis.
  • The Accessible Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a popular web protocol for interacting with managed biases on scientific discipline networks. A typical SNMP bias includes servers, workstations, routers, switches, and capitals.

Tuya Smart (NYSE: TUYA, HKEX: 2391) is a leading technology company focused on creating our lives brighter. Tuya will do this by giving a gateway platform that connects a spread of bias via the IoT.

Through establishing of interconnection norms, Tuya fulfills the intelligence needs of brands, OEMs, inventors, and retail chains across a broad spectrum of values and biases. In addition to a robust information security and protection system, the Company’s platform is backed by industry-leading technology.

By utilizing technology to enhance the user’s experience, Tuya’s results empower mates and guests by improving the value of the product and making life easier for shoppers. Tuya offers intelligent business results across a variety of verticals through its marketable SaaS business. Tuya partners with Fortune 500 companies around the world such as Philips, Schneider Electrical, Lenovo, and others, to create smarter effects.


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The Worst Mistakes that a Vacation Rental Business Can Make



There’s no doubt about the profitability that well-run and well-managed vacation rental businesses have. However, a new vacation rental business owner may make some mistakes, which can be costly in the long run.

In this post, we’ll take you through all those mistakes, so you can steer clear of them and guide your business towards success.

Vacation rental property

1. No dynamic pricing

One of the most challenging aspects of a vacation rental business is to set the pricing. The simplest thing to do is to break the pricing down into peak season prices, i.e. higher prices owing to higher demand, and off-season prices, i.e. lower prices owing to lower demand. However, dynamic pricing makes for the better choice.

Sure, to implement a dynamic pricing mechanism, you need sophisticated tech, which needs investing in. However, if you do, you can fix rates based on various factors like availability, demand, and local events. There are some services that provide dynamic pricing expertise as well such as PriceMethod and Smart Host.

2. Listing on just one or two platforms

You want your vacation rental business to be found by your target audience, right? If the answer is yes, you can’t afford to list your business on just one or two platforms. Sure, you should target listings on the best online travel agents (OTAs). However, just because you secured a listing on Airbnb and HomeAway doesn’t mean that your job is done.

Ideally, you should get your business listed on smaller platforms as well. Sure, the smaller platforms may not command huge audiences like HomeAway and Airbnb. However, they can go a long way towards increasing the exposure of your business.

3. Lack of quality photos

You’d be doing a disservice to your prospective guests if you don’t provide them with high-quality photos of your property. It’s important to remember that the best vacation rental businesses are hiring professional photographers and videographers. So, you can’t afford to upload photos you captured on your phone camera.

You should have multiple photos of every room from a variety of angles. Also, if your vacation rental business is located somewhere scenic, take some nice photos of the views as well. Your property photos should also be honest – don’t try putting filters on them to enhance their appearance. Ultimately, when guests do arrive, they’ll find out what the real deal is, so there’s no point in faking things.

Vacation rental property

4. Insufficient facilities and amenities

Even if your vacation rental business caters to a low-budget audience, it can’t be missing basic facilities and amenities. For instance, free Wi-Fi is something that guests (irrespective of their budgets) take for granted these days. However, if they turn up at your place and find out that there’s no Wi-Fi, there’s no way that they’re going to forgive you.

Also, take into account the facilities that your guests might want depending on the climate of your location. For instance, if your vacation rental business is situated in a cold region, you have to provide heating. On the other hand, if it’s really hot and humid in your location, cooling and/or air-conditioning should be provided.

5. Poor hospitality

Your vacation rental may be loaded with the best facilities, but if you don’t pay attention to how you’re hosting your guests, those facilities will count for nothing. Remember, at the end of the day, what your guests really want is to be treated well. So, if you’re running your vacation rental business by yourself, always wear a smile and try to accommodate your guests’ wants.

If you’re employing others to take care of the hospitality part, invest in training them. Also, pay them well. Quite simply, if they’re well-remunerated, your vacation rental staff will be happy, and happy hosts will always be able to take care of your guests properly.

6. Lack of maintenance

A vacation rental business that isn’t well-maintained is bound to end in failure. Think about it – would your guests like it if they arrived and found problems in the plumbing? No, right? So, maintain every aspect of your vacation rental. If a bed is damaged, get it repaired or replace it without giving it a second thought. The point is to offer your guests as much comfort as possible.

Regular maintenance can also prevent severe damage to your property, which tends to be more expensive to repair than repairing things as soon as you find something problematic. So, maintain your property, and the money you spend in maintaining it will come back to you several times over.

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