A little girl ties balloons to the back of a chair. On a table covered in a bright pink cloth she sets out glasses and a pitcher of lemonade. Is she setting up a birthday party? Serving lunch to her stuffed animals? The moment she hangs a sign reading “Cold Lemonade Just $1” we know she’s an entrepreneur.

Communication is the path between fixing cars and opening a repair shop; between cutting hair and starting your own salon. It is the way customers learn about your products and services and how they set you apart from the competition. But what do you say? How do you create a clear mental image? How do you reach customers in a culture that’s awash in information?

The EntrepreneurShip will help you chart that course. Together, we’ll define a message that customers find compelling and craft a visual style that engages their emotions. We’ll clearly position your offering in the marketplace and separate your business from the competition. And when storms threaten or the way forward seems unclear, we’ll recalibrate your course and find the best path forward.

Blank Page Entrepreneurs

When a town square included one barber shop, one grocery store and a filling station, a typical marketing plan was simple: unlock the door and sell what people need. But today, you can get almost anything almost anywhere. How people perceive your organization is as important as the products and services you offer, and your brand is the primary way you differentiate your business from the competition.

For “blank page” entrepreneurs — those who create a new brand from the ground up — the challenge can be daunting. How do you take your vision and translate it into simple, repeatable processes that build a compelling brand? How do you use empathy to walk through the customer experience and develop each moment of interaction?

The Captain’s Log offers daily advice for new and developing businesses along with tools you can use to grow your customer base. You’ll find clear definitions for confusing marketing terms and introductions to the basic skills new entrepreneurs must have. If you haven’t created a vision for your brand, take a look at posts tagged “ideas for small business” to find concepts that may provide a creative spark. If you want to see how businesses translate concepts into brands, check out the “case studies.”

And if you have a question, send it in using the “Ask the Captain” form at the top of the page. I’m the Captain, and if I can help you find your way, I’m grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to hearing from you.