7 Things to Consider When Deciding On your Product Packaging

So you’ve perfected your product and now it’s time to package it. Every successful product must be presented in an attractive, functional manner that stands out from the competition. But before you go ahead with packaging, there are some key considerations to bear in mind.

Don’t know where to start? We’re here to help.

Read on to learn more about the top seven things you should consider when deciding on your product packaging!

What Your Packaging Says About Your Product

Before we dive into the details, it’s important to consider how your packaging communicates with potential customers. This means you must be strategic about the design and materials used to send a clear message.

Here’s what the perfect packaging does for your product:

  • Establishes a strong brand identity that is easy to recognize – With so many products on the shelves, yours must stand out from the crowd. Using colors, fonts, and images that are in line with your identity will provide a consistent feel for customers, reducing the risk of brand confusion.
  • Encourages impulse purchases – Eye-catching graphics and appealing shapes can encourage shoppers to try new products even when they haven’t heard of you before.
  • Inspires confidence and trust in the quality of your product – High-end materials and a clean, professional look can make all the difference in customer perception. Let’s now get into the technical details which will help you make the right choice when it comes to packaging.
  • Makes sure your product is always at its best – A bad review can sink a product, so it’s important to ensure your packaging will protect your product from the elements or any mishandling before customers have the chance to use it. Not every company will have access to temperature monitoring data for their shipments, so packaging that can withstand cold and hot temperatures is key.

7 Things to Watch Out for When Choosing Product Packaging

Now that we’re clear on what your packaging should be doing, let’s look at some of the most important factors which will help you get the best product packaging for your business.

1. Durability

This is probably the most important factor. You don’t want your product arriving in a damaged state or worse still, not arriving at all! Your packaging should be strong enough to protect whatever you need to ship but also lightweight enough to keep costs down.

2. Weight and Size

How much space does your product take up? Bigger items will require heavier-duty packaging, while smaller items can afford to be lighter and more compact. Weight is also a factor as heavier packages will incur higher shipping costs.

3. Materials

What kind of materials will you use for your packaging? You must choose the right materials so that they are durable enough to protect your product in transit but cost-effective too.

Recycled materials can be used to save on costs and make your packaging more eco-friendly. Some industries may be more suited to biodegradable materials such as compostable cellulose, but if you’re marketing to a younger audience, environmental credentials are a must.

4. Design Details

It’s important to consider the design details of your packaging too. The shape, colors, logos, and fonts should be consistent with your brand identity so that customers know immediately who it is from. You can also use features like windows or handles to make a statement.

5. Cost-Efficiency

Packaging costs can quickly add up. Try to find the most cost-effective solution with the best materials and design, while still achieving what your product needs. If you’re not sure, it may be worth investing in a few prototypes to test out different designs and materials before committing to a big order.

Don’t forget to think about your company’s scaling needs too—you don’t want to be stuck with a design that isn’t suitable as your business grows.

6. Regulations

Are there any regulations or laws which you must adhere to when packaging your product? You must check for any restrictions on what materials can be used, or how the package should look.

Some industries have stricter regulations than others, so make sure you familiarize yourself with the relevant guidelines. You can also hire a professional to help you understand the regulations and make sure you stay compliant.

7. Unboxing Experience

Finally, think about how customers will experience your product when they open it up. A great unboxing experience can make all the difference in building a positive brand image. For example, if your product is pitched at an older market, a minimalistic design might make more sense than bright colors and flashy logos.

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the launch of a new product and forget about the importance of packaging. But with the right materials and design, you can ensure that your product reaches your customers safely and in style. Consider these factors when choosing your product packaging and you’ll give it the best chance of success!

Facing Your Debts: Where to Start This New Year

Debt continues to be a touchy subject for many people.

For many, debt isn’t just about money. Not being able to pay one’s debts often feels more like a personal embarrassment than a financial problem. While debts should, of course, be repaid, we’re here to tell you that failing to pay your debts is not the end of the world.

You’re not a bad person and debt doesn’t have to define your life—as long as you work on tackling it.

This New Year is the perfect opportunity to start taking action.

Here are some positive steps you can take to tackle your debt this new year and get the debt-free life you deserve!

1. Make a Debt Plan

We all know just how daunting facing debt can be. It’s important to take a step back, assess your debt situation, and create a debt plan. This debt plan should include the total amount of debt you owe (including details such as interest rates, and repayment terms), as well as identifying when and how you can make payments towards it.

When you’re in debt, it’s common for emotions to take over. Suddenly, small debts can seem like a huge debt mountain. Making a debt plan to tackle your debt can help you regain control and better understand the steps needed to become debt-free.

Debt plans help take away the panic and fear associated with debt, keeping you on track to meet your financial goals.

2. Consolidate Your Debts

Debt consolidation is a great way to make debt repayment easier and more manageable. Consolidating debt means combining all of your debt payments into one single payment that is typically lower than the total amount you were previously paying each month. This not only simplifies debt management but also saves you money later on.

That’s because debt consolidation usually comes with lower interest rates, which means you pay less in the long term. This debt relief option is also good for your credit score as it shows that you are making a committed effort to pay off debt.

3. Cut Down Expenses

Having a plan to tackle debt is great, but it won’t work if you don’t have enough money. That’s why it’s important to look at ways of reducing your expenses to free up more money for debt repayment.

Go through your monthly expenses and see which ones are necessary and which ones can be cut down or eliminated. This could include cutting out unnecessary luxuries, reducing your grocery budget, eating out less often, and taking steps to save energy.

Look for ways to cut down without impacting your quality of life too much. Opting for a sharespace instead of a private office, for example, can still provide a great working environment without costing you an arm and a leg.

Taking these steps not only gets you closer to debt freedom, but it also helps you to get used to living within your means—an excellent way to prepare for your future debt-free life!

4. Look for Ways to Increase Your Income

What if you’ve cut down all your expenses and debt repayment still doesn’t seem possible? If you find yourself in this situation, it may be a good idea to consider ways of increasing your income. This could mean getting a second job or taking on freelance work. Even something as small as selling items that you no longer use can bring in some extra cash.

5. Consider Debt Relief Options

If debt repayment is still too difficult for you even after consolidating debt and increasing income, debt relief options may be the way to go. Debt relief programs can help you get debt-free in a shorter time frame, and debt counseling can provide advice on how to manage debt better.

6. Pay More Than The Minimum

Paying more than the minimum on your debt each month is a great way to tackle debt and get debt-free faster. Doing this will reduce the total amount of debt you owe as well as reduce the amount of interest you are paying.

We understand how painful paying more than you need to can be. It’s a hump that trips many debtors. But debt repayment and debt-free life isn’t a quick fix, it’s an ongoing process that requires commitment and dedication.

7. Talk to Someone

Sometimes the debt situation can be overwhelming, so don’t suffer in silence. Talking to someone about your debt can help provide insight into your debt problem as well as give you the emotional and psychological support you need.

There are debt counselors who can provide debt advice and debt management assistance, as well as friends and family members who may be able to help out financially or emotionally. Being able to keep going when debt repayment is difficult is key to debt freedom.

 

If you commit to following the steps outlined above, you can tackle debt this new year and pursue a debt-free life. Don’t let debt overwhelm you – with the right plan and commitment, debt freedom is possible. Start today on your journey toward debt freedom!

PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS WITH OUR SMALL BUSINESS RESILIENCY PROGRAM!

$74.2 million in grants were given out to over 20000 small businesses for COVID Relief. Grant readiness is the difference between a paycheck and having to make hard decisions about cutting staff and/or paying your commercial space, as a business owner.

And we are going to teach you how to be a star grant recipient. We have partnered with LISC to provide you with key information teaching you how to be prepared for the next COVID, Hurricane Irma, Sandy or major natural disaster — at 0 Cost to you!

The world is changing and your business needs to change with it to survive.

Climate disasters—combined with the lingering economic stress of the pandemic—present immediate challenges to the survival of small businesses and the outlook for long-term recovery and growth.

With the generous support of Wells Fargo Foundation, LISC has developed a Small Business Resiliency Network of disaster planning coaches to ensure that businesses are prepared for disasters and have adaptation strategies in place.

Our organization will provide one-on-one training in disaster preparedness, recovery and resiliency to those businesses interested in learning how their business can better prepare and respond more efficiently and quickly after a disaster to reopen operations. 

THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING A SPACE(r)

We are NOT a COWORKING business. We are a SHARESPACE. The difference is clear: coworking is transactional, you receive a desk, you make a payment, your success is based on proximity and your work ethic. If the playing field were level this would be enough to jumpstart you to success. In an ideal world this would be the dream.

I think as we all work and put sweat, blood and tears into our dreams we can attest that the world is not fair. Inequality and Obstruction exist in the game of business, the game is rigged, so community is what offset the odds, communities of men, women and immigrating cultures banded together to offer support, comfort and guidance. That guidance, that community is how we define our sharespace, =SPACE is built by men and women and they, by people of color and immigrant voices. Once your business or startup enters our SPACE we sit in communion to learn about your vision, we build access and resources around you to even the odds. The benefits are in having an environment that says, yes in a world that sometimes seems to shout, no.

Don’t just take our word for it, the proof is in the sauce.

Programming to Create Impact

Last year we hosted over 25 events, with over 1.8K attendees, during a tough time for so many small businesses we were able to create free programming that empowered, educated and provided access to much needed support. Our proof is in our actions.

Amenities Offered at ES

Our space is 19,000 sq ft over three floors and we built every space to suit the needs of our members, many of the startups we have deal in media and data, and so our space has Newark Fiber, the fastest internet speeds on the east coast. With many of our entrepreneurs being content creators we created photography, video and podcast studios to meet their needs.

Access & Resources

Leading partners and community members help to create a more equitable landscape for our entrepreneurs and innovators to plant their seeds. In Newark, we have forged strong partnerships with anchor organizations, accelerators to incubators, and state institutions dedicated to creating impact. The team at ES is aware that we have to create a network of support to allow for our startups to gain the momentum they deserve.

We want to share in your dreams of success, #TAKEYOURSPACE with us.


4 Doable Ways To Avoid Brand Confusion

Businesses are everywhere and competition is tight in almost every industry. One of the most common questions entrepreneurs get is “what is your unique selling point?” as this essentially sets a business apart. However, there are brands that still get confused whenever they’re probed about their business. 

Suffering from brand confusion means being unable to articulate what your business is all about. In this day and age, it is challenging for business leaders to train all their employees in knowing the brand at heart especially with the ongoing pandemic. Apart from your staff, you cannot also expect your customers to communicate your business in the most precise manner possible if you are confused about the brand yourself. Ready to lose your credibility if that’s always the case. We’ve prepared some steps below which you can take to clarify your brand, avoiding brand confusion. Let’s get started!

 

Define and understand your core. Your mission, vision, and values make up the foundation of your brand that you should be carrying in your head every time. From your company pamphlet to the customer experience and product quality you put out there should be reflecting your core. Pursuing something without having any backbone is just a waste of time. You cannot move in the right direction without understanding why you’re there in the first place. This is crucial in your brand strategy as you operationalize your big idea. 

The way you are perceived by your target audience can be traced back to your branding after all. This significantly affects your profits and customer retention. Therefore, if you haven’t ironed out your core yet, better start now. You need to ask yourself why your company exists, how you plan to achieve your vision, and what are your moral compasses. All these should be aligned with one another.

 

Develop and stay with your guidelines. Once you’ve grasped your core, you should start expounding your strategy alongside the brand guidelines that everyone must stick with. Consistency is key to ensure that all your stakeholders can easily identify your brand. You will be able to set up the guidelines once you’ve had a brand positioning exercise where you outline your audience, market, and goals. Upon understanding the pattern of how your customers perceive and engage with your brand, it would be wise to create customer profiles and then come up with key messages that are tailored for them.

Next thing to consider is the visuals that highly impact the level of brand awareness. Though, again, you should have done your research first and know your brand core by heart before even exploring other technicalities. Your visual identity basically encapsulates the imagery, typography, logo, and color palette of your brand. Needless to say, your logo should well represent what your business stands for. Think about it thoroughly and hire a designer. The colors and typography you will be consistently using will also invoke emotions and certain perceptions from your audiences so make sure they’re aligned with what you want to project. It’s the same with imagery where you’ll want to show the positive effect of your brand to both existing and potential customers. 

 

Establish your brand persona. In doing so, you should have a clear idea of the levels of humor, enthusiasm, formality, and respect your brand is willing to take on. You can then create the voice and tone of your messaging without going beyond what’s apt for your brand. Constantly changing how you speak to your audience will only confuse them what kind of brand they’re subscribing to and would lessen the chances of them relating to you. 

Make sure that your persona is also consistent across all your platforms. You wouldn’t want to have your website full of technicalities while your e-newsletter is sounding friendly. Stick with one persona that you think your customers can identify with. An approach that you may want to apply is exploring brand archetypes which are easily searchable to evaluate how you can comprehensively establish your own voice. One thing to note is that your tone can change depending on the context of the subject unlike your voice which should stay the same. Add this to your brand guidelines once you’ve finalized your persona.

 

Audit and align with your team. Don’t be too complacent after you’ve covered your bases. Consistently audit everything you’ve put out there including your social media posts, ads, and flyers among many others. It could be easier to have a tracking software or document that will allow you to see all your assets in one place. 

Touch base with your team from time to time as well. Make sure that you all agree on a singular message so that the answer to what your business is all about would be something that is top of mind. When coming up with a concise answer, consider the problem you’re trying to solve and the reward of subscribing to your proposed solution. 

These are only four doable ways that can help you and your team avoid brand confusion. Remember to establish the backbone first of your brand before zeroing in on the execution. You can also involve your teammates in planning the best way to project your brand and evaluate the strategy every now and then. Now, don’t waste any time and start your branding journey!

2020 End Of Year Report

=SPACE Sharespace & Incubator presents our 2020 EOY Report. This report showcases the hard work our team put into making this a successful year. We care about the well-being of our community members; and about the future of entrepreneurship, generational wealth, and true excellence. We are the future and will continue to fight for our mission to provide equal space, opportunity, and resources.

Download Full Report Here

Read Full Report Here

CHECK OUT OUR 2020 END OF YEAR SIZZLE REEL TOO!

NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant [Phase 2]

NJEDA will award a total of $45 million in federal CARES Act funding to small businesses. To support the Governor’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, $15 million will be reserved for businesses in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts, $15 million of Phase 2 funding will be set aside to support qualified businesses located in one of the 715 census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone.

NJEDA has collaborated with a multitude of NJ organizations and businesses to provide info-webinars on eligibility, application processing, and will answer any other questions you may have. The upcoming webinars are below:

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3RD

LGBTQIA x EDA Webinar 

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

Registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/

Carlos Medina Statewide Hispanic Chamber x EDA Webinar

5:00 – 6:00 PM EST

Registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82971141932?pwd=eFVTcEM5RnhWclQvV1c5Q2FuY1VZZz09

Prospect Park x EDA Webinar

6:00 – 7:00 PM EST

Join: https://zoom.us/j/83720103657 

THURSDAY, JUNE 4TH

Port Authority x EDA Webinar

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST

Join: https://meet.google.com/sxi-aoar-xzv

NJ/NY MSDC x EDA Webinar

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

Registration: TBA

Newark Alliance x EDA Webinar 

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

Registration:

https://us02web.zoom.us/w/89930442868

FRIDAY, JUNE 5TH

Montclair Center BID x EDA Webinar

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST

Join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83975730814

Meeting ID: 839 7573 0814

Senator Ruiz x EDA Webinar

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST

ZOOM Meeting ID: 968 6997 6077

Password: 4ayWgp

NJ State Chamber, Booker, NJBIA x EDA Webinar

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

Latino Legislative x EDA Webinar

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST

Registration: TBA

Developing Your Leadership Equation: Maximize Your Efficiency As A CEO

Do you have an idea of your organization’s vision; however, you are unclear about your next steps? Do you have the tools to take your project to the next level, but you keep hitting a roadblock? Like most people, you have belief systems that guide how you navigate the world. Those beliefs extend from your personal life, influence your workplace, and often govern how you approach your goals. In this workshop, Takeyah Young will guide you through five practical steps to help you map your values and outline how they can help you reach your goals.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Takeyah Young is an industrious thinker, engaging speaker, personal and professional leadership consultant, and STEM advocate who operates at the intersection of innovation, transformational leadership, and entrepreneurship as pathways for legacy building.


Takeyah is a consultant with EsteemLogic, an advisory and IT consulting firm that implements sustainable scalable technology, process reengineering, and management solutions. An engineer by training, educator in practice, and entrepreneur at heart, Takeyah Young provides solutions through personal transformation, professional development, and small business development. A speaker and leadership trainer, she works with universities, colleges, corporations and nonprofit organizations to support women through the stages of their STEM experiences and coaches groups to help them achieve personal and organizational change. Through her community wealth-building endeavor, Prosperity MIX™, Takeyah trains and develops leaders to provide financial education to their communities.


A graduate of Lincoln University (of PA) and University of Maryland, Takeyah was recognized as a changemaker by the White House Summit on the United States of Women. She was also included in Innov8tiv’s Top 100 Women Visionary Leaders to Watch; and selected by Lincoln University as one of their “Top 40 Under 40” Alumni.

Mindsets And Strategies That Will Help Your Business NOW!

This webisode will explore basic ideologies and principles that every small business owner needs to undertake to thrive during these unprecedented times.

Mindsets And Strategies That Will Help Your Business NOW! is a precursor to SOYD’s The Small Business CoVid-19 Survival Plan Webinar

NOTE: All Business Owners that register for this webisode/workshop will receive a $99 reduced registration discount for the survival plan webinar.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Ian W. Marrero is co-founder of Stay On Your Daily (SOYD), a New Jersey based business consulting firm whose clients range from small businesses, not-for-profits and school districts. For over 5 years, former Real Estate and Family Law attorney, Mr. Marrero has provided businesses grant and proposal writing services, copywriting, marketing kits, day-to-day operation strategies and customer-centric scaling models.

Mr. Marrero authored Better Business Practices, a comprehensive workbook for small business owners. Mr. Marrero also developed and taught a state grant funded twelve-week intensive business development course. An educator at the primary school to college levels, Mr. Marrero has worked with school districts and colleges to provide business focused STEM programming workshops.

Mr. Marrero received his Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law, Newark, and is a self-published author of fiction.

SHE DID THAT: Netflix Viewing Party

=SPACE is proud to announce that we will be collaborating with Authentic Convos founder, Ayana Iman to present our first Netflix Viewing Party, featuring the well-respected film, ‘She Did That’. We created this experience with our community in mind, knowing how important it is for people to feel connected and heard. Join us as we celebrate boss women who are building their entrepreneurial empires and creating lasting legacies.

We will be hosting a conversation with our host, Ayana Iman afterward!

ABOUT THE HOST

Ayana Iman is the Chief Communications Officer of #AuthenticConvos, an inclusive experience that fervently promotes face-to-face thought-provoking dialogue within diverse communities across the country and seeks to have a profound global impact on the way we engage with one another. She understands the importance of interpersonal communication, and the need for healthy dialogue that extends beyond the digital realm. This platform has allowed her to facilitate community engagement, offer a platform to other speakers and vendors, and give attendees the opportunity to gain professional insight from thought leaders.