As your small business steadily progresses, your reputation will slowly overtake the brand of products you are selling. Your customers learn to trust your words and actions more than the product itself.

At this point, you yourself have become the biggest brand in your store (online or off). Here are a few tips that will help you increase your profits through brand- building exercises.

Be honest - Be honest and transparent in all your dealings with suppliers, customers and employees. Talk clearly and precisely, leaving less chance for misunderstandings.

When selling your products and services, do not cheat customers. Under-promise and over-deliver. When you're making purchases for your business, make all of your payments on time.

Negotiate firmly but politely with your suppliers — remember, they are also running a business.

Be visible - Be there when your customers or employees need you. Solve their questions and problems fairly. The more your customers see you, the more they will associate you with your products and services.

Be consistent - Deliver what you promise on time, every time. Learn from your mistakes so that you don't repeat them.

Be unique - Be different than the rest of the market. Specialize in a product or service that builds up your reputation as a specialist. Bring in new ideas in your marketing and selling pitch.

Build long term relationships - Build long-term relations with your customers and suppliers based on mutual trust. This will encourage loyalty on their part. Slowly, they will start treating you as a friend and start referring your name to their friends and relatives.

Stay focused - Stay committed and focused on your long term goals. Use marketing strategies efficiently to attain your goals.