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Running a business is a highly multi-faceted experience that requires a lot of different skills and demands that you wear lots of different hats, often at the same time. For that reason, it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees and to forget where you were going with all of this, to begin with. We need priorities bigger than profit if we want to really have the passion to succeed, and here’s how you make sure you don’t lose sight of them.
Work on the product first
One of the biggest mistakes is putting the cart before the horse. The correct order of operations is having the idea before you build the business around it. Make sure that your product or your service has as much appeal as possible on its own before you start thinking about the brand the model you can build around it in order to sell it to as many people as possible. This is the value-driven model, whereas thinking about building a successful business, not selling a successful product or service, is the profit-driven model. Only one of those models has proven to be greatly successful over time. That’s not to say you can’t toy with branding ideas or delivery methods within the business. Just don’t let it become the focus prematurely.
Keep needling your customers
So, you have the product or service nailed down. How do you set up the branding, how do you price it, and how do you build services around it to help it succeed? You follow the advice of Joe Kashurba and hone down your idea of your ideal customer. With market research, you should be able to understand your demographic and their needs well enough to create the mental image of the perfect customer. Think about them every time you think of changes to the brand, when you think of the price, and when you think of supplementary services are going to bolster the appeal and the value of your core service to them.
Keep your messaging consistent
Internally and externally, your messaging must be consistent. Externally, customers need a consistent brand. Otherwise, it can be hard to even remember a company and even if they do, the fact it seems to shapeshift so often won’t be one that makes them think you’re reliable. But the message should be repeated internally, too. Take your value proposition and turn it into a mission statement or a mantra that you remind yourself and your team of regularly. When you start work on a new project, ask yourself if it’s true to the value proposition. Make your product and services a core of the business identity. That means you have to thoroughly believe in your product and service, too, taking us full-circle.
The best way to make sure you stick to your true path is to thoroughly define it, to begin with. Have a product or service that’s your primary focus, and an ideal customer to target it at, then make sure the brand is consistent internally and externally.