Sometimes we small businesses are so close to our businesses that we don’t see the wood from the trees.
As owners we are responsible for our businesses, so that means getting tax returns in on time, marketing, so our audience know who we are and keeping updated on those things that enhance our skills and knowledge.
And all the day to day nuts and bolts of running our own businesses.
But how often to we stop to ask the question that ensures that everything that we create through our business is a reflection of who we really are?
It all seemed so clear in the beginning, write your business plan, construct a marketing strategy, know your USP and identify your target audience. But how does that document translate into the real world of business?
For example; how are your values, your message and your voice communicated through your business?
Too often there is so much going on in the now that we focus on the parts of our business that yield the most short-term monetary return. But what about the long-term? How do we ensure that our business reflects the values that are the very foundation of why we started our business in the first place?
Those values that represent what is important to us, clarify what we stand for and bring us more long-term rewards and fulfillment.
I know I’m stepping into branding territory here. But let’s make it clear, it’s not just for big businesses and it doesn’t have to be so complicated.
So I’m going to put it in more down to earth terms. What’s important to you?
Because buzzwords like brand propositions, brand promises, brand identification, do little to engage and it’s no wonder that small business owners run for the hills and pass on this very important aspect.
It’s important, not only because it differentiates your business, it also simplifies your marketing. But branding is often neglected by small business owners because:
- You can’t effectively measure it.
- It doesn’t have immediate rewards (we have to wait).
- It involves the emotional or unconscious part of the brain.
Which leaves many small business owners putting all their attention on the visual aspects of branding, or coming to the conclusion that it’s for psychology graduates.
Marketing on the other hand, we are much more aware of its necessity.
But you can’t do one without the other. Branding is knowing who you are and what you stand for and marketing is making sure the right people know about it.
A good place to start when considering branding
You can be more proactive in determining your brand is a consistent reflection of what is important to you. By asking these questions:
- What do you want to be known for?
- Why do you want to be known for it?
- How will you become known for it?
The first question reveals the essence of your brand.The second question aligns you with your brand. The third question uncovers what you need to do to get there.
Ok, so it’s a simplified version, but it got you thinking.
We might believe that if we just keep doing what we do, well, the branding will take care of itself.
So let me leave you with this thought.
What if everything that represented your business, communicated what is important to you?
Would you ensure that everything that communicated your business, was important to you?