How a cup of tea and a little planning can save you time and money.
When you’re a new business owner it’s so so easy to get caught up in the excitement of your new business. You’ve got the best idea in the world and you just know it’s going to change people’s lives and make the world a better place.
Before you know it, you’ve created products, written eBooks, built a website, started a facebook page and started to think of the next big idea.
I know this all too well. I started a website www.moving2london.com 8 years ago (my very first entrepreneurial effort) with not much more than a general idea of what I was trying to achieve. I was working 6 hours every night after my day job, all my weekends were spent on the website and every spare thinking moment I had was taken up by the millions of things I was trying to do all at once to make the website succesful. I’d never defined success, so how was I ever going to know when I reached it?!
My lack of planning and lack of knowledge on what business goals, objectives and strategy were really disabled my efforts in becoming really successful. (whatever that was)
So my advice to you right now is STOP. STOP what you are doing right now with your business. Grab a notepad, a cup of tea, go and sit outside or in your favourite NOT WORK SPACE and have a think about what it is you’re really trying to do.
Below is a quick guide on developing a strong business and brand identity. Nutting this out at the start will help you keep all your efforts focused – especially your PR and Marketing efforts but more on that later.
Having these few things jotted down will give you more bang for your buck and more results for your efforts.
This is all about where you see your business in the future. Where is this baby headed? Your vision statement should be inspirational and aspirational. Keep these Q’s in mind.
What is unique about your business?
How would your customers describe your brand?
Where do you see your business in 5, 10 15 years?
Ok your mission statement, manifesto, or reason for being is the ONE true reason you started your business. IT’S YOUR MISSION. A mission statement defines the purpose of your business.
- What are the specific market needs the company exists to address?
- What does the company do to address these needs?
- What are the guiding principles that define the company’s approach?
- Why do customers buy from you and not your competition?
If your brand was a person – what would he/she be like? A brand’s personality describes the way a brand speaks, behaves, thinks, acts, and reacts.
Who is your business primarily aimed at?
Your target audience is so important to the success of your business. You need to define and get inside your customers daily habits, what they like, what they hate, how they consume there media, what they read, where they eat, how many kids they have etc. The more you know about your target audience the better directed your PR and Marketing efforts can be.
Unique Selling Point
When you know who you are and what special thing you’re offering the world, you can get down to discovering your USP – fancy words for Unique Selling Points. AKA the thing that makes you different.
Each and every business has it’s own USP. It’s a matter of understanding what makes you different, better, unique from everyone else out there.
Uncovering your USP
- What makes your business different from everyone else’s?
- Think about what makes you stand apart from everyone else and list it down.
- What’s in it for your customer or target audience that may be different from your competitors?
- What aspect of your product or service can’t your competitors imitate?
- What’s in it for your target audience? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself what’s in it for them? Why should they listen, buy, read what you are offering.
The best way to figure all this out, is to ask friends and family what they think. Talk about your business with everyone and anyone and listen to their feedback. These people will most likely be your target audience.
Loving this article more on USP’s http://www.copyblogger.com/usp/
Blah, if you’re anything like me – you hate those two words. Business objectives = BORING.
But without them, you’re like a ship on the ocean with no sail. Directionless. Your BO’s should tell you how you are going to achieve your mission statement.
Take half a day and really think about why you’ve started this business, where you want your business to end up and how you are going to get there.
- Make your BO’s simple. Business objectives should change each year.
- Make your BO’s measurable. Make sure you can look back next year and say, I kicked some BO butt – I achieve or was well on my way to achieving those damn BO’s and if you don’t – roll them over to next year, but make sure they still align with your shiny sparkly mission statement.
When you’ve got all that sorted and you are clear on your brand, marketplace, customer and USPs – you can start to build your PR tool kit.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog on setting up your PR toolkit.
Click here to find out more about the course Building Brands like Branson – PR 101 course with Belle in January 2014