On of the most exciting and satisfying aspects of starting your own business is the idea of building a brand. We live in an era where branding defines virtually every aspect of our relationships with the companies we use. Branding is the reason why we pay over the odds for our Monday morning lattes. It’s why we walk away happy to have spent $200 on a garment that cost $25 to produce. It’s why Jeff Bezos will likely become the world’s first trillionaire. Create a brand that resonates with your audience, and success is yours for the taking.
Of course, the reality is rarely that straightforward.
Very often a new startup will have spent a great deal of time and effort into the creative aspects of building a brand, but are disappointed when the brand doesn’t take off in the way that they had expected. Often this may be because their branding efforts- as much as they may “slap” creatively, are not carried through to the rest of their operations. Make no mistake. Your branding is more than just the logo above your door or the copy on your website. It’s even about more than your products. It’s about these under-appreciated and sadly neglected aspects of building and growing a brand…
Of course entrepreneurs should be able to out their own creative stamp on their business. But that doesn’t mean they can fall into the trap of scratching their artristic itches at the expense of their target audience. The moment you start telling consumers what they want rather than listening to what they want, your brand is in trouble. Which is why market research should be an ongoing part of your operations.
It’s not enough to deliver quality that wows your target audience. You need to deliver that same quality with consistency, even when you’re under less scrutiny. Which is why rigorous quality control should be baked into the crust of your business operations. Quality doesn’t just encompass the products, but the company you keep. If you work with other suppliers, you need to ensure their quality is on par with yours. If you look at a company, like Indigenous Promotions here, which are trusted supplier to the Australian Government, this is generally considered a mark of quality. It’s not what you know, but who you know.
Probity and Corporate Social Responsibility
In this digitally enlightened era, consumers want to give their money to companies that care about more than just turning a profit. They want to deal with businesses that are ecologically aware and have a strong focus on ethics that starts with their employees and is reflected in every link of their supply chain. An expert lawyer like Tony Raunic can help you to understand how to enforce probity and Corporate Social Responsibility in every aspect of your operation. From environmental compliance to drawing up fair and ethical contracts, you need to ensure consistency when it comes to running an ethical business.
An ounce of consistency is worth a pound of panache. Do you really think people stand in line for McDonald’s because they make the best hamburgers in the business? Of course not. But they have consistency sewn into the fabric of their entire business operation, and have since they first started out in the 1950s.
Of course, consistency is easier to maintain when you have…
Don’t allow yourself to become a micro-manager. Allow your employees to learn, develop and grow. Making and rectifying their own mistakes is part of this, but you can’t afford to assume that employee training is a “one and done” kind of affair.
Every employee should have a course of professional development tailored to their goals. And access to the training that will help them not only get better at their jobs, but achieve their broader career goals under your roof.