Business. I LOVE it! There, I’ve said it and I’m proud to tell everyone I meet. Not only do I love business, I live business. It’s a fascinating, incredible, awe-inspiring way to work, but it’s not without its hardships. We’ve all been going through hard times over recent years. These difficult economic times have shown us that business and industry isn’t immune from hardship, but it’s also shown that those with the will to win, the drive to succeed and the bravery to act will achieve a business breakthrough, even in the harshest of times.
I’ve been living business even before I knew what it really meant. My entrepreneurial spirit is part of my DNA and every day brings me immense joy through working with others who share my enthusiasm for enterprise. Over the years I’ve learned that there are 6 core actions that everyone can implement to take their career path to the next level. Whether you’re in the start-up phase of your new business, finding your feet after a couple of years of trading or simply toying with the idea of self-employment, these 6 actions have proven themselves successful time and time again.
The first action sounds small, but can encompass everything you do. Having a vision is what separates those that do, from those that don’t. Vision is vital when your setting off on your entrepreneurial journey, but it stays with you throughout. Knowing and understanding where you want your business to go is key for remaining focussed on what you want to do. It plays an important role in keeping your business heading in the right direction, fighting against the myriad of forces that attempt to push you off course and believe me, there are plenty of those. When done correctly, it’s an inspirational piece of work that can become the ethos behind your company. Underestimate it at your peril.
With your vision committed, the next breakthrough relies on your brand. Brand is one of the most important aspects of any business. It’s not the sole preserve of multi-national conglomerates, your brand is what is going to separate your business from your competitors and make it stand out from the crowd. Your brand is your promise to customers. It’s more than what you sell or provide, it’s the whole package. What you do, how you do it and why you do it. Pricing your product or service as low as you can is nothing but a race to the bottom. Customers want more and your brand is exactly that. People should look to your brand as a mark of quality, of a job well done, as a name to be trusted. In a world where anyone can sell anything, only those with brand awareness can sell it well.
It wasn’t too long ago that a website was the only virtual footprint a business could have. Nowadays social media plays an important role for your customers and how you can interact with them. It allows interaction like never before and serves to strengthen that brand we’ve just talked about. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram; the list goes on. Each platform offers something different and needs to be carefully managed, but they all offer enormous, exciting benefits when growing your business. They also play an important role in helping your business show up in internet search results, so don’t disregard as fads them too easily.
When taking your first steps in business, you’ll want the world to know about your business. The more people who know you exist the better, that’s why working with the press should form part of your business arsenal. Don’t be shy when it comes to selling yourself. Learn to embrace the power of the press when it comes to your business. Let them know you’ve arrived, let them know you’ve got something new; let them know… so they can let all those potential customers know. From the local paper to the local radio, customers are waiting to hear about you, they just don’t know it yet.
Business, no matter what size, is built on people. The more people you connect with the better. The next big sale, the next big advertisement idea, the next big thing will come from people, which is where networking really comes into it’s own. Mixing with other businessmen and woman is crucial to sharing ideas, selling yourself and reciprocating business know-how. It’s where deals are formulated, new contacts are made and you can (and should) be part of it. Look for local business groups to join and if there isn’t one, start one. I did and I’ve never looked back since. Don’t be shy in handout those business cards.
Wealth. Some people may regard it as a dirty word but it’s not. It’s one of the main reasons we’re in business for, but it’s not necessarily just about the money you make. Wealth is measured in many ways in business. It’s going to be the cornerstone of your business so you need the correct mindset. Maybe your business needs capital to start or to expand, perhaps you need it to get to the next level, to employ more people, or to sell more units. How can that be ugly? Whatever you need, you can’t afford to ignore it.
If you’d like to know more about how to take your business onto bigger and better things, sign up for my webinar on Thursday 7th May at 14:00 GMT where we’ll cover all of these actions in much greater detail. You can find more details and how to sign up at www.soniabrown.co.uk. Let’s achieve the breakthrough your business and your career needs together.