Last week I shared 4 powerful concepts to start building as you build your business. The short-list includes Relationships, Revenue Streams, Sales Channels, and Others. Feel free to refresh your memory here in the full article.
Now that you have had time to master the first steps, here are three more. Keeping in the chronology of how I discovered them; these three have been my major focus for nearly the last decade of my career. I feel like I am just now getting warmed up with them. As always, feel free bookmark this and share it with others.
Build a Brand
A brand is much more than your products, leaders, proprietary processes, and culture. There is a synergy created by these things that makes an imprint on people – THAT is a brand. It is not something that can be easily controlled because it lives in the minds of customers, prospects, competitors, vendors, distributors, and the general public (with any luck).
Brands need nearly obscene amounts of passion, talent, dedication, creativity, and cash. When done well, the returns dwarf whatever sum was invested. A brand needs a team, a leader, and a system to focus our collective energies. I like to refer to this as a purpose, but purpose is discovered, not built.
Build an army of advocates
One of the most effective ways to build your brand, sales channels, and relationships is through advocates – raving fans who love to talk about you, your company philosophy, and products. They do this with or without being actual customers and do it completely without compensation. Actually to compensate them (even with free or discounted goods) often cheapens the relationship.
Your advocates will support you through product recalls; open doors to new deals; introduce you to thousands of customers; and help make you a household name to ideal audiences. Part of building an army of advocates is building a system that attracts, connects, and empowers them.
Build a culture
Culture is simply a summary of all the thoughts, emotions, and actions of a group. Every organization has a culture by default. It can become an incredible asset when it is formalized, supported, and refined slowly over time. A good culture will not only support itself through growth, but will help drive away those who run to contrary to it.