We agonize over some of the simplest things in our business… why do you think that is? We have incredible fear of failure and if I may be so blunt…there is often EXTREME GUILT! To address some of these issues, I’m offering some of my tips to master brand preparation. “Victory is the the child of preparation and determination”; it’s a quote I found that really speaks to the importance of being prepared.
Think about it, when DO you find yourself most afraid? If you’re like me…it’s when a customer seems unhappy or a deal seems to be going south.
TIP #1 is MASTER THE ART OF CUSTOMER SERVICE: The idea here is to recognize CUSTOMER SERVICE is directly linked to the way your brand is perceived. The preparation required for a positive perception, is in the development of policies and procedures that reflect your brands culture. Customer want to know you have THEIR best interest at heart and are sincerely vested in solving their problems.
TIP #2 is MAINTAIN BRAND CONSISTENCY: Consistency MENTALLY creates trust, but it requires you to tap into your value in an honest way. The preparation required for this tip is in the work it takes to ensure your brand communication (both verbal and non-verbal) speaks AND relates to your customers issues. It’s important for your brand messaging to attract the “know, like, trust” relationships from those you’re targeting.
TIP #3 is MANAGE YOUR GOALS & ANALYTICS: If there’s one thing I know for sure… it’s that you must have goals, they must be quantifiable, and you must manage them through analytics. The preparation required to manage these areas is in creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals and testing, testing, testing. There is no magic bullet to getting the success formula right the first time. Doing business is called a “numbers game” for a reason. Determining the right Marketing Mix formula can only be done by testing different strategies and learning from the analytics gathered in the wake.
Your success is in your preparation and your preparation comes from knowing your value and having the confidence to make decisions based on it. The rapport you build with your customer is the result of being prepared with a brand identity that represents your values, a brand message to which your customers can relate, and the ability to share it authentically. This brings me back to the quote I mentioned at the beginning of this post, “Victory is the the child of preparation and determination”. Have your VICTORY! Be prepared!
I know it can be difficult to get it all done. This is especially difficult if, like me, you’re a one person show. That’s all the more reason to think about your preparation. If you liked this blog post please share your comments below and become a VIP Member.
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In my years of being a small business owner, I’ve realized the importance of my REACH. It has determined the height of my success, the depth of my relationships, and the resilience of my strength. My reach is what pushes me to my most extreme limits, but it’s also been what calms and soothes my fears and anxieties. In this post, I want to explore how your REACH can do the same for you.
Let’s start with UPWARD REACH:
The first thing I will recommend is to look for someone who is doing what you want to do, the way you want to do it. Let them be your inspiration. I found it is easier to use the examples of others as a starting point, then interpret their style to fit my own. I truly believe in the saying, “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care”. This means it’s important to be yourself in all things (Hence, INSPIRATION. It should always take precedence over IMITATION.
Mentoring – Finding a mentor is another way I’ve reached up. I have experts in my industry I look to for advice and encouragement. Having someone who has been there and done that to run ideas by, work out frustrations, and/or celebrate accomplishments is necessary to the ultimate goal of success.
In this article from Inc.com titled, 10 Reasons Why a Mentor is a Must, there are 10 solid reasons to consider the concept for yourself. My advice would be, don’t think too hard about where to find A mentor, the value comes from the knowledge they bring at just the right time. What I mean is, instead of actively seeking that ONE person to mentor you in all things business, keep your eyes and ears open to the opportunities that come in the MANY people you come across on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis. Chances are, you’ll find mentors all around you, just allow yourself to be a sponge for their subtle lessons.
In this podcast, I’m chatting with my husband, who’s been both a mentee & a mentor in the past. I think you will enjoy both perspectives, so when you get a moment check it out.
Now let’s look at DOWNWARD REACH:
- “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God”. This quote from Leo Buscaglia really rings true for me. Whether you’re a spiritual/religious person or not, the truth is, when you give you get so much more in return. Use your talents for good. Don’t withhold information for fear of competition, share it and be encouraged because you’ve contributed to the success of another. Being a mentor is about transparency, honesty, and vision. You have to be open to share your experiences in failure as well as your accomplishments. You have to be authentic in how you provide information and you should be able to encourage and inspire the decisions of your mentee so they find value in what you share overall.
OUTWARD REACH is the final topic I want to cover in this week’s blog post.
It’s near and dear to my heart because I’m a social person and I love seeing what motivates others and makes them tick. It’s hard enough being a “startup” OR a “start-over”. Doing it alone shouldn’t even be a consideration. Yes, I’m a social person but even if you’re not, it’s a good idea to ride along side of like-minded individuals who are moving in the same or similar direction at the same time as you. Having a partner(s) along your entrepreneurial journey adds fun to the mix, pushes you to your limits, and provides a built in accountability mechanism. Don’t settle on an island. Find others going in your direction and create a support group to tap into as you climb to success.