We are used to thinking about companies as if they were all large, multinational corporations that operate in an economy of scale with hundreds of employees, while in reality the majority of the global economy is based on businesses that employ fewer than twenty people each.
The problem is that while those multinational companies are well established brands that may have reached that status because of a long-term positive reputation supported by organisational automation (which is a set of well defined procedures that any single employ is supposed to attend to meet specific expectations by generating pre-established outcomes through their work)—while those large businesses dominate the landscape, most companies are compelled to face fierce, daily competition just to pay their fixed costs first and their employees (or themselves) second.
Sometimes, especially if you own just a single office, shop, or start-up, a few hundred bucks in your wallet can make a big difference at the end of the month.
Although building a brand (which is a specific idea in the mind of your target) can be a boring process, it is essential for all businesses—even if you own a single street food van in the most dangerous neighbourhood of your city. However, you might not have the initial resources and budget available to implement a consistent offline and online marketing campaign that would give you the chance to amplify and consolidate your brand positioning in front of people who are interested in what you are offering.
So how can you grow the volume of your business when the budget is tight, and consistently strengthen your brand positioning, creating raving customers that will bring you more and more people who wish to spend their money for your service?
It’s very simple.
Make your competitors' weaknesses the infrastructure of your strength.
I have been meeting entrepreneurs on a daily basis during the last four years, and I could well define the difference between them and a simple business owner.
Indeed, I might disappoint you by asserting that we are not living in an entrepreneurial era.
We are living in a business owner era.
Owning a business has become culturally cool, though unnecessary due to the level of unemployment that the global economy is facing.
As more and more people fail to find a job, either because they are considered unqualified by HR departments or because they do not have the right connections, they open a business instead.
What these people are doing is merely buying a job—their own job.
Not led by purpose, but by necessity.
How can you distinguish an entrepreneur from a business owner?
A business owner is someone who intends to sell his services during normal working hours.
An entrepreneur is someone who intends to make his business become a money machine working for him 24/7.
While the business owner makes the business depend entirely on him, the entrepreneur is looking to automate his business in the most efficient way possible (although at the beginning he is the only automation in place).
While a business owner is inclined to be self-centered and wants to force a sale just thinking that he has the best product on the market and you would be crazy not to buy it, an entrepreneur distinguishes himself by a high emotional intelligence which allows him to approach his business with the eyes of a potential customer, thus looking for any bug that can potentially undermine his credibility and lower the potential of his sales.
As a result,
an entrepreneur is aware that any single detail could make a major difference in his immediate and future earnings.
How does he come to this conclusion?
He increases his level of commitment to increment the value of his offer as much as he can, due to his knowledge, skills, and resources.
However, talking about value is referring to something conceptual and abstract that doesn’t relate to anything which might be tangible.
The first, most immediate way to exponentially grow the value of your proposition is by radically improving your customer service, thus increasing the positive perception of what you do and consolidating your brand positioning in the eyes of your prospects.
Customer service is one of the cornerstones of a well done marketing strategy.
However, most companies (not to mention marketing departments) have the ingrained misconception that marketing is something you should spend money on.
Improving customer service is often one of the cheapest ways to establish credibility and attract repeat customers.
People want immediate solutions to immediate problems.
We live in the era of now or never.
What implications does this have on your business?
Furthermore, a negative testimonial tends to be more credible than a positive one.
Word of mouth is still working in the new digital millennium.
Thus, what kind of improvements can your company make in order to over deliver and exceed exceptions, to consolidate its presence in the market and amplify the value of its offer?
I would say that two are enough.
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Founder and Managing Director at POWER BRAND. PR that Sells for Startups and SMEs,
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Brand Positioning. Broadcast PR. Brand domination.