As I listen to another entrepreneur explain how they feel like they’re hitting their head against the wall, but doing everything they are supposed to do, I’m reminded of the last small businessman that shared those thoughts…..they were drowning too.
There are thousands of conversations and research that can be found on what breeds success in business and relationships. Do you really believe in what you’re trying to do? Is it really what you believe you should be doing, even when you feel like throwing in the towel?
If the answer is yes to the prior, the ultimate question is- Even if you truly believe in your business, are you taking the easy way out? If the answer is yes, you’re drowning. You may make it work for now, but it’s likely that you’ll never go as far as the passionate route would’ve taken you. Be reminded- Passion for your business doesn’t have to come in the form of your favorite hobby or highest talent. Passion for your business can simply come from your willingness to invest and believe relentlessly.
Think about it- your business is not going to reach it’s full potential and make the difference you’d imagined if you chose the cookie cutter way in/out. You may make it because of some proven methodology, but making it will likely only keep your head right above the water. When your business is being kept alive that way, you’re really 1 step from drowning- your head may see the light, but the rest of your body is kicking frantically and working overtime long enough for you to catch your breath.
Keep reading for fully clarity…
“The easy way in or out” doesn’t mean it’s literally the easiest way, as in there is no work being done- but the true strategy isn’t there, the research is basic (driven by your biased), and your execution is based on a “been proven” check list with no additional motivating factors involved. Having a true passion and a constantly evolving level of expertise is what creates the competitive advantage your company or yourself can brand (one that can’t be replicated). This is how your business stands a chance to flourish.
As a creator of templates, I often make processes easier for people by literally reducing their need to think. There’s no need real drive to strategize, spend time researching, or address challenges outside of the norm because the template tells you the plug and play things needed to be successful. These things work well for business processes but not ultimate business strategies and operations that drive your bottom line.
You can’t truly grow or be competitive when everything being used has already been created for you- WHY? Well…. Because you’re not the boss or designer of your thoughts or process (you’re definitely not the boss of whoever made your template). Why does this matter? – If you aren’t truly taking the time to think through all of the elements that a template doesn’t show you, you’re not going to win. A strategy that already has “do this, put this here, say this, give this, pay this, input that, look up these things and market it to them in this way” built in- is not for those that really want to make a mark- it’s for those that want to join the crowd (and usually crowded space).
When I create templates, I also explain to whoever the template is for why certain things aren’t included. Hear this ⇒ knowing why some information is NOT being requested in the template design, is just as important as the information being requested in the template design. Use the template as just a guide, with the goal of tearing apart and rebuilding your own process- not as the answer (simply put- business cases, templates and methodologies should serve as your mentor, not your God).
Ultimately, you must keep this in mind- the template was created based on someone else’s business model, that may seem to be like yours, but it isn’t exact. The slight differences in business models may seem insignificant, but they can really be so impactful that it can completely take you down the wrong path.
Merriam Webster defines Expertise as “knowledge gained by actually doing or living through something”. This is an actual effective research method. This is how you become your customer- consuming your product’s environment, experiencing how buyers engage, and getting in their brain to understand their decision process and deterring factors.
Are you really an expert in your field or did you just find a bunch of existing research on the way to get the results you want? and Plug it in to a template that says “you need this” to get the results you want.
Start establishing a flourishing mindset and processes. Quick tips on where to start:
- Even when your product is the same, know why it’s different and hyper focus on operating/planning around/marketing its uniqueness. Take existing research and find the gaps between where they left off and the levels your product/brand can achieve- because perceptions are usually one-sided, the opportunities to fill gaps are usually plentiful. Basically think through, “what didn’t they solve?”.
- Truly understand your business’ bottom line and how each department plays a role in achieving this goal. If something isn’t attributing to this bottom line, it’s wasting time and money- trash it, revamp it, or side bar it for now- no matter how it helps others achieve their goals. If it’s not working for you, it’s working against you.
- Do your own strategizing. If your product is different or unique, what already exists won’t already be perfectly made for your needs. Test the market (and create buzz around your testing), find an unanswered problem a market has that you can solve.
- NOTE: I said “a market” not just “your market”, your cash cow may be in a market that isn’t an obvious use for your product, but can serve a true money maker overtime.
If something only knows how to fight to keep from drowning, it’s basically living off of survival tactics- and things that are only trying to survive, eventually stop breathing. Go flourish!
consulting.CTaylorGo@gmail.com for your Brand and Product Marketing Strategy Needs.