10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Committing to a Business…
Brand Soldiers Wanted: Commitment & Bravery Required
A product is just a product. No matter how innovative you think it is. Chances are, if a physical product, someone (likely overseas) has or can manufacture the same product and sell it cheaper to a broader distribution. If a service company, how unique are your offerings, can you trademark your offerings, can you scale?
To be successful in today’s overcrowded international marketplace, thanks to the world wide web, every business owner must compete with a brand. While your control of external business factors may be limited, your ability to grow & develop your brand are limitless and directly in your control.
Much like the first three letters of branding (a “bra”), branding allows you to position and hoist up your goods to best represent your initiative.
Behind every brand is simply a human being and/or manufacturer, just like you or me. Rihanna and Beyonce are women, like me. And if you’re a male, Bill Gates & Jay-Z, are men, just like you. It’s the positioning, passion, output, consistency and dedication you personally deliver that engages consumers and drives their preference, affinity and loyalty. Remember, people by from people, and not from companies.
Starting a business requires one set of skills (vision, fortitude, self-confidence, ability to sell ice to an Eskimo), yet is only one side of the success equation. Building a brand, brick by brick, which we will address in the next post, requires a different skillset (including creativity and commitment).
Today we focus on commitment. Answer the below questions for yourself to assess your commitment propensity level, before proceeding with signing the lease to your new brick & mortar location, or registering your domain name…If the questions below eerily remind you of personal relationships…it’s because branding and personal relationships require similar qualities, interest, sweat equity, compromise, sacrifice and commitment.
1) Proof of Commitment
What was the last thing you truly committed to?
2) Longevity Inclination
How long did you commit?
3) Opt-Out Rationale
When your commitment ended, what was the primary reason?
4) Repeat Regret
If you could do “it” over again, would you commit yourself to the same thing? Why or why not?
5) Resource Access
Do you have the resources (or can you acquire) (stamina, drive, interest level) to sustain your level of commitment? Brands like Red Bull help with stamina, but your interest level must be natural. Do a gut check before proceeding. Remember when you do what you love, the money follows…sometimes later than sooner.
6) Failure Threshold
Is failure an option? What constitutes as success or failure to you? If the business model fails, (which it may, a few times) the brand must be built to be formidable, and live on, through its various transformations.
7) Motivation Station
Examine your motives for creating a business. Are the drivers financial, societal, physical, emotional, mental or passion? Do these motives align with your brand’s goals?
8) Sacrificial Lambchops
What are you willing to give up to build your brand? Brand building requires a strategic and consistent dedication to delivering the best product or service at all costs, are you willing to forgo things you enjoy? Sleep, expensive clothes, expensive restaurants, travel, time with family or friends in the short run for the long run gain?
9) Consistency Propensity
Can you name one thing in your life positively impacted by your consistent efforts? Building a brand requires commitment to the ethos. You will be challenged left and right to alter this, but like an anchor of a ship, you must deliver consistency while building your brand.
10) End Goal
What exactly are you committing your brand to commit to? Changing the world? Making money? Driving sustainable living? Launch your business with this in mind.
See you next week when we examine Brand Building Bricks!
Originals by Olivia (a new brand I created for these medium posts, which I’m committed to)