Personal brand comes hand in hand with the birth of a company. It doesn’t really matter if you’ve begun working on improving your brand it’s still there. Looking at most large companies, there’s a trend that suggests that to succeed you’ll need a larger than life brand. But how do you get there? Heres how.
1. Get in the Mindset that You ARE a Brand
When getting in this mindset, consider Apple. When you think of Apple, what do you think of it? What do you want people to think when they hear your company’s name?
Do you want them to think of futuristic technology or do you want them to think of a homely carpet store? Once you’ve got that in mind, you’ll know how to market yourself well.
2. Track Your Online Presence
Google yourself. From the results you get, you can build. Set alerts that tell you when your name is beginning to pop up more often, perhaps you could Google yourself twice a day in order to check up on it.
The more your name pops up, the more people are going to see you. (*Disclaimer*: If you have a common name, add your middle initial or your full middle name to differentiate yourself.)
3. Make a Personal Website
Your website doesn’t have to have complex moving parts, it can be as simple as a resume and a short bio. Although the more professional your website is, the more likely it is to attract viewers, just having a website is a huge step towards success.
What another way will people be able to discover your company?
4. Find Ways to Produce Value
Have you ever had a situation in which you noticed someone from a large company tweeting about something totally unrelated to them? It probably makes you think, Boy, I wonder why he felt the need to let us know that he really enjoyed his Campbell’s Chicken soup today. Stay in line with your brand, which will, in turn, create more value.
Don’t post just whatever you’re thinking or feeling, post about different technologies if you’re a tech company. Speaking of Twitter.
5. Think Before You Post
Don’t post random things on your Twitter or Instagram. The people who follow your company are not interested in your life or what you did that day. Don’t post too liberally, and definitely don’t over-post.
Try to stay professional and adult when you post, don’t divulge anyone who comments something mean by responding to them.
6. Become Friends with Other Brands
What college did you attend? Are any other alumni also in business? Are they successful? If you can answer yes to those three questions, you’ve got a beautiful start. Join groups, find alumni from your college, and branch out.
The more powerful allies you can associate with, the better off your company will wind up being.
7. Reinvent and Tell a Story
What’s your story? How did you get to where you are now, and why did you begin your company? These are all important questions that will better your personal brand.
Having an inspirational story will help to inspire those who are investing in the company and will also do wonders in getting your personal brand out there. Not only that, but you should always evolve. Never stay in one place, always make progress and reinvent.
A business plan represents the crucial foundation of your company. Regardless of how big or small this company is going to be, you need to put together some sort of plan for your future.
In the end, you want to create a roadmap that will accomplish two things:
- It’s going to be specific enough to help you define what needs to be done over the next year, two years, or even 3-5 years.
- It’s going to be open-ended enough to help you make adjustments no one could have accounted for earlier on.
Establishing a plan which incorporates both of these things is not impossible, or even that difficult. Nonetheless, it is still something that needs to happen, before you can move on to other aspects of establishing and launching your business.
Creating A Viable Business Plan Outline
Understand at this point, you’re simply crafting an outline. It needs to have some measure of detail, but it doesn’t have to account for every single little thing. You want to have something that will make it easy to define the next few steps.
A good business plan outline is going to offer the following:
- Executive summary: This element is going to summarize the plan as a whole.
- Company Description: With this, you’re going to not only focus on what your company is going to do but how your company is different from similar entities.
- Market analysis: Research your industry. This should include your marketing and your competitors.
- Organization/management: This is going to come down to discovering the optimal organization and management structures for your company.
- Service/product line: This is going to describe your product or products. What are the benefits? How about the lifecycle?
- Marketing/sales: Sales strategies and marketing plans are going to be discussed at this point.
- Funding: How much are you going to need? How is the money going to be spent? Transparency is key in this arena.
- Financial projections: If you do need funding, projections are going to be important.
- Appendix: Resumes, permits, and leases are just a few things one would include in an appendix if this needs to be part of your business plan.
Different businesses are going to utilize the above facets differently. Some businesses will be able to disregard some of those facets entirely. This is something you will discover for yourself, over the course of putting together a plan for your business.
A hobby can be turned into a business but a business can never become a hobby. There are some rich and famous people who have the luxury to conduct business while indulging in leisure. For the lesser mortals, business and leisure don’t go hand in hand. Any business requires serious investments, be it material such as money and infrastructure or immaterial as time and effort. Here are some of the many reasons why you should treat your business like a business and not a hobby.
• A hobby is more of a pastime in which you have substantial passion. A business can never be a pastime. There are serious consequences. You may lose money. If you have employees, then those jobs are at stake and hence their livelihoods. If you have products or services that people depend on then you are risking that and your consumers or customers will be left high and dry if you fail to deliver. A hobby is absolutely personal. No business is completely personal. A business will have direct and indirect impacts on the lives of many people. A startup can still be treated as a hobby until there is serious money in it and the potential or actual impacts on others. Beyond that point, a business must be treated like a business.
• A hobby has a lot to do with emotion over pragmatism. Most hobbies develop out of sheer love for something. There is little or no aspiration to monetize the skill or whatever you are creating. The purpose is to give form to your feelings or the skills you possess. Essentially, a hobby is about emotions. A business can stem from a particular or cluster of emotions but it can never be managed or run emotionally. You must always have a pragmatic take on your business and that will not happen if you treat it as a hobby or an emotional endeavor.
• A hobby often has to dabble through spells of procrastination. You cannot allow procrastination to seep in when you are running an actual business. There are deadlines in the real world, bottom lines and real money at stake. You cannot take your own sweet time to develop or deliver something. Treating your business like a hobby will be the recipe for disaster and sooner than later your enterprise will cease to exist or be unsustainable. Also, a hobby is principally about personal satisfaction. A business is not.