Business Inspiration Starts With Strong Foundations

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On this site, we talk a lot about the steps a business needs to take to start growing forward. But the most important thing is to build your company on strong foundations. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to be ambitious yet level-headed. Many business owners make the mistake of leaning towards one extreme or the other. Chasing innovative strategies without any sort of business acumen will bring your company to a grinding halt. However, running a company too safely will stop it from growing and competing with exciting brands in the industry. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to value flexibility and stability. Business inspiration starts with strong foundations. With that in mind, here are some ideas to help your business evolve with the goal of long-term success.

Create a strong financial plan.

When it comes to your business finances, you need to get into the pattern of regularly returning to the boardroom to assess your spending habits. The way in which your company uses its money has a huge impact on its growth. As discussed in the introduction, being level-headed is about avoiding extremes. Being too frugal stops businesses from growing, but wasting money can cause drastic problems for your business too. If you want to grow then you need to be brave enough to invest but do so in fiscally responsible ways. Make sure you assess your expenditures to ensure that you’re spending your money wisely. Cut back on non-essential costs. You could prioritize digital documentation over paper-based documentation to save money. You could also negotiate with suppliers to get cheaper deals.

You might even want to seek the help of a full-service CPA firm. You’d get professional help from accountants who could advise you on smart ways to use your business’ funds. The goal isn’t just to save money but spend it well. You might be pulling in respectable sales, but that doesn’t matter if you’re spending those profits on the wrong aspects of your business. To build stronger foundations for your company, think of the departments and operations that need funding. Think of the most cost-effective ways to achieve your goals. If you want to deliver a more extensive service then consider outsourcing instead of hiring new employees; it’s cheaper, but it achieves the same result at the same standard.

Create a strong team.

If you want to develop an inspired business then you need an inspired team. Obviously, you can come up with innovative ideas as the boss of your business, but you’ll be able to develop even fuller plans if you have a team helping you to come up with ideas. Two minds are better than one, and you probably have more than one other company. Work on creating a strong team. That’s how you’ll compete with the big names in your industry. Hiring the best employees is a good place to start, but you should be helping your team to grow. Professional workers can easily become unproductive if they’re not inspired by their work. If you treat them like cogs in the machine then your employees will become apathetic.

Find ways to make your members of staff feel valued. Praise them for working hard. Give them bonuses, free lunches, and other perks for putting in extra effort. That way, they won’t fall into the habit of doing the bare minimum amount of work required from them. Talking of habits, make sure their workload doesn’t become too repetitive. There’s nothing more depleting to a person’s morale than repetition. Surprise your team by giving them presentations to do and unexpected projects to complete. Switch up the workday to keep your team on their toes. That way, they won’t slack off. In other words, give your employees a challenge, but don’t work them excessively. Let them recover. Maybe you could put a ping-pong table in the break room so that they have a way to unwind.

Create a strong brand.

Behind every inspired business is an inspired brand. That’s what differentiates you from the competition. If you want the target market to choose your company over the company then your brand needs to make an impact. It isn’t enough to sell high-quality goods. Your rivals are doing the same. If you want to separate yourself from similar companies in the industry then you need to brand yourself in a unique way. For example, maybe you could sell the same products but a portion of your profits are donated to certain charities. That would encourage consumers to choose your brand because they’d know that some of their money would go towards a worthwhile cause.

Plus, people are more likely to choose companies that display a caring side. In the modern age, we all care more about businesses that are connected to the interests of the people. Disconnected corporations aren’t popular with the consumer market. You need a strong brand if you want to build strong foundations for your business. Think of ways to make your identity stand out. The previous point will help in this regard. If you have a passionate and caring team then they’ll deliver a passionate and caring level of customer service. That’ll improve your reputation in the marketplace and cast your brand in a good light.

Create a strong digital marketing strategy.

In today’s world of technology, a strong digital marketing strategy is essential to a strong business model. You need to take an inspired approach to advertising your brand on the internet. You might have a website and social media profiles, but so does every other business on the planet. What makes you different? You need to create content that really draws people in. Perhaps you could create a responsive layout on your site, for starters; if it looks good on all devices then you’ll impress search engine algorithms but also the real-life humans who end up on your homepage. First impressions count in the industry. Don’t create an amateurish online presence or customers might think that your business is amateurish. Create a professional website and post relevant things on social media (don’t go overboard with hashtags or trying to follow trends).

Create a strong relationship with customers.

A stable business needs to focus on its client relations. Strong foundations depend on strong relationships with customers. After all, your customers are the source of your revenue. But rather than seeing every buyer as a statistic, see them as people. As discussed in an earlier point about branding, a successful business needs to really connect with customers on a human level. You need to show that you care about your client base. Reward their loyalty. Offer freebies and discounts to long-term customers to encourage them to stick around. They’ll value your business if you value them. And that’s how you’ll build strong foundations for your business. Yes, you need to chase new leads, but you also need a steadily growing client base. Don’t dismiss your existing customers if you want to enjoy long-term success.

You should also do consumer research. The best way to create a strong relationship with customers is to give them what they want. Rather than taking a shot in the dark and hoping for the best, you have to get to know your client base and your target market at large. Run surveys and polls to get feedback from consumers. You could offer discounts and prizes as a way of incentivizing people to get involved with the research. The goal is to know your audience well. If you can deliver tailor-made services to existing and potential clients then you’ll win over the target market. You could even solve problems that your competitors have missed.

Create a strong range of products or services.

We’ve talked a lot about improving the branding and financing of your business, but the main thing that draws in new customers and retains existing ones is a strong range of products or services. If you want to build and maintain strong foundations for your business then make sure you always prioritize the quality of the goods you’re selling. That’s essential to maintaining a good reputation in your industry. You need to keep the products and services exciting so that you can compete with your rivals. You and your competitors might all sell similar products, but the tiniest improvement in quality can make a difference. Maybe you could simply strive to offer a more extensive range so that you stand out from the crowd. By adding some products to your range, you could expand into wider target markets.

For example, you could keep your generalized product range but start offering more specialized goods and services to appeal to niche corners of the market. Make sure you don’t spoil the quality of your existing services by stretching yourself too thinly, of course. Whenever you’re expanding your business, you have to make sure you do so in a way that doesn’t affect the standard of your existing service. Biting off more than you can chew is never a good idea. Remember, business inspiration starts with strong foundations. Chase your innovative ideas, but do so in a way that ensures you can maintain your existing business services at the same standard.

Good Branding Is All About Consistency, Consistency And Consistency

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There is a lot of thought that goes into creating a great brand. Having a good knowledge of the target market, the design language of the industry, and a clear message and goal behind the brand are all important. But they are all reinforced by one thing and ruined by a lack of it. In case it wasn’t obvious, we’re talking about consistency, consistency, consistency. Here are a few guiding principles and tools to help you ensure it’s always there for you to rely upon.

Set the ground rules

Before we get into what exactly your branding should be based on and what it should look like, we need to consider the tools you use to ensure that consistency is always a part of it. There’s already a broadly used tool that does exactly that: the brand identity visual style guide. As shown by https://Visme.co, a visual style guide keeps a record of all the different aesthetic elements that go into your brand’s design. Whenever you’re creating new packaging, a new webpage, or any marketing materials, you can refer to it. It can include logos, colors, fonts, and just about every element of design language that comprises the look of the brand.

Use communicative design

That brand consistency goes into any of the products you sell, too. In fact, some of your design choices will, and should, be defined by the products. In particular, when it comes to packaging and designing products, you need to consider design that’s communicative. Using sites like https://Freundcontainer.com as a guide, you can make sure you’re choosing containers that fit the expectations of the market regarding your product. Is it in the shape and style they will readily recognize correctly as the product that it is? Does your branding fit with that product? If not, you might have to think about changing your design guide to better fit your products. After all, your product is what you’re trying to sell, not the aesthetic of the brand.

Keep the focus where it should be

There’s one group of people that matters more than any when it comes to deciding the direction of the brand: your market. You have to make sure that the brand appeals specifically to them, whether you have a certain demographic or a certain niche that you want to appeal to. The best way to make sure you have that basis for your brand is by asking them. Market research to help you get feedback on web design and packaging design often yields results most relevant to the aesthetic over anything else. If it isn’t landing, then it’s time to think up a redesign with that audience in mind.

Without consistency, your message gets confused, your market gets lost, and your brand is much weaker as a result. Make sure you have those rigid principles and design guides that you can rely on time and time again. This doesn’t mean that the brand can’t evolve, it just means that it has to evolve across the board, too.

What McDonalds Can Teach You About Failed Branding

ronald-mcdonald-sad

Have you seen the recent McDonald’s commercials featuring wholesome ingredients in family settings?

That’s a far cry from their previous campaign geared towards a “cool” hip-hop crowd…

Confusing. That’s what McDonald’s marketing is currently.

Apply that to your professional life. When you’re asked the question, “Why should we hire you?” in a job interview would you state what makes you unique or go with what’s trendy nowadays? (I hope you choose the former)

My point is when it comes to branding it’s important to know your identity.

Using McDonald’s as a bad example, they’ve flip-flopped on who they are trying to be and to whom they’re trying to be it to. Newsflash: people don’t buy McDonald’s products because of sustainable procedures, family values or the perception of being part of the “in-crowd.” It’s sole appeal is: it’s cheap, fast-food. I guarantee if they spent more money marketing their dollar menu, combo meals and sale items profits would rise quickly.

Trying to be the jack-of-all-trades results in being a master of none.

That’s why tools like the StrengthsFinder are helping in defining your identity (personal brand).

Your strengths determine your style which reveals your brand.

Don’t be afraid to niche yourself according to your speciality. People need to know who you are and what you do clearly.

If you communicate various descriptions it sounds confusing…and the problem is when someone is confused they will always say “no” to buying you.

Don’t be like McDonald’s. Be clear about you.