When you are made redundant you can emotionally go one of two ways: “I wasn’t good enough; I was a failure and now what will I do?”. Or, “They didn’t appreciate my ability, that’s on them and I’m going to do something about it”.
Five years ago I was made redundant. The hardest part was that I didn’t see it coming, as I had been excelling in my role. I was sat down and told I had achieved everything they expected to take me two years in just 12 months, instead of saying congratulations, I was given a, “We want to reallocate your salary into the sales team”. Wow, Thanks I thought. After 10 minutes I flicked my mental switch and saw it for what it was, I was out the door and on my way to Harvey Norman to buy a new computer to start my own business and BRANDiT was born.
For me, this was the moment that I decided to take control of my own future and start helping as many businesses as I could to get the strategy and branding plan right so they could create a strong foundation for growth. Fast forward to now, I have over 17 clients and most recently won the highest award for a Marketer in Australia “Certified Practising Marketer of the Year” and although I was terrified of failure, my risk of going out on my own has been a huge success and winning that award reminded me of what I’m truly capable of and what I have achieved in my career.
We all know that saying, “Without risk, there is no reward.” So, you have a business idea, What’s next?
- Business name and purpose
Gone are the days you can call your business “AAA Services” and list at the top of the Yellow Pages. So, consider, is my business a want or need to the consumer? If it’s a want, we recommend you focusing more on your brand and the brand elements, brand architecture and tone of your business. If it’s a need, you can get away with anything as people are going to search for your services either way.
- Marketing plan
Find a Certified Practising Accredited Marketer to come up with your marketing and brand strategy. You need to determine your brand architecture and tone, buyer personas, touchpoint analysis, target markets, style guide etc. This can then be supported by the plethora of free or low cost apps/ platforms for small business so you can implement the marketing strategy once you have your own roadmap. A lot of people skip the strategy part and go straight to a graphic designer and say, “I need a logo” and then think they are good to go. But all they really have is a logo.
Investing money and time into finding a mentor could prove to be priceless. Find somebody who has been running a business for 10-20 years that you respect or admire. You will be surprised, most will be honoured to help, as long as you value their time and listen. Learn the basics of running and owning your own business, which can seem simple, but sometimes the basic thing can be the most important.
One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is with their culture because, if the staff aren’t happy, it will affect your customers’ experience. People need to feel engaged, valued, respected, and empowered. Treat staff like your best growth opportunity rather than a cost centre. Build a business where people want to work.