- February 6, 2017
- Posted by: Alldenslane
- Category: business, Business plans
It was only yesterday that an entrepreneur in the SME sector called on me with tremendous excitement to say that a global brand had contacted them to ask for a meeting re a possible service contract. The global brand had said that they wanted service providers in Ghana, had done their research and conducted due diligence – and had concluded that they wanted to work with this young business. Brand building, this rightly excited entrepreneur told me, is working.
Regrettably, meticulous brand building and planning is an exercise that many SMEs appear not to give too much attention to. Priority is placed on most revenue generation activities and whilst this is key to financial survival and sustainability, I posit that financial success today does not guarantee financial survival tomorrow, and I further posit that one of the strongest ways to bolster long term enterprise survival is to define what your brand substance is very early in the business trajectory.
What is your brand substance? For me it is the very values, spirit and essence that the CEO/Founder determines to bring into an organization from its inception or from the CEO’s genesis of tenure. Not to get political but it we look at the genesis of the tenure of President Donald J Trump as the CEO of brand America, we will see that he has brought a very different spirit and essence into the office that he holds.
Taking time to think through, agree and document what your businesses values are will, should, engage you in how you want to operate and grow your business. It will also shape how you choose to lead your business, and whether you see the enterprise and yourself as an entrepreneur as co-labourers on a journey of self-discovery and self-actualisation.
You see, the entrepreneurial journey will test you beyond what you could have ever imagined. Indeed the journey can coerce you into experiencing and learning harsh lessons that you may have sought to avoid because of a desire to circumvent pain. What business values will do provide a compass for you on that journey – and it will require you to remain true to those values at all times. Otherwise it would only have been an exercise in futility.
For my SME friend who got the call from the global corporation yesterday what their business model has proved is that there are compelling financial and non-financial dividends to investment in brand building and continuous brand responsiveness. What the global corporation saw, all the way from the United States, was the aesthetics, the substance and the appeal of this SME as presented and documented on their website, their social media feeds, their videography and photography as evidenced in their online footprint, and generally the aura of the brand’s CEO as portrayed in all of these mediums.
What does your work, your business outputs and your online essence say about your brand?