Hi everyone! Graig and I sat down yesterday for episode 6 of Forging The Journey and it was an awesome conversation as always.
Graig received a message asking how a person with a product can reach potential customers. We dove into the social media end of the equation, website, customer service and some general advice centered around building your brand, your community, and marketing your product to potential customers.
About 75% of the way through the podcast I summarized an answer to the question and I wanted to put that here. I believe that if you are starting out in your business venture you should do the following steps early on:
- Form a plan
- Have clarity around your mission
- Commit to the mission against all odds and adversaries
- Find people to lean on for support that will be honest with you 100% of the time
- Know the roles and responsibilities of your team as you start your foundation
I want to briefly dig into each topic above.
Form a plan: This is something that people roll their eyes at but I am 100% serious. You need some form of structure. This is an area that our team at Tatargets admittedly didn't always do well at the beginning. Take time to think and explore what goals you have. Where do you want your company to go? Who is your target audience? How are you planning on reaching this audience? It is OK to not have all the answers but it is not OK to ignore this step.
Have Clarity Around Your Mission: This is the part where I admittedly messed up at the beginning. My picture of the mission was to sell "x" amount of product in a year, grow the business into a profitable entity and go from there. A lot of people fall into this trap. Your mission is more than just selling your product. If you look at very successful companies there is a "why" behind the things they are doing. The companies that set themselves apart have a larger mission. Our team, for example has a very large but focused mission to equip people with the best tools possible to refine their skills and be able to protect their families. Our mission isn't simply to be the biggest or be the best. Our mission is to create community around the brand and grow it into a collective of people who believe in what we do and the products we offer.
Commit To The Mission: For better or worse you have to have an insane level of commitment if you are going to make this work. Just a heads up: you are going to fail sometimes, it is going to hurt your pride and your wallet, it will at times be much harder than you ever thought. With that being said it will also be easier than you thought sometimes, there will be rewards as you grow the brand, you will win some battles as well. In all of these times you must be fully committed to your mission. You have to 150% believe in what you are doing at the core. If you don't believe in your mission, your customers or potential customers will not believe either.
Find People To Lean On: It goes without saying but sometimes the quickest way to learn something is to be taught one on one. Be careful here though. You should be cautious who you listen to and what strategies they offer. Find honest people who you can bounce ideas off of and who can be in your court to encourage you, offer insight, and help keep you focused on the end goal. This has helped me tremendously as we have built our business over the last three years. I attribute much of what I know to people around me who have invested their knowledge into me. Find these people.
Know the Roles and Responsibilities of Your Team: This is another equally critical area. Some of you will start a business alone, others will team up with partners. However you startup your movement, define what your role is in the company. This clarity will help your team maintain focus, it will allow people to tap into their personal strengths, and it will also provide a level of accountability among the team. Each person has a critical role to play and it is important that each member fully understands their place and their responsibilities. Again, this is an area that our team at Tatargets works on weekly. It is easy to say but difficult to execute well. It requires constant attention. As people grow and learn their roles may change. As a business owner grows the business with their team they will begin to delegate. It is important to clearly have these roles defined so everyone has a clear direction and understands their part.
I sincerely hope that this offers some direction and guidance to those of you reading. By no means am I professing to be someone who knows it all and admittedly I am constantly learning with our team. This is a machine that is constantly evolving and growing and during the process we are adapting. What worked in 2015 often isn't working now. Stay agile, stay focused, maintain the broader picture.
Enjoy the podcast, feel free to email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.