There are many things that need to be in place for a business to be successful. Having a product or service that meets market demand, securing distribution channels and communicating with your target audience are all essential components to any business plan. But don't forget to include in your arsenal, the fire that fuelled going into business in the first place: PASSION.
Building a business is hard work that requires many hours of dedication - no surprise there - often stretching late into the day and necessitating being ready to act at a moment's notice. Your kids look at it like the younger brother or sister who has their own needs and requirements. It is so easy to become buried under the to-do lists, customers, accounting, promotion, sales calls, bookkeeping, etc.. (that's a post for another day). Despite the demands, it is so important not to lose sight of your 'raison d'être', or, put less eloquently: why the heck are you doing this? Do you even remember anymore? If not, it's time to step back and take stock of one of the most valuable tools you have at your disposal: PASSION.
Somewhere along the way, you saw an opportunity to offer someone a solution to something through your service or product. You wanted to make someone's life easier, fuller, faster, more convenient, more stylish, healthy....the list goes on. Remembering what drove you to believe in yourself and that this business was viable is so important to keeping your brand in check and your business growing.
Here are three ways your passion can help your business:
1. Focuses your brand
Remembering the gap in the market you wanted to fill, recalling the way you wanted to offer an improved product or customer experience...whatever it might have been for you, dust it off and keep it front and centre in your mind (and maybe at your desk too!). No, seriously. Print it out and put it up where you can see it everyday. This helps drill down to your brand essence - what your business offers that you want to build your brand upon. Did you want to provide organic doggie chew toys that are biodegradable because so many are disposed of each year? Let what inspired you inspire others too and use that to build and focus your brand.
2. Sets you apart
Entering the market because you saw an opportunity to offer something that wasn't already out there, or to do it better means that there is something different and special about your business. If you were going to offer the same thing as everyone else in your market segment, what would be the point? At one point, you saw the chance to stand out from the competition - be passionate about this idea and share it with others. Don't be afraid to tout how and why your business is different and why that is good for your customer.
3. Keeps your business decisions on-track
Remembering the reason for starting out - the passion you had and the drive to offer something distinct to the marketplace can come in handy when faced with business decisions. It's easy to be tempted by offers to grow your business by adding new products or services. Referring back to your original motivation can help ensure business decisions won't dilute your brand or mission.
Keeping your business's raison d'être close at hand (and preferably, in view daily), helps keep your business focussed and true to its mission. Amid the day-to-day activities, balancing multiple roles and meeting demands as a business owner, taking time to check that your decisions are in-line with and support your business's brand are essential to success!