Most of us wish there were more hours in the day. But be honest with yourself – even if you had more hours, would you just waste them away?
Ask any successful entrepreneur and they’ll tell you that it’s not the number of hours you have, but how you use them. By learning and practicing effective time how to leverage time to get more done and also have more time to relax.
Leveraging time is a strategy of using time in a way to pursue your most important goals. Managing time is the day-to-day process you use to leverage the time—the scheduling, to-do lists, delegating, and other tasks. Without this strategy, time management won’t necessarily help you achieve your goals. Leverage: Taking the smallest action that will yield the largest result.
Here are simple things you can do today to work more efficiently:
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5 Steps to Building a Strong Brand
By Pat Simes
Branding has an enormous impact on every aspect of your business. Whether you’re just getting started creating a brand identity or you’re in the process of rebranding because of changes in the market, you need to spend some time clarifying the messaging you want to create and deciding how to implement it. Here are the 6 steps for creating a strong brand.
1. Create a Branding Strategy - Your branding strategy clarifies which direction your branding should go. It means creating your messaging with an eye toward the future of your business. This step in the process starts with identifying your business goals and how your brand fits into them. How does it help you to achieve them?
2. Research Your Market - Before you start making any major decisions, you need to understand where your business fits into the market and the position it plays in the minds of your audience. Research needs to be conducted in a few key areas.
Your Target Market. You need to create a detailed customer profile and identify the needs that your offerings fulfill for your audience. You also need to understand how your audience sees you, since “brand” is essentially an image that exists in their mind.
Your Products and Services. Branding revolves around a promise you make to your audience. What is your promise? What need does your offering speak to and how does it uniquely solve the problems of your target market?
The Competition. Research the market and see what your competitors are doing in order to clarify your unique position in relation to them. People will love your brand because of its uniqueness.
3. Create Your Messaging and Unique Value Proposition - Now that you know the market and your position in it, create a message that explains to your audience how you uniquely fulfill their needs. This message in some form will be conveyed through everything you do and at every touchpoint with your audience.
This message should focus on the customer and the benefits your offering provides them. How does using your products make the customer’s life better? It should emphasize what sets you apart from other, similar businesses.
4. Create a Branding Plan - Now, choose the personality, tone, and design elements that will help to convey this message to your audience. Your planning should include where you will communicate with your market and what content you will offer them. For branding to work, everything should be consistent and in harmony with the message you outlined in the previous step.
5. Implement Your Brand Identity - The process of branding is never truly finished. Once you implement it, you’ll need to monitor and keep gathering feedback from your market to make sure the message is hitting home.
From time to time, you’ll also need to consider rebranding. Companies re-brand when there are significant changes in the market, changes in their company, or a new segment of the market they need to target. In order to keep up to date with these changes, they have to tweak or overhaul their branding so that it will achieve their new goals.
Do you want to learn more about developing the right brand identity? Check out Innovative Business Solutions Self-Study Course, BUILDING YOUR BRAND, which teaches you the A to Z of branding and helps you achieve your business goals. https://www.providing-innovation.com/store/c3/Entrepreneurship_Self_Study_Courses.html
To establish a brand requires a great deal of time and effort, along with some strategic thinking. What if you put in all the work and it falls flat? Since this is an area of business that’s easily misunderstood, here are the biggest mistakes people make with branding so you can avoid them.
1. Failing to Think Strategically -Branding is part of your overall business plan, so you need to think strategically about it. It needs to connect to your “why” and your broader business goals. Go back and review the reasons why you’re running this business. Take some time to clarify what you hope to achieve and how your branding will help you do this.
2. Your Brand Is Not Your Logo - Many businesses make the huge mistake of thinking a brand is a logo or a set of design features. While consistent design is an important part of branding, what it’s really about is your messaging and the image you’re creating in the minds of your target market. This message tells people how your offerings uniquely benefit them.
3. Being Generic - The whole point of your brand is to differentiate your business from others in the market. If you can do this successfully, you can compete with bigger companies that have more resources to spend on marketing and advertising. Focus not only on what you do but what you do differently than the competition.
4. Assumptions Instead of Facts -Don’t make the mistake of building your brand based on assumptions. You think you know how people see your company, but this isn’t good enough. You need to conduct thorough marketing research and base your decisions on facts and feedback from your audience.
5. Inconsistency and Disconnect - If your branding is giving people mixed messages, it won’t work to engender trust. The message needs to be consistent wherever you have communication with your audience. The design features, the tone, and the unique benefits of using your products all need to be consistent.
6. Clever But Not Clear - While it’s nice to have a message that’s unique and clever, the most important thing is for it to be clear. Branding is a form of communication. People should understand your message easily at a glance. Don’t get so creative that it becomes hard to understand.
7. It’s All About You -While you’re talking about your products and services, the real message of your branding should be what using your products does for your customers. Focus on their needs and how their lives will be improved by using your product.
8. Forgetting to Update - The needs of your market and the competitive landscape change over time. Your business might also change, offering a new product line or reaching out to a new segment in the market. When this happens, your branding needs to reflect these changes. Sometimes, you need to assess and update.
Do you want to learn more about getting your branding right? Check out Innovative Business Solutions self-study course, BUILDING YOUR BRAND, which teaches you the A to Z of creating a viable brand for your business and helps you achieve your business goals.
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