Once you’ve decided and made the leap to become an entrepreneur, you need to make some changes to your lifestyle in order to succeed. Your decision cannot stem from frustration of being an employee alone or you won’t have the energy and focus that you need to succeed.
To succeed and to ensure that your personal brand stays intact takes planning and strategizing.
Goals and strategies
Before anything, you first need to set goals specific goals. You also need to develop and maintain a strategic plan which can guide you through the steps you’ve identified as necessary to making your goals “inevitable”. As you’re crafting the plan for your business, it’s also important to craft your own personal brand strategic plan. Both of them will grow in tandem yet the end goals for each maybe different.
Setting your goals, objectives, strategy and tactics are key to the success of both your business and personal brand. Often, we dive into tactics first without starting with the goal and drilling down to what each and every step is to attain that goal.
Continue reading to know more about the integral elements or your business brand and personal brand strategic plan.
Know your purpose
First of all, you need to be firm on your personal interests and aspirations. Personal interest may connote a negative meaning. But in this context, it simply means that you have to align your business according to your personal values because it’s definitely hard to prosper when you don’t believe in what you’re doing. There is often the co-mingling of business purpose and personal purpose for an entrepreneur.
Know what makes you and your business unique
Extracting and then being able to communicate is also vital to the success of your business and personal brand. This is often the challenge for the budding entrepreneur since they have to operate so many roles within their business. Spend time knowing what really makes you unique and what you enjoy doing (even if you weren’t paid to do it). Then write it down so you can stay ever focused on this as you make decisions in your business as you profit and grow and change and strategize. Avoid getting caught up in the “busy-ness” of business and lose sight of what you really enjoy doing and contributing.
Know what you have and don’t have
Take an inventory of what you have. This does not just refer to the cash you need to finance your business, but rather to all the available resources, including the people you work with and your own skills and abilities, your mentors, advocates and database of connections.
I do encourage doing a quick SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and then spend more time doing a SOAR analysis (strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results). One of the main purposes for this is to assess customer demand. The other is to ensure your personal brand and interest aren’t lost in the growth. Think of the things your potential consumers can only get and want to only get from you? Do they need it or want it?
Equip yourself with resources
Remember that you only have limited resources especially if you are just about to start up a business. The most expensive and least available is your time. Well meaning people will want you to network 24-7. Their intention is good in that they want to help you grow your database of contacts yet it’s also important to remember that you need time to actually get work done that is paid work.
In business, you have to anticipate what you will need as well as potential problems. Think about impermanent circumstances that may affect your critical decisions. It’s important to have a “Plan B”, “Plan C”, and even C’s or D’s, to be able to stay focused should something happen.
Manage your relationships
It’s also necessary for you to manage existing relationships. Your relationship with your customers is important. And, your relationship with your suppliers, service providers, business partners and even your family, are just some of the relationships that you have to equally take care of.
Learn from other people’s knowledge and experiences
People say that an entrepreneur is made and not born. It is very helpful to train and know all aspects of your industry. You can also learn this from mentors or others who have done what you are embarking upon. Start searching for someone who:
1. Did what you want to do.
2. Competes in a similar industry.
3. Regulates your industry.
4. Trains or provides workshops in your industry.
Conversations with people who have this type of specific experience is extremely valuable.
Reflect on what you’ve done so far
Last but not the least, is your willingness to be measured. You can actually do it by self-evaluating; requesting mentors to assess your achievements and validating where you are in comparison to your strategic plan.
Were you able to make significant improvements in your business and life? Review this for your business brand and personal brand. (The Reach 360 Assessment is perfect for this.)
Are there any other employee to entrepreneur tips that you have?
Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word of mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz, she facilitates online visibility services and word of mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy.