I saw a post put up by a friend on LinkedIn recently about not giving up and how hard work is the difference between successful and unsuccessful businesses. I disagreed strongly. Hard work is not a strategy
Hard work is like saying “be diligent in climbing up a ladder”. Weather the storm, out ride the waves. My question is “What if the ladder is placed on the side of the wrong building?”
Hard work should only come up when there is a business and brand connection to your price points and targeted audience. If there is a disconnect, no matter how hard you work, you’ll be working hard, going in the opposite direction from where it is you are trying to go. Figure out what building it is your ladder should be placed on before the climb.
In the picture above, the bird could have filled the jar with rocks to increase the water level for a drink, or the bird could have simply used a straw. The straw is your strategy.
Steps to achieving sustainable Business Strategy
There are four major issues you need to have figured out.
1. Know thyself- Branding (Building an intangible equity that would outlive you and would exist outside of you). Keeping in mind that people are emotional beings. They buy for emotional reasons, beyond the functionality of your product. I call this discovering your “why”. Sell a purpose, not a product.
2. Know thy Audience- Target audience segments. Who exactly is the brand story you created defining? Who is your target? How will they hear of you? What is their pain point and how will your product solve that problem for them on an emotional level?
Creating a niche for yourself will help your audience will find you quicker.
3. Know thy Business — Developing a workable Business Model. What is the way you run your business? Is there a excess of stock? Waste? Who are your partners? What can you leverage on to grow the business you want to grow?
4. Develop a workable Marketing Strategy- A mistake many businesses make is to start hard and drop the momentum. Developing a repeatable system of communicating your brand to the world will be key to staying on the top of mind of the specific audience for the specific product.
Nothing exists independently of each other so from time to time, there will be overlaps. No segment is more important than the other either. Until all these gears are turning effectively, the business will not perform optimally.
The book Building a Sustainable Fashion Business will teach you how to do these things. At the end of each chapter, there are templates you should fill out. By the time you’re through filling each out, there should be some structure and direction for the brand you want to build.
Download a free chapter of the book here.