#Smallbizchat Podcast LIVE is a monthly video interview show where small business owners can get answers to their questions.
The focus of #Smallbizchat is to end small business failure by helping participants succeed as your own boss.
Jimmy Newson is a business and growth strategy consultant, international speaker, and Moving Forward Small Business founder. He specializes in working with small businesses and entrepreneurs and is a contributor and Leadership Network member with Entrepreneur.com. Newson holds industry certifications in Google, HubSpot, SEMrush, Cascade, and Trainual and serves as a board and committee member for various private, government, and nonprofit organizations. For more information: https://movingfowardsmallbusiness.com
Jimmy Newson: In today’s ever-changing market, businesses need a clear direction to stay on top regardless of their size. A solid strategy ensures that a small business is moving in the right direction, identifying the target market, allocating resources, setting realistic goals, and working towards achieving them.
Jimmy Newson: A strategy is like a roadmap for small business growth. It enables business owners to assess the competition, identify opportunities, mitigate risks, and establish clear objectives. A small business with a solid strategy is well-positioned to outperform its competition and achieve growth.
Jimmy Newson: When developing a strategy, it’s important to keep three things in mind:
- Vision: The strategy should align with the business’s long-term vision. Business owners should consider their desired outcomes, where they want the business to be in 5 or 10 years.
- Market analysis: A strategy should take into consideration the industry trends, competition, and consumer behavior. Business owners should be aware of market shifts, economic trends, and consumer habits to adjust their strategy accordingly.
- Resource allocation: A strategy is only as effective as the resources allocated towards it. Business owners should think about the financial, human, and technological resources needed to achieve the set objectives.
In summary, having a solid strategy is critical for the success of any small business. By creating a roadmap, business owners can anticipate potential obstacles and proactively navigate through them while taking advantage of the opportunities for growth.
- Why do we need a strategy now as a small business?
- What does strategy have to do with business growth?
- What are the top three things to think about when developing a strategy?
Chris Carr is a successful digital entrepreneur. He started his company Farotech over 22 years ago. It’s a comprehensive Digital Marketing Agency located just outside of Philadelphia. Farotech is in the Inc 5000 fastest growing companies in America as well as the Philadelphia 100. Chris is at the forefront of AI and hosts a podcast (Digital Marketing Masterclass) with Andy Crestodina, featuring some of the top names in the world of Marketing. For more information: www.farotech.com
SmallBizLady: What’s the main problem in building a strong brand reputation, and where do most companies fail?
Chris Carr: The moral of that story is if you don’t get your brand sound, easily communicated, and repeatable, you’re setting your brand up for failure. Even if the brand is inconsistent or off by just 1%––multiply that by the magnitude of sales materials, blogs, podcasts, webinars, and ads: basically, everything that you do from a marketing standpoint. If fonts are one way on the website but another way on your ads, customers these days just aren’t as forgiving and will shift their attention span to a competitor. It happens really fast and the likelihood of you ever convincing them to come back and see if you got your act together is close to zero.
SmallBizLady: How does branding lead to better ROI?
Chris Carr: Ultimately, branding doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t lead to ROI and sales. But we’ve watched so many companies come to us saying “We need more leads and opportunities”. Well, what happens if I could snap my fingers and give you what you want? Imagine a bucket with a bunch of holes in it––that’s your brand currently leaking and leading to poor sales and outlook. If I pour more water into it, it’ll just spill off the sides or run through the holes. Our argument is that you should get a new bucket––a better message, a better system to generate, nurture, and convert leads. Most people think the answer isn’t a solid bucket; just keep adding more water. And we tell them: you don’t have a water problem; you have a bucket problem. A good example is Apple Maps ––when someone sends me an address, I avert Apple Maps and go right to Google Maps. If you don’t have a large serviceable market, if they come to your site and bounce because of crappy, inconsistent branding, it’s so much harder to get them to come back later.
Basically, you only get one shot, one impression. That’s why doubling down on branding, even though we think of it as intangible, can actually be the thing that contributes most to your bottom line and brand equity.
SmallBizLady: How do you think AI is forcing companies to adapt, and what are the new ways they should be doubling down and adapting?
Chris Carr: For over 22 years, we prided ourselves on the art and science of marketing. But now, with AI, we recognized that we need to focus more on the art side and less on the science side––which will get swallowed up using yesterday’s tools. In a world of AI, we think there’s a huge urgency for companies to pivot more to branding and strategy. Waiting too late could cost you, and visibility will go down if your branding discovery is flawed or not up to snuff. So, what we did was we studied everyone who did branding really well and designed our BrandDNA workshops and Brand Toolkit book.
BrandDNA is a set of exercises and workshops designed with deep investigative work to help companies get clear about their brand and develop a strategic plan around it that informs all forms of deliverables, including copy, advertising, offers, creative projects, core pages, websites, etc.
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