Business

Three Secret Steps to Success in Business

A.  Cast L-R: Dondre T. Whitfield (Davis), Dina Meyer (Holiday) and Costas Mandylor (Monk) star as special secret agents in the new Columbia TriStar Television one-hour series "Secret Agent Man."

Photo:  Patrick Harbron

Did the title prompt you to click this article? I hope so because it is part of one of the steps. After nearly 20 years in corporate America and now working with my husband in our own company, I’d like to think I have learned a few things about business. The thing is, the secret to success in business is no secret at all. Whether you are just starting out or have a seasoned brand, your success is predicated on one thing…you.

The three steps to success I want to tell you about are guru-free and require no credit card. Got your attention? Read on.

 

Step #1: Establish

Establishing your brand is paramount in today’s competitive marketplace. Think beyond what product or service you provide to how you can uniquely solve a client or prospect’s problem.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why did you choose this business?

  • What are your goals for the business?

  • Is your company organized with clear structure? What hat(s) do you wear, and what hats do others wear? Is everyone in your business clear about this?

  • What are your core values and ethics? How do they work into how you conduct business?

  • What do you want people to know about you, your product or service that sets you apart from your competitors?

 

Some of these may seem like obvious questions, but often, in the wake of the excitement of getting started or the whirlwind of day to day operations, these fundamentals can get lost in the shuffle. Make a date with yourself to sit down and really think through these questions. Write down your answers and keep them handy, so you can refer back to them periodically. You may find you need to reset your company compass every once in a while to stay on the path to success.

 

Step #2: Position

Next is to find your seat at the table. Depending on your category and competitive analysis, this can be challenging. Do you want to be at the head of the table, or are you happy to just be in the room? Know this. You are out of the center of influence if you’re at the kids’ table. Contemplate the following:

  • Do you believe in your product or service enough to make room for your brand in your category?

  • Do you want to serve the masses or are you catering to a specific niche?

  • Who are your customers? What do they want and expect? How do you become indispensable to them?

  • What is the hook that drives your business? Is it service, price, selection, process?

  • What motivates clients to choose you over another company?

  • Are you keeping on top of emerging technology to stay at the forefront of your industry and establish/reinforce your position as a category leader?

  • Are you flexible, adjusting and evolving as the market dictates?

 

Once you establish where you want to be, you can focus on getting there.

 

Step #3: Promote

Clients can’t buy from you if they don’t know you. You must use all senses to promote your business, all the time. Make yourself visible, heard, felt, tasted and smelled to your prospects and clients every day. If promotion is outside your comfort zone, learn from the best. Heavy hitters like Grant Cardone and Gary Vaynerchuk will help kick your butt right out of obscurity, and you and your business will be better for it. Here are a few things you should be doing every day to get known:

  • Write articles for professional and social online entities

  • Shoot videos for Youtube

  • Be live on platforms such as Periscope, Meerkat and Facebook

  • Offer free samples

  • Do demos

  • Schedule speaking engagements

  • Visit customers where they are – don’t wait for them to come to you

  • Make yourself available to prospects and clients with advice and counsel

  • Get involved in your community and/or church

  • Be active in professional organizations and associations

  • Conduct seminars and webinars

  • Be engaged in circles of influence – identify key people who can help you and connect with them

 

As business owners, it is easy to get caught up in the act of doing business and forget that you are the business. Being in the Success FastLane is all about you. If you apply these three steps, you will see the difference in your business and in yourself. So, what are you waiting for? Step on the gas and go!

 

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