Like big corporations, solopreneurs and small businesses can generate disproportionate value by leveraging their brand. Brands represent businesses in busy, noisy, crowded marketplaces.Successful brands introduce a company’s personality and reputation even in the entity’s absence. Aggressive and clever entrepreneurs benefit disproportionately when they execute their branding well. The same mechanism works for individuals. Having the marketplace vouch for someone’s reputation and body of work when that individual is working hard elsewhere creates an enviable advantage. Capturing this lightening in a bottle requires insightful strategy, detailed execution and an appetite for excellence.
Particularly with smaller enterprises, key contributors have multiple responsibilities. Production professionals also sell. Administrative personnel also perform maintenance. Entrepreneurship relies so much on efficient productivity and tangible results that all-hands-on-deck is the norm. Furthermore, for the organization to grow successfully even more disproportionate efforts go to revenue generating activities. Balancing these multiple obligations takes more than entrepreneurial greed. The leader cannot possibly answer every call, but they facilitate an environment where everyone makes sure every call gets a response. Accountability and respect across all internal and external relationships appears everywhere so that all team members benefit when anyone interacts with the business.
Clearly, relationships are the primary driver of marketing momentum. Every contact is not a potential customer. However, every contact who is not a potential customer has the power to become a referral partner. If a particular contact cannot be a referral partner, then they can be an advocate. In all these roles, the priority remains to find someone or some entity to have a desire, or need, that a deliverable, product, or service can satisfy. In pursuing growth aspirations, the entire business needs to be committed to contributing to its growth. Connecting the public at large, or the individual in specific, to the value offering is every stakeholder’s role, as well as being in their best interest. Essentially, relationships across the value chain lead to success and all stakeholders have a responsibility to contribute.
Organizational character is the personification of the entity. And, that character is a sales professional. To be clear, every individual is not necessarily a sales professional. Nevertheless, the successful entrepreneurial enterprise realizes that every professional, stakeholder, and administrator has the potential and responsibility to contribute to sales efforts. The One Character in successful enterprises represents the entity’s personality. In some cases, entrepreneurs will point out their services advantages, or their technological superiority. Both attributes contribute to the company’s success. But only when those characteristics contribute to sales efforts, and consequently financial successes, do the business establish staying power to impose their success on their industry and marketplace.
The organization’s character ties directly back to successful branding. Beyond what the business says, how the business performs is most important. Sales success that dies in the marketplace because of unfulfilled promises, reveals bad character and ultimately collapses if left unchecked. Yet, character results from every contributor’s wholehearted participation. Getting an organization to cooperatively work with a high-level of individual accountability presents unique challenges. Consequently, creating a culture of coordination separates successful businesses from the others. Character has been described how someone behaves when no one is watching. One Character then means that the entire team performs in alignment consistently. That behavior drives value, profits and longevity.
“Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.” Essentially, professional success results from teamwork. Different roles, many responsibilities, one goal, leads to success. Culture is important. High performance is essential, whether culture, accountability, or character drives the performance. The focus on having a team emphasizing its many roles and relationships for the benefit of one common goal wrapped up in a singular character represents a clear path to success. Be yourself; work together. This profile demonstrates how small organizations slay giants. These characteristics reveal why branding wins.
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC