Woman & Home Questions And Answers

In a recent edition of Woman and Home magazine, I had the honour of helping two entrepreneurs with the most pressing questions they have in their respective businesses. By speaking to others around us, we find that it is by no means an isolated issue or question.  Most entrepreneurs want to know how to stand out from their competitors and how to grow fast (while still coping with their business).  This is my opinion and I hope it helps.

Woman & Home Questions And Answers

By Hilda Lunderstedt, 19 June 2017

 

Q:  How do I make sure my business stands out from the competitors?

A:  Simply put, you have to create a better brand - this applies to your business as well as your personal brand. People want to deal with the best companies possible and they want to know they are dealing with industry experts. Customers are willing to pay more for products and services they believe are better and that will benefit them or their business. You and your company should be top of mind, whenever customers need your type of services or products.

To create a strong brand, you need to know and be very clear on what it is that you are the best at and be clear on what you offer better than anybody else. If you do not have a competitive edge, do not compete. You should communicate what you offer, how you offer it and why customers should deal with your organisation. Remember your company brand is not only its website or Facebook page. Every point of interaction with anyone in your organisation is a branding exercise. Your brand is only as strong as the weakest touch point. When a customers has honoured you by choosing to do business with you, be willing to go the extra mile, offering even more value than what your customer would expect. There are simply too many organisations that over promise and under-deliver. Dare to break that mould and out-service all your competitors.

Q:  My business is growing quickly. Would I benefit from getting outside advice, for example, by hiring a non-executive director?

A:  Keep in mind that for everything you have problems with or still want to achieve, there are people who have already achieved it. To make the journey easier, find those people and learn from them. Too many entrepreneurs, especially start-ups, want to go it alone and then get demotivated and despondent by the difficulty of their journey and growth.

A business that is growing fast is amazing, but has its own challenges such as cashflow, expanding teams and too many things needing attention and too little time. With so much to juggle, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. I think it is a good idea for any entrepreneur to have a mentor or coach to use as a soundboard. Someone they can bounce ideas off or who can guide them to the quickest way to achieve desired results.

Once you reach the stage where you need to raise money through investors and start selling equity in your company, putting together a board of non-executive directors can be helpful, as investors will be comfortable knowing you have a strong board that will ensure their investment is protected. Bringing on a board or outside investors in too early has challenges of its own as their vision for the company might differ from you and this might be problematic. The most important thing is to get the right people for the job. People who understand and support what you want to achieve and can open doors for you.

We have covered a lot in June and if you haven't yet, submit any questions you might have, by visiting Ask Hilda.

 

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