Three Things Your New Company Needs In Order to Dominate

By: Guest | May 9, 2012 | 

Today’s guest post is written by Micah Smith

It’s pretty safe to say no one likes a crappy economy. Salaries and jobs have been cut, people have lost their homes and livelihoods, gas prices have gone through the roof, and many people are starting from scratch.

The good news is incredible things tend to rise from the ashes. Because of that, in the midst of the economic confusion, entrepreneurship is flourishing.

As it turns out, most people didn’t love the job they lost; they just worked there because it offered security and a paycheck. And when security becomes insecure, it gives us more reason to trust ourselves and start something new.

With so many going out on their own, the process has been well-documented and articulated from a business perspective, but it’s easy to overlook these three basic elements that will show off your expertise to consumers from day one.

  1. An Awesome Website. Let’s face it, we’re a culture of limited time and snap judgments. And we know what a good online presence looks like. If you’re determined you can put your website on the back burner and skate by for a year or two on a hosted template, think again. The first thing someone will do when they hear about you is visit your website. If it isn’t professional, they’ll make the same judgment about you.
  2. An Elevator Pitch. I know. You’re new at this. You had to memorize your corporate elevator pitch the first day on the job, so writing your own pitch isn’t something you’ve had to do before. It also happens to be one of the most difficult things for an entrepreneur, because we tend to spend more time than anyone else coming up with new ideas and dwelling on the possibilities. Unfortunately, you can’t spend 20 minutes spouting off all the things you do, want to do, and think you’ll do in the future to a potential customer or client. You just can’t.
  3. A Well-Rounded Brand. Okay, so this one’s a little more abstract. We usually like to think that “brand” is synonymous with “household name,” but that’s not true. Any company – no matter how small – can be a brand. Brands are simply shortcuts that make it easy for people to remember and spread the word about companies. Your awesome website, elevator pitch, logo, and marketing and social media strategy are all part of your brand, but they need to be cohesive in order to make sense and be sharable. Branding takes some strategy, but it’ll pay off in the long run.

Entrepreneurship is a huge undertaking and it’s easy to get tunnel vision trying to figure out the mechanics of a new company on the inside. The inner-workings are hugely important, but if you neglect the details that explain what you do, those inner-workings won’t matter. It’s all about the customer, people! If they’re going to see it, make it good.

So, I’m dying to know: Are you an entrepreneur? Do you want to be? What’s working for you? What isn’t? Your experience will help inform everyone else’s.

Micah Smith is part of Proof Branding, a full-service branding company specializing in small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. Proof has recently introduced Launch to help aspiring entrepreneurs travel from the idea phase to new company. You can follow them at @proofbranding.

  • mitchellfriedmn

    What you’re talking about here are tactics and even strategy (in terms of brand), pure and simple. What’s more critical is the next level down in terms of who you are, and more specifically your mission/vision.  Short of being relentlessly tuned into this level, all other efforts will fall short based on my experience.  

    • MrsMicahSmith

       @mitchellfriedmn Mitchell – Totally agree. These are tactics that don’t work if you don’t have the core “essence” of your brand worked out. If you aren’t approachable, don’t have a good story, and overall can’t support these things with an excellent product or service, don’t even bother. Great point. 

  • A quick story / experience I had last week: I parked at the store next to a truck with an interesting car sign attached to the door. It just so happened that the owner was arriving back from making his purchases at that exact moment. I started to chat with him about his business, and he pulled out his business card. I asked about the web address on the car door and he said it still wasn’t up and running. His kids were in charge of that end of the business and hadn’t finished it, yet. So nobody can see your products, I asked? He was concerned about how to ship his large product and perhaps that was slowing him down, so he was staying local. But as we talked we discovered how they could be disassembled and shipped very easily with assembly instructions.
    I walked away wondering how it really is the little things that stop people and it’s also the small things that help them grow. Like a website!!

    • MrsMicahSmith

       @CrossBetsy I LOVE this! And I think something you mention in here is especially true: It’s possible to run a business without things like a website, but it’s not possible to do very much growing. Very cool that you were able to help him find a way to ship his product and potentially make a huge impact on his company. …Just because you were willing to ask.

  • Good points Micah, but I would add also as a feature of nowadays crappy economy governments and politicians who instead of trying to help citizens to come out of the mud push them deeper increasing taxes and reducing services. Imagine that here where I live people is suiciding for debts and taxes every week. Once we were one of the ten best economies of the world and now just a infinitesimal step above Greece.
    Anyway, I’m going a bit out of topic, very interesting post, short and to the point. 🙂

    • MrsMicahSmith

       @Andrea T. H. W. Thanks, Andrea. It’s definitely true that there are many reasons for the economic situation worldwide, which is why those who see the potential to build a company in spite of the circumstances need to be prepared to execute it in the best possible way. Thanks for your perspective!

      •  @MrsMicahSmith Many times people talk about the fact that during the previous Great Depression empires were built only that, at least in Italy, now we have such an enormous amount of bureocracy and taxes that doing something similar it’s simply not possible.
        Munich in Germany has a building regulation about ten pages long, Rome has at least five full books, just to give an example, reason why so many businesses are moving to Switzerland. And reason why Switzerland now is under screening from EU. There are so many public “workers” and politicians living on citizens’ taxes in Europe and especially in Italy that reducing them moving businesses to another country isn’t allowed.
        You can escape death but not bureocracy and taxes. 🙂

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