What are your values?

By Branding, Marketing strategy

Great brands are built on strong values. If your business is ‘just you’, then you are the brand. What are your values?

Values = the basis of branding. As a business owner, your values are the foundation of your enterprise. Being clear about your values will help you to position your enterprise, amongst other things. It is important to know what your values are. Here are some of them:

Authority, Change, Communication, Competence, Creativity, Decisiveness

Efficiency, Excellence, Family,  Focus, Freedom, Friendship, Goals, Gratitude

Happiness, Health, Helpfulness, Honesty, Imagination, Independence, Integrity

Knowledge, Leadership, Learning, Logic, Love, Loyalty, Money, Positive thinking

Privacy, Problem solving,  Professionalism, Quality, Recognition, Relationships

Service, Spirituality, Success, Teamwork, Truth, Trust, Wealth, Wisdom

Take a moment to list your values. Include the finished list within your website. I have known customers to decide on a particular supplier, as they displayed their values in this way.  Incidentally, the above list of values comes from The Marketing Compass Manual.

Fear of failure

By Success

To a large extent, success in business is all about your ability to handle the fear of failure. The more you take the initiative and do stuff, the more likely it is that you will fail.

I have been involved in sales and marketing for a quarter of a century.

During this time, I have witnessed great successes and great failures. The millionaires I have worked with know that failure is a feedback mechanism. “OK, so that approach didn’t work out. Let’s try another way of doing this,” they respond.

If you are an internet marketer, you will know all about the fear of failure. High bounce rates, poor responses to email marketing, SEO results which keep on changing – the list is endless. Some things work, some things crash and burn. The important thing is to keep learning from the endless feedback loop which comprises the internet.

If you are selling professional services, you need to get in front of prospective clients. Do you have a CRM system? Does it contain thousands of contact details? Do you have a promotional mix which enables you to keep in touch with dormant, current and prospective clients? Are you picking up the phone and talking to people? Are you filling your diary with sales meetings?

Recently, I have been picking up the phone and talking to members of The Marketing Compass, which is a group  of small business owners who are interested in marketing. I have heard some amazing stories, regarding the recessionary years we have just been through (and are hopefully now emerging from). “I lost most of my clients last year,” a member told me. “I knew that it wasn’t my fault. So I picked myself up, dusted myself off and took your advice. I kept adding to my list of contacts and I kept in touch with them. I chose the ones I really wanted to work with. I kept asking them questions and I suggested helpful ways that they could improve their business. Two of them have now signed me up for on-going work. As you keep telling me Nigel: never give up.”

As the saying goes, it’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s how you handle what happens to you. Thomas J Watson Senior, the founder of IBM said that the formula to success is easy: simply double your rate of failure. Don’t fear failure: learn from it. I wish you great success with everything that you do.

If you have any questions about the fear of failure, just ask!

I lost my wedding ring

By Nigel Temple, Success

On February 15th (the day after Valentines), I realised that my wedding ring had gone. I searched around my desk, the floor and everywhere I had been that morning, to no avail.

My wedding ring is the only item that I wear, 24 hours a day. It has become part of me. The strange thing was that I could still feel it there, as I absent mindedly went to rotate it, both during the day and whilst I lay awake at night.

I had been for a meeting, the previous day, at a local hotel. So I returned and crawled around the chair I had been sitting on. No ring.

I kept searching, over the next few days. I tried retracing my footsteps in my minds’ eye. When had I lost it? Where could it be? I realised how much a part of me the ring had become, once it had gone.

Last night, my wife found the ring, in our napkin drawer. We celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this year, so I am glad that I will be wearing my wedding ring on that occasion.

The moral of this story is to never to give up hope. That which has been lost, can be found again. In your personal and business life – if you have done it before, you can find the strength to do it again.