Tag Archives: profitability

The Trust Factor

Credit must be given when credit is due.  The trust factor is a concept we learned about word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing from the networking guru, Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI (Business Network International).  The concept is worth elaboration since it applies to more than WOM marketing for your business.

Graphic designed by Brand Irons.

Graphic designed by Brand Irons.

The process of building trust begins with Visibility.  From the networking perspective, you must make yourself visible in order for people to begin building some trust.  That often means attending networking events on a consistent basis, whether it’s a BNI meeting or a Chamber After Hours event.

From the business and marketing perspective, visibility is important because your consumers and potential customers need to know you exist.  In this case, visibility is how your place of business is perceived, how your products and/or services are viewed, how visible you and your employees are, and how well you advertise and promote your business.  Perception needs to reflect reality.  You need to be seen and recognized!

In networking, you also establish trust by building Credibility.  You have to say what you mean and mean what you say.

The same principle holds when it comes to marketing your business.  If you promise to deliver within 24 hours and it takes 36, your credibility is damaged.  If your advertising offers a “wide selection” and the consumer discovers they have two choices, your credibility is suspect.  If you post certain hours and are closed during those times, it has an impact on your credibility.

Credibility, like visibility, must be maintained on a consistent basis to build the trust you want your customers to have in you and your business.  Our last two blogs have harped on consistency because it is so vital to continuously growing your business.

When it comes to networking, and we have found this to be true in more than a dozen years of being involved in BNI, your Profitability comes from the trust that’s established when you are visible and credible in your business dealings.

From the business and marketing side, establishing the profitability of your company is also built on the other two sides of the trust triangle.  When your products hit the market and gain visibility, they hopefully become credible and desirable in the eyes of your consumers.  This establishes the trust in you, your company, and your products and/or services that leads to the profitability you desire.

Trust is at the center of building customer loyalty to your brand.  Trust must be established and maintained with your clients.  Remember, too, that trust is easily destroyed.  It requires honesty and hard work, as well as consistency throughout your organization.  It is also worth protecting when you achieve it.

One service that a consulting firm, like Brand Irons, can offer is an evaluation of the trust factor for your business, your products and/or services.

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand


The Business Mindset

In a previous blog, we wrote about The Consumer Mindset.  Now it’s time to turn around and focus on the mindset of a business owner.

Two of the more important elements in operating your own business are:  1) Remembering why you’re in business in the first place; and, 2) Remaining focused on your customers at all times.  Having a valuable product or service, strong management, and exceptional customer service are significant as well, but everything else usually falls under one of the two more important elements.

Let’s elaborate.

You probably got into business for several reasons.  Filling an under-served niche market to meet a consumer demand or need may have been one of them.  Having an impact in the world and making some money might have been the reasons.  Some people start a business to fund their retirement or to create an enterprise for their children to take over.  There are those who merely want to say they did it and they had the world in the palm of their hands!

World in Hands

Whatever the reason you started a business, or are thinking about starting one, take the time to stop and think about that mindset once in a while.  Every six months is a good benchmark for taking the time to reflect on your purpose for doing what you’re doing.  If you need to make changes, weigh your options.  Think deep about whether it is a change that really needs to be made.

A quick transition to another owner, a fire sale, or a bankruptcy can be traumatic and devastating to your employees, your customers, and to you and your reputation.  It is best if you can take the time to think through and plan a transition that benefits everyone involved in the change.  Consultants such as Brand Irons can assist with these transitional periods and smooth the waters.

What is also important in the business owner’s mindset is having a mission that is clear and conveys the vision of the company.  Owners have an obligation to portray their vision to their employees, their customers, and the public on a consistent basis.  That takes constant, open and two-way communication with team members, along with the insistence that the same level of communication is shared with customers and potential customers.

It’s also about setting objectives and striving to accomplish them.  It involves being able to make tough decisions without emotional attachment.  It means being confident and assertive without being offensive or demeaning.  Praise in public and criticize (we prefer instruct) in private is a valuable approach.  A pat on the back goes further than a kick in the pants.

Be open to suggestions.  An employee on the front line may have an idea that could make you millions.  Be generous and share the credit.  Herb Kohl, former U.S. Senator and owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, reportedly paid each of the employees of the facility where his team played $500 for their dedication to the team.

When your purpose is clear, your service to your customers also has clarity.

 Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand