Tag Archives: purpose

Missionary Zeal

If you lack passion for your business, it’s time to give some thought to why you’re doing what you’re doing.  Missionary zeal is essential for business owners to ingrain into their company or organization.  It becomes the defining element of their corporate culture, the reason for your existence.

150px-USS_Benfold_DDG-65_CrestThere is an excellent book on leadership by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff called It’s Your Ship and sub-titled Leadership Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy.  Abrashoff created the best ship in the United States Navy by realizing that the destroyer he commanded, the USS Benfold, was more than “his” vessel.  It belonged to every sailor on board and the standard military protocol of command and control was less than ideal as a management technique.

The captain found that the more every member of the crew knew they had ownership of their ship and that he cared about them and their role on it, the higher the level of performance could be expected from everyone.  His vision was to reinforce that the ship’s mission was combat readiness.  Pure and simple.  That vision was communicated with the expectation that every sailor on board was important to achieving that mission.  It was, without a doubt, their ship!  The fact the USS Benfold became the best damn ship in the Navy proved his approach.

Does that same missionary zeal apply to your organization?

Do your “sailors” feel as though they can help accomplish the mission?  Do they even know what the mission is?  Do they care?  If they don’t, the reason may be that they don’t believe you care about them or what they do.  Do you listen to their suggestions?  Do you implement those recommendations, or sweep them under the rug?

More importantly, do your sailors understand the corporate mission?  Do you, as the business owner or CEO, convey your vision for the company’s success?  If you are unsure or unclear, it may be time to seek professional counsel and re-visit your corporate culture.  It’s okay to embrace change if it is warranted.  Insanity has been defined as continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result.

Your mission needs to clearly define your reason for existence, cutting through all the verbosity.  Are you in business to provide a service or a product to consumers?  Or to make money?  It should be both, but if you answered “Yes” to only making money, you need an independent third party to help you figure out how to do it.

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand



Advertising: Purpose is Pivotal

When a business owner tells me they need a brochure for their business, my first question is:  Why?  The answer usually goes something like:  Well, everyone has one, we should too.

Again, why?

I take it a step further by asking:  What is the purpose of the brochure?  This puts a big stump in the middle of the road.  When you take the time to think things through, the purpose of a brochure is, first of all, to get the viewer to pick it up.  That means it either has to have a strong attention getting device or that the viewer is interested in the subject of the brochure.  That could be a resort, a restaurant, tourist attraction, business information, or whatever else is being advertised, if done right.

Thinking it through a bit more, the second step in the process of an effective brochure is to get the viewer or person who picked it up to open it up and spend some time reviewing the contents.  Typically, once they’ve digested the information, they look for a call to action or a reason to save the brochure.  Without a call to action or reason to save it, the odds are that little brochure winds up in the recycling or trash bin.

The plus is that a brochure that is picked up and looked at has made at least one impression on one human being’s brain.  Whether anything is done about it is another matter, and that is what has prompted this blog.

The purpose of the brochure or other advertising is pivotal.  The call to action is essential, especially if it is intended to drive sales.

Regarding a brochure, here are a couple more questions:

Who do you want to see or receive the brochure?

What do you want them to do once they’ve received it?

The answers provide you with basic information about your target audience, how many brochures to print, the delivery vehicle (a brochure rack, direct mail, etc.), and how the reader should contact you.  Have you ever received a brochure in the mail that was without any contact information?  That’s a big “Oops!” and a costly one, too.

Whether it’s a brochure or some other form of advertising for your business, here’s the basic question you need to ask yourself:  What’s the purpose?

You should know what you want your advertising to do.  Do you want viewers, readers, and/or users to call you?  Stop by your store?  Go online?  Check out your website?  E-mail you?  You must first give them a compelling reason to take action, and then call them to action so they do what you want them to do.

Even if you merely want to share information to educate potential consumers, you need to stir action to get them involved.  If you’ve paid attention to the fine print in TV commercials for ED products, you’ll notice they generally direct people to a magazine ad for more information.  Pick up that magazine and you’ll see a three-page ad; one for the product and two pages of disclaimers.

Think about who you want to receive your advertising message.  Male, female, or both?  What age group?  What income level?  Where do the majority of them live?

Next, consider what is the best way to reach them with your message.  Are they most likely to listen to radio or view a brief video online?  Choosing the right delivery vehicle and crafting a message relevant to your target audience are additional steps to gain success and a return on your investment in advertising.

Advertising seems simple, but it’s a complicated process that requires you take the time to think it through.  Save yourself some money and engage a qualified consultant to help.


5 P’s of Business Success

Your definition of success is different than mine.  Is the wino who scores a cheap bottle every day less successful than the sales representative whose achieves the goal of 10 sales in a week?  It comes down to how you define success.

Success KeyWhen it comes to owning and operating a business, defining success is still a personal choice, although there are certain keys that can clarify the definition.  Here are five “P”s:

  1. Passion.  One of the first elements Brand Irons considers when taking on a new client is how passionate you are about your business.  The passion gets you up in the morning with eager anticipation for what you can accomplish during the day.  It motivates you to bring enthusiasm to every decision you make about the business.  It energizes your employees and that passion for your vision goes right through to your customers.  That passion for your enterprise sends you home at night encouraged by the results and excited about bringing it back tomorrow.
  2. Plan.  Various research projects have illustrated that people, especially business owners, who set goals and write down their plans are far more likely to succeed than those who feel goals and plans have little value.  Take some time to think for a few minutes:  Are you working in your business or are you taking the time to work on your business?  Working on your business means you do some research, study your competition, talk to your customers and personnel, and develop strategies to enhance your bottom line.  Try a different tactic and measure the results of how it worked.  Consult with professionals and others in your field who have been successful in their endeavors.  Think about things.
  3. Perform.  Your passion conveys a sense of urgency that follows the path you’ve laid out in your plan.  Another critical element is to execute the strategy, which means you and your people have to perform.  Your customers have expectations.  They believe in and trust you.  They know what to expect from your products and/or services.  It’s up to you and your team to make it happen and fulfill those customer expectations.  That’s why it is essential you stay in touch with your customers.  Get to know them and their needs.  What are they looking for, and is your company meeting those needs?  How can you enhance service?  Are there other products you could provide to help them solve their problems?  Do what is expected of you … and then do a little more than that.
  4. People.  Whatever your business, whatever you market, and whether you have employees or it’s only you, everything you do involves people.  Your customers are people; human beings with needs, wants, and wishes.  Your employees are people with a need to feel appreciated, who want to have value and make a contribution, and wish to be treatly fairly and honestly.  Your success in business is therefore wrapped up with people.  That means you need to establish and sustain relationships with these people, especially your customers.  Always remember that without customers – who are people – you have no business.
  5. Place.  The adage that it’s all about location is true, to a degree.  If you operate a restaurant or a retail establishment, your place in the community can be a critical element in your long-term success.  The same holds true if the primary place where your business is located is on the Internet.  If your web presence is old, stagnant, and hard to find, even the most elaborate website is a poor location.  Keep your place looking sharp.  Your parking lot should be as safe, clean, and comfortable as your place of business.  Your website should be up-to-date and your social media current and professional.  Remember, marketing is about perception.  If your customers think your place looks sloppy, that perception could reflect on your products and services as clearly as crystal.