Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything’s different? When we set off in 2008, shaping brands and digitalizing their marketing plans, we had visualized this blog already. But what we are about to share with you? These lessons? They’ve come to us only with experience. And 8 years back we couldn’t have written these down, no matter how many marketing case studies or success in business best sellers we would have read. By making mistakes, by taking risks, by digging deeper and by having fun doing new business things, that’s the way to be. Lend us your attention, this one’s going to be deep:
1. Don’t overthink branding. In three years, you will refresh anyway.
When you start a business, a brand or a service, you need a pretty looking business card, an out-of-the-box logo, and a cool tagline. Wrong! You need to work, you need to focus on your clients, you need a website that helps your customers find you on google. And how much ever you invest in branding at this stage, it’s just going to be a waste. Because, after 3 years, you are going to look at your logo and tell yourself, this isn’t what your brand is! And you’re going to revamp it to suit your now matured business personality. That’s when those dollars will come handy. So hold those creative artsy horses.
2. If you’re just starting, be hard on yourself. Eat Sleep Work Repeat.
People will tell you to pause, breathe, go on a holiday. They will tell you you’re taking this too seriously. But that’s the advantage you’ve got. You have it in you to give it all you got. You gave up some opportunities and chose business. It’s your baby. And when it’s still growing, it needs all your attention. You will have to pause everything else and just go mad looking after it. That’s right. The good, the bad and the ugly. You’ll have to be there for them all.
3. Sales and marketing are different things. There is a time for each.
They overlap quite often, yes. But sales and marketing are two different things. Sometimes your business will need sales, and other times it will need marketing. When your business is still young, you have to get sales. Which means grabbing all the work you get. Going out of the way and making each sale special. These are some advantages that a smaller business has. Use them. Once you get big, you won’t be able to welcome every sale, you’ll have to choose your customers and look for profits and growth. But when you’re small you can work, work, work. Marketing won’t do for you what sales can at this stage. So sales > marketing for a start up.
4. Every business needs checklists. Find your’s now.
Hey! Pick up a pen, note this one down and put it up in your workstation where it keeps reminding you to create checklists. We can’t stress this enough. All your business processes, especially once you have a team, need to follow checklists. A checklist for sales, for purchases, for store management, for recruitment, a traveling checklist, a fitness checklist, a turning 30 checklist or a weekend checklist. Is there a checklist for making a checklist? Well, you need them all. You will see how this will help you control your business and own your superpower. Own your superpower? Does that sound funny? Well, we can talk about it for hours. Drop by anytime 😉
5. Just go up the ladder, this is no race. You’ll find your own happy.
Don’t compare your middle to some other business’ top. If you really have to, compare yourself to others who started with you. Heads up, cliche ahead. Honestly, don’t compare yourself to others at all. Just keep growing yourself. Every new month you should be better and higher up the ladder. That’s the only thing you want to be doing if you want to feel motivated and have your team feel encouraged too! You don’t have to have a certain number of stores or a certain number of clients. Your story is different and your happy can be different too.
6. Grow together. It’s not fun alone.
You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Yes, technology still hasn’t found a replacement for that. If you want to grow, it’s no fun doing it alone. Take along everyone who works with you, your customers and your team members. Influence each other to improve and be better. We got so many people loving chocolates and doing yoga! And of course, if customers grow, team members grow, your business flourishes. It’s a simple science. Try and give everyone the opportunity to learn, to improve and to achieve.
7. Never stop learning. Because changes will happen.
When we started off, Facebook was still growing but newspaper advertising was pretty much a thing. Today newspaper advertising is obsolete, Facebook has replaced it completely and then we have Snapchat, which has totally changed the way a brand communicates. Whoa! Who could have seen that coming? But we’re ready for changes. It’s a dynamic world and that’s what makes businesses fun. So whatever be your industry, you gotta keep taking those workshops, giving new exams and doing fresh things. Pokemon hunting, ice bucket challenge, puppy face filters, google my business, new technologies, keep ’em coming!
8. The cherry comes last. First, comes the cake.
Everyone wants the cherry on the cake. But to make the cherry so desirable you first need a cake and then the icing! So don’t try to skip the strategy, the research, the hard work and the brainstorms. There is no short cut to success. We could sit in our Greenhouse, read books and blogs on marketing and hope to stay on top of marketing in Vancouver. But unless we step out and see our clients’ customers shop, make new observations, we will never be able to reach the cherry. So goes with your business, unless you get your hands dirty and make the cake, you won’t enjoy the cherry much.
We hope our 8 lessons help your business and your brand. If you are reading this, it just means that our little story has done its job. And for everything else, you can always drop by our Greenhouse. We have some crazy stories to tell and chocolates too! We’ve done some fresh marketing for some cool brands and we are ready for more.