Fueling Your Business Strategy
The Vespa has always been an object of great admiration. But when I first brought Vespas to South Africa, turning that admiration into sales proved to be a challenging journey. Only by completely transforming my business strategy was I able to turn admirers into loyal riders. It all started with branding. Here are some tips for brand success:
• Go big or go home: Invest and commit— the more you put in, the more you get out. Every decision you make influences the direction your company takes. No revolutionary ideas were born from taking it easy or playing it safe.
• Get organised: Understanding exactly what you need to deliver will ensure success. Carefully map out your daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists— meticulous planning is essential. Sitting back and hoping to reach your targets or goals is not an option.
• Empty planner, empty business: Never have empty space in your planner— it means you wait for things to happen, rather than making them happen. Time is everything, and the way you use it reflects your character and business.
• It’s all about the follow-through: If you have an idea, get on it immediately. Act on your game plan. This is particularly important in a target-driven industry but is also sound advice for any business. Follow-through is what sets dreamers apart from achievers.
• Put people first: A successful business is the result of a passionate and fulfilled staff complement. Always look for motivated individuals who are keen to progress and can stick to a plan. Nurturing staff is vital for continued excellence.
• Sell the experience: Showing people a product—with the bells and whistles included—is easy. Getting them to buy into an experience is a lot more interesting. Creating an interactive experience gives customers more than just a product and nurtures loyalty. Everyone wants to be a part of something. Recognising that will put you in a league of your own.
• Always be on the hunt for what’s new and exciting: You may have an amazing business idea this year, but that idea needs to be relevant in five years. Stay abreast of new trends relevant to your product or start trends yourself. You’re only as good as your latest offering.
• Give them what they want: Look for innovation from your customers— they’re the ones who are most critical and know what they want.
• Network, network, network: Keep good company that will help boost your business. Surround yourself with intelligent people who can be a source of constant learning. Get involved with other professional organisations to interact with like-minded individuals.
• Views, tweets, likes— find your brand its match: If you don’t have an online presence, you’ll get left behind. Use social media as a tool to stay relevant and connected. Share product experiences in different ways that suit your offering and look for honest feedback.