I recently attended a Chase for Business event. I’ll start off by saying that it was an exceptionally well put together event, and the information provided was invaluable. If you have the opportunity to go, I recommend it.
The high point of the event was Daymond John, of Shark Tank, presenting. In addition to having a great story, he is a fantastic presenter. He presented his 5 shark tips.
- Set a goal
- Do your Homework
- Remember you are the brand
- Keep swimming
These tips simplify, but accurately capture the hard work that goes into running a business. They also spell out shark, and lets be honest, that is a part of the branding message a business owner should also consider. It is a bit cheesy, but it helps people remember.
Set a goal
How do you know how to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going? It is simple, but not. Setting a goal is the start of the planning process. It is the first step in building a business plan, establishing a marketing strategy, and gathering the resources you need.
Do your homework.
This step . . . More than so many others, this step is the difference between a successful entrepreneur and a person with a string of failed businesses. Daymond has an entertaining method of presentation and speaking which is drawn from his hip hop roots. Some of the most valuable information flowed so quickly as he built up to the climax of what he was saying that it was easy to miss. But it could be the difference between success and failure.
He talked about how when he started his business his mother made him right out his balance sheet, but it wasn’t the traditional financial statement. She made him clearly identify his strengths and weaknesses, his resources and what he needed. This forced him to understand the skills he didn’t have and start pursuing those with those skills, and it forced him to recognize the resources he had available, and did not have. This was his business plan, and helped him to identify blind spots he may not have otherwise had been aware of.
Homework doesn’t just mean looking inward, it means looking outward, FUBU, Daymond’s first business, was built because he recognized that there was no one who understood hip hop culture deliberately designing clothing and apparel for it. He knew his market, he knew what and how people wanted to wear his clothes, he knew where they shopped and how to communicate with his market. This isn’t to be underestimated.
Amor is love in french.
Think of this as the energy, or driving force behind your business. You need to love it. To care about the customers and clients you serve, and care about the product or service you provide. If you don’t than you will run out of energy because your business will become another job to you.
Remember you are your brand.
How you present yourself directly represents your business, if you are fun and engaging, your companies brand will have that image. If you present your company as serious and professional but you are known publicly as a drunk and a flirt you undermine your company’s professional image. Be cognizant of how your behavior represents your company.
Businesses fail. Most of them in fact, and it isn’t hard to find many situations where a business that is now a staple of its industry, or that ended up creating an industry could have failed but didn’t. Because the owners kept swimming. They didn’t give up. The looked at their business, their goal, and found a different way to solve the problem. As a result they thrived because every obstacle they overcame they left their competitors further behind them.
I was grateful for the opportunity see Daymond John live. If you haven’t read them, check out his books:
Best of luck to you and your business.