When you started your business, there was most likely some kind of motivation involved. These can differ from one person to the next; it is a very personal thing. A few examples: you hated your job, hated working for a boss, despised your colleagues, despised having colleagues at all or were not making enough money. The list goes on and on. I would personally not say that these kind of negative experiences are a must to have had if you aim to have a successful business later on. There should be something more of an intrinsic motivation involved, a positive one. There can be several kinds; you saw a business opportunity, always wanted to sell shoes, have a knack for selling people whatever it is they may or may not need, just wanted your own shop or you invented something.

All of the afore mentioned can actually be strong motivators for people. Often it’s a combination of things. The joy of selling shoes might later turn into the joy of making lots of money in the process. This is also a very big motivator for people.

When you start your business, it is evident you don’t know everything from the start. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Starting a business means having a talent for something and turning that talent into a product or service and then selling that product or service. If a part of your product is highly sophisticated and very hard to understand, you hire someone or get into a partnership with someone that made that particular thing his or her specialty. If you don’t know how to market your product then there are many that do know and love to help you with that.

But for anyone that wants to start a business there are a few things that need to be thought through. These are things that count for all businesses and are almost as important as the quality of the product or service you provide. These are the identity of your brand and the people you want to reach with the product or service that you offer. If what you offer is hard to distinguish from the competitor, then why should they go and buy your product? If your product is marketed to everyone but is only meant for young males aged 18-24, how are they going to know that your product is meant for them?

If you as a business owner can find the time to come up with answers to these questions, then you can save yourself a lot of trouble later on and can make it easy for yourself or marketing professionals to market your product or service to your clients. The identity of your brand can be found by identifying the deepest motivation that got you there in the first place: what was it you wanted to solve, and who did you want to help while doing so? The identity of the brand is often a story, kind of a history, and can be told as such. This is exactly what differentiates the brand from a competitor’s. Because all brands have a unique story/history, the brand itself is unique. But this story will not write itself.

Once you have identified the story of your brand, you have your brand identity together. Next step is to zone in on strong points and weaknesses. What makes your product or service better than a competitor’s, and what demands improvement? If you see your business as a person, then see that person as someone you love in a realistic manner. You will want to be able to talk about this person extensively, about the things that make that person beautiful. But not be afraid to talk of those things that can be improved.

The business of offline marketing is not as effective as it used to be. It is physically not possible to promote your business to the amount of people offline, that you can reach online. But do see it as a mix, where the online part makes up at least 60% of your marketing efforts. Talking to people, putting an ad in the newspaper or sending flyers to a relevant set of people is equally important. The creative part is something that needs pondering too. Trust that your competition is on their game with getting their name out. Most likely they already have a strong presence in people’s minds. So the thing that needs pondering is what the extra service is you provide. Does that service differ from your competitor and how? But, if it does not, please think of a way to package the message in a way that it will stick with people. The message of your company should gain a presence in the mind of the people you are targeting.

Try testing it out with family, with friends. Find some guinea pigs to try out some slogans on and see if they stick. This process demands some creativity. There is nothing wrong with looking for some outsider’s help if no creativity is available.

Good luck!