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Dan Johnson writes:

Getting a successful business off the ground and keeping it there is never easy; whether it’s a one man (or woman) operation or a huge multi-national, the problems and issues are more or less the same – it’s simply a matter of scale.

Having worked with every size and shape of business, in dozens of sectors and markets, we have learned a thing or two. We have listened to our clients, felt their pain and frustration and we have done whatever we can to help.

Here, then, is why business should start with ‘P’:

The three ‘P’s of business

People – the old adage ‘people make a business’ is true. Without good people around you your business will struggle. Whether it’s employees or suppliers you need people to want your business to succeed not just for the money but because they care and have belief in what you are doing.

Product – no-brainer really, if your product is weak it won’t sell. Make your product, service, offering as strong as it can be. Don’t cut corners and do your research to see what the market is and what the competition, if any, are doing.

There is little point in launching something into a market that is already saturated or one that has a strong product already occupying it. And be honest with yourself, if your product doesn’t stack up bin it or change it.

Profit – not a dirty word, even if your company or product are in the business of helping people. If a company doesn’t make a profit then it will die. The thing is not to be greedy.

The three ‘P’s of marketing

Personality – Just as if it was a person, in order to make your product stand out from the crowd it needs to have a strong personality; something that defines it and sets it apart from the competition.

If you think of any large brand or company you will see that it has spent years developing and nurturing its personality. If you have multiple products or services then you may want to develop a slightly different personality for each one – this will make it easier for people to differentiate between them which in turn will make them easier to market.

Positioning – Once you have a personality for your product you need to decide where in the market to position it. Is it good value? Is it unique? What does it offer the customer? Positioning your product correctly is vital; get it wrong and you risk people not understanding what you are selling or worse not liking or believing in it.

Projection – Once you have a personality and have decided on your positioning then you need to tell the world. Make sure that you have a budget for marketing and promotion – even a relatively small budget can work wonders if spent wisely. Always make use of free advertising like social media.

If you are a service or a trade don’t forget about the local market. Put your name and phone number on your vehicle, for example. Don’t forget that projecting your business is a not a 9 to 5 job but 24/7 – live and breathe your product –always make sure you have a business card on you.

The three ‘P’s of success

Perseverance – Just because you have a great idea or business doesn’t mean it’s going to work first time. Many famous inventors and businesses took several attempts to get it right and they suffered many rejections along the way. You have to have passion and people need to see it. Don’t take no for an answer and even if you do lose heart sometimes don’t let people see it. Put on a show, believe in yourself and success will follow.

Pride – Be proud of what you achieve and don’t be afraid to tell the world about your successes – but get the balance and tone right as being too boastful can put people off. Tell people about your achievements in a way that illustrates what you have done for your customers rather than just yourself.

Your customers will want to know that they are dealing with a successful company as this will give them confidence, however they are less interested in how big your house is or what car you drive. In fact quite the opposite is true; arriving at a house in a Rolls Royce to quote for installing a new boiler will lead the customer to believe that you are going to charge them a fortune.

Price – Simple – Price your product correctly and it will fly, get it wrong and it will sink. Don’t be greedy but at the same time don’t undersell it. Work out what the bear minimum you need is to cover costs and add your profit on top. Check out what your competition are charging and price accordingly.

Use the 3 ‘P’s of marketing to justify your price – people in the end will be happy to pay if they feel they are getting what they pay for so your marketing strategy can go a long way in helping your customer to feel confident in paying your price – even if it’s a little higher than the competition.

So there you have it, our reasons why Business should start with a ‘P’. However the most important ‘P’ in business is Potential. Any business needs to be sustainable; if you are looking for a quick profit then it’s not a business, it’s a deal.

For a business to have potential it needs to demonstrate that it is in a market that can grow and evolve, that’s why the most successful businesses have been around for a long time. They had a great product and entered or created a great market, then they developed and evolved to make sure they stayed relevant so as to retain existing customers and attract new ones.

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