IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

YOU Are Probably the Actual “Product.”

A note for entrepreneurs.

Among the big decisions you have to make are the name of your company and your overall brand.

Over the years, I have owned several companies, including KPEnterprises Business Consulting, Inc., Relax Focus Succeed, and Great Little Book Publishing Co., Inc.

Within those companies I have had many products, services, and web sites. But I learned a very important lesson with three very different audiences: In the end, *I* was the brand. You may have the same experience.

In my service business, my clients always felt that they had a direct relationship with me – even when I had twelve employees. And when I developed online services and communities, I discovered once again that no one paid attention to the various brands I used.  Again, I was the brand.

If you do a good job of creating your brand by being an interesting and engaging marketer, then people will know you – and they may not know your various brands separate from you.

One way to know whether you are the brand is to look at your web statistics from time to time. Among the juicy details you’ll find there are the search terms people entered in order to find your site.

If people are searching for “Your Company” or “Your Brand,” then that’s a great indicator that your company is your brand. But if people are searching for “Your Name Company” or “Your Name Brand,” then people are really searching for your name. And that makes you the brand.

Why does that matter?

Once you determine whether your brand is you or your product, you can use that information in your future marketing and branding.  If your brand turns out to be you, they you need to start using that.
That’s all good when it comes to marketing right now, today.

You also need to look way down the road to your exit strategy. That is, how will you get out of this business? Will you sell it? Take on investors? Sell controlling interest and stay involved for a year? Or maybe pass the business to your children.

If you intend to sell your business someday, or even pass it along to your children, you will need to separate your company branding from yourself as an individual. You may not need to make any changes now. Just be aware of it when you start working on your exit strategy.

:-)

About the Author

Karl W. Palachuk, is a technology consultant, author, speaker, trainer, and coach. He is the author of fifteen books. He has built several successful businesses, including two managed services companies. His books include Managed Services in a Month and The Network Documentation Workbook. Karl is a frequent trainer and speaker in the SMB Community. His popular blog can be found at SmallBizThoughts.com. He has more than twenty years experience as an I.T. professional and serves on advisory panels for several hardware and software companies.

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