I have a particular interest in crime TV programs – Cold Case, Crime Scene, etc. The investigator of the crime always looks out for motive. Motives drive our thoughts, actions, and decisions even when we aren’t conscious about them. Many entrepreneurs don’t think they have to stop and make such a choice in business between making money and being popular.
So I am putting the question to you, do you want to make money or do you want to be popular. Your immediate response would be, of course, I want to make money. The human mind is something special. A person can, in one sentence, say one thing and completely contradict himself in the same sentence.
For example, you could say “I don’t even know why I was laid off even though the economy has been bad and the entire department was missing its numbers.” Or a mother could say to her son, “I don’t know where you pick up these habits. I am sure it is from those friends of yours you now keep company with.” To understand more about how the human mind works, you should read Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
So you say you want to make money and you are not interested in being popular. Really? Yet you are quick to put founder/CEO as a title on your business card even though doing that does you a disfavour. Prospective clients immediately know after assessing you that you are a small mum and pop business.
You show up at every business event in town under the guise of networking when your real intent is to take selfies for your Facebook and Instagram pages with the high profile CEO who is the guest speaker. You get 735 likes, the same number as your bank balance. You take out a 60-month lease on a car whose monthly repayment dents a huge hole in your monthly cash flow but you convince yourself it is for building the right image for your business. The office space you rented in the central business district with the belief it will bring in more clients has not done so. Besides, none of your existing clients has ever visited you at the office since you mainly work onsite.
Now don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong absolutely with doing some of the things that I have stated above. In fact, all businesses will take up this kind of expenses at some point, only that the motive must be right.
Paraphrasing businessdictionary.com, a business is an organisation or economic system where goods and services (value) are exchanged for one another or for money. Nowhere in this definition does it say the business exists to make you popular. If you want to be popular, the hardest way to do it is via building a business. You are better off appearing on Project Fame or Idols, even if you can’t sing.
Going forward, you run your motive through popularity or making money. What is the ROI? If you can’t get a minimum speculative number, then it might be a popularist intent.
Some expenses might be for packaging; I am a Nigerian living in Nigeria so I understand very well the concept of packaging. Sometimes we all need to package, put our best foot forward. But beneath the facade of packaging should be real value delivery driving the business. Packaging might open the door but superior value delivery keeps the door open.
The other question I will like to pose to you is: Are you building a brand or making money? The first question about wanting to make money or being popular has to do with you (the entrepreneur) wanting fame and publicity ahead of the need to actually make business generate revenue.
The rules are different when building your business into a brand versus operating for money only. The major difference is your deliberateness in how you want to be perceived by the marketplace. We all are brands, whether we are conscious of it or not. An agreed definition of a brand among several opinions is perception. It is what your prospect thinks and everything else associated with you when they hear your name.
Building your business brand is about deliberateness. If you want excellence to be associated with your business, then the tangible and intangible aspects of your business must reflect excellence. It doesn’t mean spending a lot of money; it just means paying attention to the things that make for excellence as your customers would perceive it. It could be as simple as a tidy and organised office.
Businesses that are not deliberate about their perception will eventually get filtered out of the minds of customers or clients.
My advice? Opt to make money over being popular, but also opt to build a brand over simply making money. If we are to allude to Darwin’s theory of evolution, your survival rate is higher and better guaranteed.
Let’s create visibility for your brand and put your business on the world map. Contact us today to make your brand the preferred choice for our audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders.