If you’re setting out to build a business one of the virtues you want to imbue it with is strength. But before you make any decisions it makes sense to thing a little bit harder about just what ‘strength’ is in this context: what does it mean for a business to be strong, what’s the cost of it and how can you achieve it?
One of the things that makes a strong business is bold, instantly recognisable and, yes, ‘strong’ branding. You need an image consumers can buy into and want to be part of, and recognisable hallmarks from a logo to a colour scheme to a font that act as a signature across all your ads, designs and packaging and ensures customers know instantly who you are and what you offer.
This kind of strength does not come cheap. To create strong branding, you need insight into the market to tell people what value, and what different styles communicate to them, and then the skills to turn those insights into a design bible you can apply to your whole business. Working with a branding agency doesn’t always come cheap, but it does repay your investment over time.
You might have the best idea for a business in the world: an inventive solution to a common problem that everyone will want: a cheaper way to bring people a product they already love, or simply knowledge and expertise that lots of people will be happy to pay money for! There’s much more than ideas that go into businesses, though, and you need the skills to build a resilient business that can weather shocks and setbacks along the way to success.
To build a resilient business, you need to have a strong ‘risk avoidance’ philosophy built in from day one. It can’t be the only drive motivating your business: you need the confidence to pursue opportunities, but as long as you have voices advocating for the avoidance of risk you’ll always think twice and ensure you’re prepared before plunging in.
You need to: make sure of your sources of funding. If an investor is unsound or suddenly pulls out you could find your business holed below the waterline at the worst possible time. If your investors lack confidence in your plans you might find it difficult to secure subsequent rounds of funding so ensure your business plan is rock solid, and built with expert advice.
You need to make sure your business is compliant with all the laws and regulations governing it from taxation to any specialist materials you use. It’s no good crossing your fingers and hoping for the best: you need to be secure, belt and braces before you even begin.
Finally, you need your employees to be resilient too. They’re your expertise, your workforce and your most important asset. If your business is set up to exhaust them, you’ll churn through them and find yourself left with nothing, so ensure you’re really taking care of their wellness, not just sounding off a few popular buzzwords.