Ten Ways to Build and Market It

87Building a business image is not something invented by a public relations firm: It’s a reflection of what you do and how you do it. Marketing your business brand means running a first-rate business and letting people know about it. Every action your company takes sends a marketing message.

When most people think about letting the world know about their business, they imagine a clever ad. But advertising is one of the most expensive and least effective forms of marketing. After all, why broadcast your message to many uninterested members of the public, when you can address people who have a demonstrated interest in what you do, merely by creating a strong referral system?

To begin learning how to market your business effectively, check out this list of tactics.

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How to avoid common mistakes when building your business plan

86You may think a business plan is something you put together when you need a loan and want to impress your bank.

But according to BDC’s Daniel LaBossière, Assistant Vice-President, Business Development, a business plan is really an invaluable management tool that helps you set clear objectives for your company and describes exactly how you’ll achieve them.

“It’s not a one-time affair. A business plan can be consulted on a regular basis and should be revisited often. It’s the best way to document where your company is going, and it should evolve with your business,” he says.

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A Guide to Build Your Business Plan

85A well-articulated business plan can help you lay the foundation to start up, pitch investors on plans to grow, or outline next steps to streamline and optimize your operations. Whether you’re  just starting out and organizing your business structure or you’re successfully established and seeking funding, creating a compelling plan is beneficial for every developmental stage of your company.

Despite what many entrepreneurs believe, a business plan is a powerful tool that can do so much more than simply launch a concept from its inception. A solid plan may help middle-of-the-road businesses surge forward; it can also lead mature businesses toward next-level successes through growth and efficiency.  The plans that work best take a holistic look at a company and consider details that come together to tell the unique story of a business and its potential.

In this guide, we will help you build the right kind of business plan to take your company wherever you want to go next. Check out this simplified resource to dig deeper into why business plans work and how you can assemble your own. Section by section, we outline a full breakdown of the components you’ll need to include, with checklists of materials you’ll want to have on hand when you’re writing.

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To Build Your Business, Smash Your Silos

84Silos are necessary in companies. They provide the structure that allows companies to work. Every company is split into divisions, departments, or groups, such as sales, technology, and finance. This structure allows expertise in different areas. In companies, silos tend to be places where information, focus (another word for choosing priorities), and control flow up and down. But company silos also cause problems—that same structure prevents the flow of information, focus, and control outward. And in order for a company to work efficiently, decisions need to be made across silos.

There are three aspects to the organizational silos barrier:

• Nonaligned priorities

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5 Ways to Build Your Business Brand

83Company branding may seem like an expensive undertaking. In reality, it’s actually pretty simple. It just comes down to knowing what your brand is and communicating it effectively. Follow these tips to get started on building your small business brand.

1. Define Your Value Proposition

As a small business owner, you obviously think that your business has value to customers—otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it! But do you know why your loyal customers are loyal? It could be price; it could be customer service; it could be that you have a superior product. If you don’t know, find out. Read reviews of your products or services. Send a survey to your loyal customers.

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