A small business owner stands at the counter in her sunglasses shop.

Promote your business and build your brand

No one cares about your success more than you do. Take charge by shifting your mindset, building your brand and tying together capabilities and goals.

How to promote your business

Found your passion? Check. Your business is taking off? Double check.

Time to coast? Nope. Definitely not. Hands back on the steering wheel. If you find yourself expecting someone else to make big moves for you, it's time to check in with your motivating force and reevaluate your mindset. There's such a thing as falling victim to your own success.

Instead of this
Think this
"My shop is new in this area. People walking by will obviously notice."
"I want people outside this neighborhood to come into my shop. It's poster time. And social media time. And reaching out to other business owners to partner and support each other time."
"I'm going to post my art portfolio on all social platforms and hope for the best."
"Sure, I'll post my art on Instagram and Facebook. But I'm also going to hit the pavement. Are coffee shops looking to feature local artists? What about art fairs? I need more eyes on my work."
"This individual was interested in backing my time management app. Maybe they need more time."
"If I don't hear back from this individual about my app in a week, I'll follow up with a phone call. In fact, I'll reach out to more potential backers. Self-promotion, baby."

Don't wait for success to find you. Instead, be proactive and look for ways to promote your own success. Ask for help. Lean on others for support. Others can and certainly will help you, but it's up to you to put in the hard work. The person who cares most about getting off the struggle bus is you.

Remember this: Nobody cares about your success more than you.

How to build your brand

All those iconic taglines, the logos. They seem obvious to us now. But that's after hundreds (probably thousands) of hours of head scratching and research. And enough crumpled paper to make a forest.

Brands don't start and stop with a cool logo. Think of your favorite brand. Why do you like it? Probably because it has more than a cool factor. Your brand should reflect the core tenets of what you offer and resonate with those buying your product.

Remember this: How do the best brands get there? Research. It's the who, what and why of your business.

How do you pull it all together?

Expert advice

Ask for advice, ideally from someone with experience, who's not you. These people know their stuff. And face-to-face, customized insight is better than a generic web search. Seek out those experts at meet-up groups or chat with local business owners.

Customer research

Find real people who will use your product and ask questions. How do they see your product? How would they use it? Why would they or wouldn't they use your product? These questions are vital to understanding your target audience and their unique needs.

Personal experience

You are your brand's pillar. You know something. Draw on what you've learned from past insights and experiences and explore how it can shape your business' future direction. Don't underestimate the power of introspection. Dig in and you can find gold.

We know you know that putting a brand out there and crossing your fingers doesn't get attention. Brands are intentional, living things that are shaped by the world they live in. You're the one pushing and pulling it in the right direction.

Remember this: The most important input comes from your ideal customer, experts and your own experience. Tap into their insights to form your brand.

Tying together business capabilities and goals

Your business is more than dollar signs. It's your skill. It's the product that inspired you to take the leap into entrepreneurship. Its success depends on the systems you put in place. So as an entrepreneur, you're probably asking, "how do I set achievable and realistic business goals?" Answer: Connect your business goals directly to your business capabilities.

Business capabilities

More than just a wild idea, a capability is what your business does. A lasting and repeatable system or skill can help you to achieve the same results over and over again. Capabilities don't include action items ― it's about defining what your business does.

Business goals

A goal is something you set out to accomplish within a specified period of time. Goals don't have to include specific actions to achieve the goal. It's more about the broader outcome. What do you want to accomplish?

Once your goal is defined, there's more than one way to meet it. Experiment. You may come up with a sustainable, repeatable way to meet your goal and grow your business. Keep looking for ways to improve your pace toward meeting goals.

Goals can help keep all employees on the same track and provide a clear picture of what your company wants to achieve. They should also be measurable and help keep your company headed in the right direction.

Remember this: Regularly meeting your business goals relies on your business' well-defined, lasting capabilities.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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