If you are a small business owner, you know that you are continually working on marketing your services or products. Your business success depends on the daily work or sales you have. I noticed that my business needed a boost. So, I took some time to find options and then took the dive into getting some help. The coaching process caused me to reflect, rebrand, and restart.
Reflect, Rebrand, Restart
I should provide you with a bit more history to this story. I started helping people with technology in 2000. Over the years I found myself, however, working more on websites and using more web tools. My time and energy changed to website design and services. I decided to pursue web design services after some encouragement from Dave and others.
I was struggling with what to do full time and how to keep a steady income. Yes, I had my adjunct teaching. Teaching as an adjunct instructor, however, is considered part-time. The number of courses varies each term. I may have one class this term and four courses the next semester. I greatly enjoy teaching and will continue to do so. I needed to focus and move forward with my business.
I began by reflecting on what was happening and the future. Taking Michael Jackson’s advice, I “needed to change the “biz” in the mirror.” I thought about the possibilities. I knew what I enjoyed doing. I just needed to fine tune how to get that ideal position working. Most of my consideration was spent on my business, Tech-Wise Services. Taking the time to reflect on the company and how well it was doing was a process I avoided. I knew I needed to revise what was happening and what I was doing as I did not have sufficient leads for full-time work.
I found two companies that provided coaching for web design businesses. I read the information I found on the web about both, and I researched their business and web pages. The first company focused more on business processes. The second company provided a more in-depth look at what it took to build a web business. I decided, then, that a return to the basics would give me more tools to help others develop a web presence. Business processes at this point were not the problem. I wanted people to feel from my website that
- I knew what I was doing,
- they could relate with what I was saying, and
- they found something in my web design they liked.
A few years ago at WordCamp Atlanta, I attended a training session on evaluating your website through your customers’ perspective. The speaker was the owner of the second company I mentioned. I dug up that speaker’s information. I found that her company offered to coach mastering web design and development for business. Like most people I searched for and read reviews. It just so happened that a new session was beginning in a couple of weeks. I made contact and registered for the course and coaching. The 2018 spring and summer were packed full of learning and growth.
The first thing I learned was that I needed to reflect on my business, my goals, my niche market, and how I could provide specific services that my target customers wanted. Sounds easy, right? What I saw in the “mirror” was not what others saw. Every person in the course took the time to review the other members’ websites. We all shared what we liked and did not like. The coach also provided an assessment based on her years of experience as a web designer and business owner. I was overwhelmed. However, I did learn much from the evaluations. I also found the group encouraging. We were all in this together.
Our assignments included evaluating our business and website based on the topic of the lesson. We also had to work through the process we would lead our customers through when building a website and web presence. I found it difficult to put down on paper what was rattling in my head about my business. Some of the information made sense while other parts did not. Some elements were confusing or difficult to understand. The time spent reflecting on my business was well worth the challenge. Fortunately, the coaching and materials challenged me to work through the maze I had created for myself. If nothing else, the accountability in the course and the question, “What do you mean by that?” provided me with the challenge needed to reflect on what I was doing. Then, I thought about and specifically defined my target customers. I finally landed on specifics, which gave me a precise target, and determined what I needed to do to grow.
Branding and rebranding occur when you take the time to focus on who you serve, what you provide that your ideal clients desire, and how you can meet those needs in your own way. Your identity and what people think when they hear your name is more your brand than the colors and logo used. Yes, coloring, logos, designs, etc., are part of the brand. They are visual elements. It is the feelings and thoughts people have that are more important and that are your authentic brand. You need to find your identity and define your brand if you are a new organization. If like me, your business has existed awhile, you need to stop and evaluate your brand. You may only need a “fresh coat of paint.” Other times, you may need to work through intertwined details to refine and rebrand.
My core business values remained through the “reflection fire.” I wanted to help those who do not have the resources of larger companies. I wanted to be a champion for the “little guys and gals” in businesses. I started the rebranding process by making the business fresh, new, and more appealing to my target group. The new business name, feel, look, image, and character slowly showed life. My rebranding developed. I learned that a brand is not just the look and image of a business. It is, also, the feelings and thoughts people have when they hear your name and see your logo. I incorporated processes into my business model tailored to small business. I set up my services with the little guys and gals in mind. Thus, Web with Grits came into existence. I changed everything just to connect more with small business owners.
Perhaps it was a pride issue. Then again, it may have been fear of the unknown. I took the plunge to restart my business after weeks of reflection and working on a fresh brand, a rebranding. Once I began the process, I kept wondering, “what if…” I realized, though, that I would never know the impact the new biz would have unless I gave it a try. I also knew that negative thoughts were natural, but I could not provide them with space. My restarting was a new opportunity. I improved myself and my business focusing more on what I wanted and could do. For you, however, restarting might be just taking a new approach to contact people or marketing. It is all a matter of what is best for you and the people you serve.
I am excited about Web with Grits and the potential it has to help others with a web presence. I believe that the new look and feel will make an impact on those I connect with. My coach provided me with several ideas on how to reach out to people. In fact, I have already begun working on those plans to make contact with others and to support persons needing a better web presence.
I hope that you will enjoy this new adventure with me. Taking time to personally and professionally reflect, rebrand, restart will give you a fresh perspective. I now see how important it is to do so. The process is something that can be done on some level yearly, quarterly, monthly, and even daily. The process is an incredible way to grow as a person and as a business.
How are you going to reflect, rebrand, restart?