The whole glorification of the ‘earn 6 figures’ bullshit’ really turns me off. You know those classic Instagram accounts with a young stereotypical slick-haired dude, exiting his private jet, with his pimped-out car, waiting on the tarmac with his driver.
*SPEW* soz, that’s not what success means to me personally, and I know it doesn’t for a lot of others either. To me, that visualises greed and I don’t like the connotations that surround it.
So why do we keep using that as the only key metric to success?
If you’re an entrepreneur or have a fairly new business, you’ll be seeing and hearing about the pie in the sky goal of that ‘6 figure business. And if I’m being honest, I’m sick to death of it.
While we’re all in business to make a profit, it shouldn’t be the sole focus of your business strategy, and I’ll explain why. Today, there are so many ways to enter the market, and each business will have their individual moment where they hit that growth period – for some, it can take years, for others, months. We shouldn’t just be looking at a monetary figure as that, as I said before, the pinnacle of success.
Now, don’t get me wrong, a monetary goal is an important attribute, but we can’t discredit the other areas within business that are also hugely impactful and should be placed on the same scale of importance.
So, let’s break it down into a few points, shall we?
1. Purpose and values
Most people have a solid understanding of what their purpose and values are. Put simply, your purpose is the reason for your existence. Your values are what you stand by. Our Purpose? ‘To put powerful and authentic communication to market’, in other words, we don’t want to produce shit for the sake of it. We want to use our talent to help others grow and to align with businesses and organisations to produce messages that have meaning and reason. If a project came our way that had a huge monetary gain but went against everything we stood for as a brand, it’s a no-brainer for us to turn that down – because money isn’t the only reason for our existence, it’s a bonus. Having a strong strategic focus can help you stay in line with things that really matter and eventually, it will pay off.
It’s everything. Whether it be new technology that benefits your industry or a global pandemic that propels your growth or stagnates it, timing matters. Hell, since March 2020, we’ve made 3 hires in our small studio, which was never on the cards. Though we didn’t plan that, we couldn’t plan for that – it just happened. So, while income is huge, the prospect of where that income can come from may just… happen. In saying that, that’s not a marketing strategy, but my point, if you only had a monetary goal and your business went well, then you’ve hit it. But, with that comes a couple of things:
- Is this a one off/short term growth period? If so, how are you going to sustain it?
- Is the revenue profit, or is it just revenue? Did an influx of additional expenses also come with that revenue? Hello tax, employees, equipment, insurances etc.
- What do you do next?
Building a community is huge. Online or offline, it helps your brand to secure a brand loyalty with a select group of people that you align with. I would almost go to say that this is one, if not, the most important attributes of your business. It builds ongoing support and loyalty – this is invaluable. It provides you with a platform to speak with people on an ongoing basis, who have chosen to be there for something you’re either doing, said, or believe in. And eventually, this becomes a monetary avenue, as people buy from those they trust.
Which brings me to my next point.
4. Reputation and Recognition
While that ‘6 figure business’ can mean you’ve made some bank (if it’s profit anyway), your brand reputation and recognition are the drivers in keeping people making you that bank. If you’re proactive in marketing and keeping your image and reputation intact, you’re providing a narrative and an example of what your brand is and what people can expect from it. That big 5 letter word that everyone wants their customer to do – TRUST.
By communicating regularly, being transparent, and by actively creating conversation for your brand, you’re showing:
- What you stand for and believe in
- What you do and produce
- How you service and manufacture
- Internal and external culture
- Reviews and referrals; and
- How you treat people and what they say about you
When things get rough, and the pandemic proved this, people purchased from brands they trusted and who they’d had a longstanding relationship with, be it an existing customer, a referral or someone within their community.
5. Customer Experience
This is everything. How someone interacts with your brand and is serviced by it will leave a lasting impression. In fact, if someone has a great experience, they usually talk about it with those they trust and before you know it, you’ll have a word-of-mouth referral process going on. I won’t go into too much detail, but if you want to know more, check out one of our past posts ‘Why customer experience is vital to branding’. Though I know first-hand, that investing time, and sometimes money, into making a customer experience as unique and easy as can be, your people will appreciate it and it won’t go unrecognised.
There are so many other areas that are important measures of success that shouldn’t be discredited.
Business is hard work, so is generating that ‘goal’ income which, mind you, differs for everyone.
My version of success for my business isn’t just monetary.
Rich to me means:
- Family and work-life balance
- Producing work that we love to do
- Creating opportunities and change within our industry
- Creating a workplace for others that they value and love
So yes, that six figure business seems great and all, but can we stop glorifying the financial impacts of what we do and start to recognise the smaller things that can make much more of an impact? Because at the moment, they almost go unnoticed.
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