Every business owner wants their business to be strong, but unless you understand the different ways that a business can be strong, and how you can assess them, then you’ll never be able to relax. If you can’t tell when you’ve succeeded, success will always elude you.
Different Kinds of Strength
There is no single definition of strength for a business, though some are more useful than others.
Endurance is one version of how your business might be strong: does it have the resilience necessary to survive shocks, from changes in your customer’s taste or affluence to new competitors trying to carve out space in your niche, to global events that can make life difficult for everyone. This is measured in cash reserves, in resiliency planning, in keeping feet in different markets, so you can weather problems that affect a local area with your broad base.
Businesses that endure tend to be more conservative, planning steps forward carefully, and taking steps to expand and develop only after ensuring they understand and can mitigate the risks that come about as a result. They spend considerable time and resources on contingency planning, working out how to provide different levels of service during different restrictions. A good example of this kind of business is, believe it or not, the International House of Pancakes. As a majority of its premises are found in the USA’s hurricane prone states, they’ve made significant plans for menus they can offer within different levels of power and transport, from standard or temporary premises. The level of service offered by IHOP is now part of the process by which the US government assesses the severity of a natural disaster!
Another kind of strength is found in your brand. Brand Strength is a vital measure of how your brand acts as an ambassador for your business. You can use brand tracker surveys to ensure you are making the decisions that build the strong brand you need, one that is telling the customers with money to spend in your industry that you are the right business for them, one that aligns with their values, one where they will feel at home and catered for.
Building a strong brand is harder than it sounds: your brand isn’t something you can build directly. Your customers put together your brand from every interaction they have with your business. Your brand isn’t just branding, it’s the personality they assign to the legal and financial institute that your business is so they can relate to it on a personal level. This makes it all the more important to use research to ensure all your decision-making is geared towards building a strong and consistent brand.