I'm a HUGE fan of Malcolm Gladwell: if you've read Outliers than you're familiar with the 10,000 hour rule. Gladwell's principle dictates that 10,000 hours of "deliberate practice" are needed in order to become an expert in any field. I like to apply this rule when it comes to business. A crucial part of succeeding in business is to become the expert in your particular field.
People like to call themselves "men of all traits, master of none" which can help you in a certain case or position but not when you're building a company. You want to be so good at what you do that people associate you to that product/service. That's how you succeed in business.
The next part is, how do you do it? Here's my top 10 points on how YOU can bring your brand to to the next level, and master in any industry.
Very important question: what is your niche? Who is your target market? I've heard people say "my clients range from 25-75 years old". That's not true whatsoever. If you really take a look at your brand - and its analytics - you'll realize that you might cater to that demographic, but you have a specific smaller market that you actually tailor to. For example let's look at a car brand like Mercedes Benz. Yes, they might cater to professionals aged 25-75, but their models are specific to a certain age group. The B Class, CLA or C class might cater to younger individuals that make $50-80K a year, while their higher end products such as SLS, SL or G Class cater to an older clientele with a annual salary of $250-500K. Although their niche remains higher end luxury. That's what people buy Mercedes for. Find out who you cater to.
During Simon Sinek's talk on "how great leaders inspire action" he talks about the Golden Circle. This principle outlines three main points: the Why, how and what? Every corporation knows what they're doing and some might know how, but close to none know WHY they know what they do. Ask yourself: What's your purpose? What's your cause? What's your belief? People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Find out what that is, and tell your story.
Again, if you're in the car industry, make sure you are aware about all the latest products, car launches, and technologies associated to that industry. For example, if you're putting in all your energy in building fuel engines while Tesla is taking over the market and in 15-20 years there won't be any cars running on fuel anymore, then your product is dead. There's a reason Blockbuster and Fujifilm are out of business: they weren't innovative enough to think longterm. Always stay ahead of your competition.
Stay a student. What does that mean? Don't ever think that you don't need to learn anymore, that you've got a "PHD" in entrepreneurship and that your formula is bulletproof. Because when you think you have mastered a skill, you lose the edge to keep challenging yourself. What can you do differently? What can you improve? What can you do better? Keep asking the questions, keep finding new answers. You will never graduate the program of your business. It is a constant work in progress.
This will change everything that you do. Having a business coach can push you pass any personal limitations. I suggest you find a mentor, and get a business coach program in place. There's many ways you can do this, even if it's just on the application Coach.me or listening to Tony Robbins podcasts, you need someone to bring you to the next level.
Most businesses fail within the first three years of operation (hence why they call it a "start up"), because they lack the tools to keep moving forward. They've convinced themselves that they've "everything everything" and nothing seems to be working. WRONG. If you tried everything, you'd get what you want. They're probably doing the same 2-3 things repeatedly, hoping for a different outcome. There are thousands of different ways to approach ANY opportunity. Get creative! An entrepreneur knows this, and uses it to his or her advantage at all times. There's no such thing as a wrong answer in business. You'd be surprised what works.
If someone can repeat your business proposal, by copy pasting your business plan - you've got nothing there. What is different about your company that others don't have? What specific need in the market are you filling? In order to be an expert in your field, you need to create something different. Heinz ketchup took over the ketchup market way before anyone even thought of using tomato paste as a condiment. They are the experts in ketchup because they invented it. As did the Wright Brothers with airplanes, Walt Disney with disney world, Steve Jobs with Apple. Be different.
Don't repeat history. Learn from it, and make sure you do things differently next time. There are no such things as failures, just experiences in life.
Makes perfect. The best athletes in the olympics spend hours and hours practicing the same skill over and over again until they master it. There's nothing different between their skill and yours. In order for you to be the best in your industry, you need to master it. Make it yours.
You need to develop a consistency in being the best at what you do. What that means is strive for excellence at all times, when contacting a client, when closing a deal, when hiring new employees. Make sure your company's culture is well defined and people can relate to it. It's crucial to understand the power this has in a company's long term goals.