3 Things You MUST Have to Build a Solid Business

Recently, I spoke to a group of entrepreneurs and small business owners about business basics.  I started off my talk by saying there are three things you DON’T need to have a successful business:

  1. A fancy website
  2. A beautiful logo
  3. A perfect service/product/program

And, there were audible gasps from the audience.

I work with so many new businesses who sink a ton of money and time into having a professionally designed website and logo created.  They spend months crafting their programs and defining their products. All before they’ve ever gone out and secured a living, breathing client.

I also work with business owners who’ve been at it for a few years and are coming back to me because their website doesn’t really tell their story, their logo no longer represents them, and the perfect product or service never got the traction they wanted.  They’re overwhelmed and confused about why they’ve never reached the level of success they desire, and they are unsure about the next steps they should take to get back on track.

When you start by focusing on the trappings of business (website, logo, program), you’re building a house of cards. You can’t build a solid business without these three things:

  1. Vision
  2. Brand
  3. Ideal Client
Katherine McGraw Patterson Business Strategist Intersection of Vision Brand and Ideal Client

The intersection of Vision, Brand, and Ideal Customer forms the basis of everything in your business. And I do mean EVERYTHING: All Product Development, Pricing, Services, Marketing, Sales, Networking, Systems, Operations, Hiring, Training, Delivery, Office Décor, Customer Service, Visuals…and more.


Without a solid foundation of vision, brand, and ideal client (left), you’ll never achieve the success you desire. Because, if any one of those is out of kilter (right), the whole thing feels off.

Without a solid foundation of vision, brand, and ideal client, you’ll never achieve the success you desire. Because, if any one of those is out of kilter, the whole thing feels off.

When you lose sight of your vision in your business, you can be left feeling jaded and burned out. You lose your inspiration and work becomes a slog.

If you don’t define and control your brand, you risk accidental branding. Brands aren’t what you say they are, they’re what other people say they are – because they’re based on experience. The most successful brands keep a tight control over how they delivery and message their brands so that people are clear on what to expect and their experience matches with that expectation.

If you speak to the wrong audience, you may find yourself consistently having to underprice your service, or have people end up dissatisfied because what you were delivering was not the ideal solution to their needs, because they’re not your ideal customer.

However, when you’re crystal clear on your vision, brand, and ideal customer, you can build a solid foundation for your success.  And, once you are crystal clear on your vision, brand, and ideal customer, you can create a compelling website with clear language and messages that attracts your audience, a beautiful logo that draws their attention directly to your business, and you can build a program or service that delights and engagement them and draws them back again and again.

Don’t waste time, money, and energy by having to RE-DO the trappings of your business.  Focus instead on the foundation of who you are, who you serve, and what sets you apart so that you can build a solid pathway to success from the beginning.

If you’re struggling with next steps or are uncertain about the strength of your foundation, call me and let’s schedule a 20-Minute Discovery call to see how we can work together to build a solid base for YOUR success!

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