When you go into business, there is a very real sense that, as much as your services or products, what you are really selling is yourself. After all, there are more than enough places where someone can buy coffee or find cleaning services; it’s the bit extra that you add to the mix that makes it a viable business in a competitive world. So it’s normal that you come to see a brand you start as being a part of you.
This is particularly relevant in a world where CEOs are also public figures to some extent. All of us can name one or two celebrity executives who we’d never dream of talking about if their businesses and brands weren’t huge. It can be hard to separate the person from the brand when it comes to these billionaire experts – and especially as a solopreneur, it can also be tough to separate yourself from your brand. However, it is essential that you do so – and the following are just a few reasons why.
Your brand will attract criticism: it’s not about you
The first business ever to start up probably had the first dissatisfied customer within an hour; that’s the nature of running a business. When people are unhappy with any aspect of their interaction with a business, they’ll usually not be shy about saying so – and thanks to social media, that can spread far and wide in a short time. The first time this happens to your business, it can feel like someone has insulted your very own children, but you must not take criticism of your brand personally. Address it professionally and learn the lesson – and forget any invective that came along with the complaint, because it isn’t about you.
Your brand needs to pursue issues you might let go
If your business involves making and selling items, then there is a fair chance that before too long you will have clients who, by agreement with you, resell your product online. In these cases, those clients are representing you – because it is, in the end, your name on the product. If your minimum advertised prices monitoring software lets you know that someone is selling your product cheap, putting at risk your business reputation in the process, you as a person might let it go. As a brand, however, it is something you need to pursue – because uncooperative resellers can put your business in danger.
Your brand can take risks that you should not
In truth, most business decisions that have any value contain an element of risk, and once you have set up your business and assigned it a budget, you need to be ready for the possibility that it won’t come off. Businesses fail sometimes, and even the most successful entrepreneurs swing and miss occasionally. By separating yourself from your brand, it will be easier to make those risky business decisions that can often pay off in a big way – you’ll never make a call like that if you’re “too close” to it in a personal sense.
You as a person are more than your brand, and it’s important that you don’t invest all that you are in the success of your business. By standing separate from your brand, you can keep a cool head when it matters in business.