Are you building a business of value?

Are you building your business with the mind of a shareholder? Are you making decisions and defining distinctions against your competitors to merely compete or to grow an enterprise that can thrive and continue to be a business beyond you? Are you seeking investors and wondering what you could do to make your business more attractive? Consider this Power of Five formula (CRISP2) for taking your branding beyond marketing and into operations:

1. C2 = Confirm Compelling Distinctions: How well have you distinguished your company and its offerings against competition? Is what you claim to be distinctive important and relevant to your ideal target markets? Being different will not be of value if it is not compelling your markets to buy from and prefer you over others.

2. R2 = Reflect & Refine Processes & Approach:  How do you approach working with customers that is distinctive? Do you have a specific process in how you assure quality, delivery, or even a product’s creation? How do your company values and philosophy define and distinguish your way of doing business? Why and how you do what you do is more important than what you do or what you offer.

3. I2 = Innovate Intellectual Property: Many things contribute to a company’s value, preference and worth. Having intellectual property is one aspect of value building that many businesses overlook, especially service-oriented businesses. Have you innovated intellectual property in your company that further distinguishes and affirms why your company offers something not offered anywhere else?

4. S2 = Sustain & Systemize Operations: Reflecting and refining your processes and approach should naturally lead to the ability to sustain and systemize them over time to operate seamlessly and effectively. Achieving sustainable systems that work for your business and in serving your customers better than competitors makes your business attractive on multiple levels.

5. P2 = Preserve & Protect Uniqueness: Too often, processes, systems and approaches are defined, but then they still remain reliant on the business owner or a key individual to keep going. Key to transforming your business into an enterprise is that these processes, approaches and systems are documented and confirmed so that they can continue to flow and grow with the company and without you. Additionally, their uniqueness and proprietary characteristics are protected as intellectual property through copyrighting, trademarks and patents, where applicable.

What you will realize as you put this operational CRISP2 into action in your business is that you will be thinking more like a shareholder and how this business can survive and thrive beyond you. Over the next five months, I am going to share insights and ideas for taking each one of these into your business as a means of creating preference and differentiation against competitors while building value and worth in your company.

Sherré DeMao is author of the nationally acclaimed books, 50 Marketing Secrets of Growth Companies in Down Economic Times, www.50marketingsecrets.com, and Me, Myself & Inc., www.memyselfandinc.com, Her column seeks to help business owners build and grow sustainable enterprises and businesses with economic value and preference in the marketplace.