Business

We live in an entrepreneurial age where we have global market literally in the palm of our hand! People are discovering their passion and learning how to make a living from it! Here are some articles which will inspire you and give you tips on how to build YOUR empire!

  1. Who is your target market? I would define your target market as the reason why you created your brand. View your brand as the solution to a person’s need or problem. What makes your business or brand different from other businesses out there? Knowing and accurately identifying your target market gives your brand a focus that aids in keeping your business on track. Before launching that business or brand think of WHO you’re launching it for and what problem it solves.

 

  1. Starting your business takes sacrifice. Yes, freebies are greatly appreciated when building that business for the first time. Free photoshoots and investments are always great but YOU need to invest into YOUR business. At the beginning of something it usually takes more sacrifice than reward. It takes money to make money. Prepare yourself for investing more money into your business than you expected. I would suggest making sure you have a capital and this is where your money to invest into your business comes from.

“It takes money to make money!”

Email: hello@shopcocoon.co.uk for more info 

 

  1. Law of Attraction! Who do you want your business to attract? As a start-up or relatively new business, collaborating with other start-up businesses may not be the best thing to do. Get your business or brand around those that inspire you. Those that can propel your business or brand to its next stage. Collaborate and partner with brands or other businesses that have a good following, reputation and ethos so it can benefit your business as well. And in turn attract your target market.

  1. Know your worth! If your building a business that means that your desire is for it to bring you a level of income, right? That means that the freebies need to stop. The compromising of your prices to suit a potential client that doesn’t even fit into your target market need to end. Don’t get me wrong, providing freebies isn’t always a bad thing but why not provide a freebie to another business or brand that matters! A business or brand that can help you. YouTube, for example is bursting with people that can advertise your product or service and spread the word to their own following. If you have a price stick to it! It is all about finding the balance.

 

  1. Launch your business when you know it is ready! It’s easy for us to be caught up in the excitement of our new and creative business ideas but when we launch them for the world, can we remain consistent? In most cases, we do not. The posts stop, the excitement dims down and the business gradually becomes something that we regret starting because we haven’t provided what we said we would. Plan, research and plan! This is why your target market is so important. Who are you aiming your social media content to? Can you see a future for your business or brand? Will it still be needed five years from now? Carefully build the foundation of your business away from the worlds eyes and bring a light to it when you know it can thrive! Patience is key!

 

Anyone who knows me knows my absolute favourite entrepreneur is Gary Vee. He runs a daily show called ‘Ask Gary Vee’ where budding entrepreneurs ask him questions. (BEWARE: If you look him up, here is your warning that although he is full of wisdom, he is a big potty mouth!) Someone recently asked him, how you get people to trust you as a new business. Gary is pretty direct. Probably a bit too direct lol. His response was ‘You don’t deserve trust.’ Awks, right? But he is right! Why should any customer just trust you and give you their money? Now more than ever, there are so many businesses to chose from so you need to prove that you will deliver on your promise. I had a look at my business and decided to share with you guys how I have built a trusting relationship with my customers. If you find it helpful, please do share!

  1. Consistency:

“If you want to be taken seriously, be consistent.”

  • Presence: Be present consistently! On whatever platforms you are on. Update your social media outlets consistently. If I know I am going to see a post from ‘X’ brand every morning or every lunchtime, then subconsciously I begin to trust them because it shows commitment.
  • Imagery: This one is personal pet hate for me. I hate seeing inconsistent or messy aesthetics. Naturally and subconsciously we are attracted to things that look nice. Everything should be clean, non-repetitive and in tune with each other whatever theme you are going for.
  • Service / Products: if you do hair, stick to things that relate to hair. If you start selling gloves and scarves as part of your hair brand, you will confuse people. Confusion does not build trust. Be consistent with whatever you provide to your customers and be the best at it.

“If you are persistent, you will get it. But if you are consistent, you will keep it.”

  1. Do what you say you will do

This is the easiest way. It applies to all areas of life when it comes to trust. People can’t trust you if you don’t come through on your promises.

If you say you are going to do an event. Do it!

If you say you are going to do a giveaway. Do it!

If you say you are going to attend an event, especially as a speaker, vendor or exhibitor. Be there!

So count your costs before you jump to social media to announce what you are going to do. You do not want to over-promise and then under-deliver. However, sometimes due to mistakes (which we are allowed to make) or circumstances outside our control, these things happen. In such situation, communicate and apologise! Your audience are not just going to forget what you said you were going to do, so they deserve an update. They are important and you should treat them that way!

  1. Personal touch

People trust a person way more than a business. This is why we are seeing a huge rise in people building personal brands to go with their businesses or using other personal brands to build an audience. As humans, we love human interaction. Now you might be a very private person or not feel confident enough to have an official personal brand but there are ways around this.

  • The use of testimonials / reviews; how many times do you buy something your friend has used and recommended. I know I have many times. This is because we trust our friend’s opinions. When people read testimonials and reviews of people who are similar to them, they are more likely to go with the product or service you are selling.

 

  • Hold an event; now don’t just throw any event. It has to be relevant and must go hand in hand with your company promise. For example, I held a Vision Board Party in January. You might think what has that got to do with a home & stationery brand? Well, Cocoon’s promise is ignite faith and fruitfulness in women. One of our best sellers is The Fruitful Life Planner which promises our customers to help them be more intentional and efficient which in turns will help them reach their goals. The vision board party helps people figure out what their goals are and gives an opportunity to get creative by creating a vision board, a proven method of achieving goals. This helps to ignite fruitfulness even more! Offline interaction is gold and makes your brand more real to a customer. Thus, making your brand more reputable.

Watch our Vision Board Party highlights HERE.

  • Create a blog: A blog is a platform that allows you to share valuable content with your audience, key word being VALUABLE. It shows them that you are an expert in your field and that you put time and effort in to the business and are therefore worth their trust!

 

  • Communicate kindly!! I can’t tell you how many ‘Instagram Businesses’ I have interacted with as a customer and received the worst customer service ever. Literally one word answers to DM’s/Emails, or rude / no response at all. Like, I’m willing to give you my money; the least you could do is communicate properly. Respond to comments and DM’s and in good time, address the customer by name, use thank you and kind regards etc. Don’t give yourself a bad rep by failing to have common courtesy.

And remember, these things take time! Be patient.

Do you have any other ways you guys build trust and reputation in your brand? Share them below? Or share if any of these tips have worked for you?

Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to share!

Mary xo

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth’

Genesis 1:1

Isn’t it beautiful that the Holy Bible begins with us reverencing God as creator? He could have been revered as Abba, Deliverer and many other great names however instead He choose creator. Why? Why would such a great and unexplainable God desire to be known as creator to His people, His children first?

Creativity first hand reflects His glory, His effortless ways of painting the world in beauty. Think about it. The beautiful array of stars you see as you gaze upon the nights’ sky, the way the sun kisses the ocean during its stormiest of waves. God himself is a creative and pours himself out through creativity.

‘The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiworks’

Psalm 19:1

Though God is a creator we also know Him as King, or what people commonly express ‘the King of Kings’. Every King demands their honour but only ONE is deserving of that honour and that is King Jesus. Honour is regarding something or someone in high respect or to physically show your value for something or someone through your actions.

In all things, the Lord requires us to honour Him and submit to Him as described in Colossians 3:17. We are to do all whether in action or in deed in glory of God. Therefore, everything we do is for the glory of God. To bury a gift that the Lord has given you rather than using it to glorify Him is wickedness (Matthew 25:14-30).

So now when it comes to honouring God, Business is an amazing stream for us to do this as it allows us to physically give back unto God by sowing into His Kingdom. Though businesses can be for either profit or non-profit our motives behind these businesses are what remains important.

God is the HEAD of your business

God is not only the master of all creativity but He is also a God of wisdom that understands the dynamics of business. This means that it is an obligation of yours to honour Him through the streams of creativity he has blessed you with. When you begin to see the Lord as the CEO of your business as Tiphany Montgomery would say, He will begin to teach you on how to use your creativity effectively for His glory.

Cultivate your gifts

To cultivate is to nurture and perfect the gifts that He has given unto you. Your creativity is a gift that God has given you and with each gift comes a responsibility to use it for His glory. It is one thing to be a creative and it is another to master your craft. In business cultivating your creative gifts not only give your business an edge but it allows the Lord to freely manifest Himself through your business. It’s important to keep presenting your gift to God and making Him the centre of your business and watch Him multiply your creative streak! Remember He is a God of excellence, He desires for us to reflect his excellence in all things. He requires for us to perfect our craft or our skills in Him.

Honour is important to God because his son died for it. The bible speaks about Jesus dying but as he rose again he gave gifts onto men. For someone to choose not to cultivate their gift and not invest in it to produce something for the glory of God is indeed dishonour and rebellion. A talent that is buried is useless but a skill that is utilized displays the glory of God who gives to all those special abilities, talents and creative skills.

1 Timothy 4:14-15 tells us that a gift can be neglected if not immersed into it completely. What use is a gift if it cannot testify to others about the glory of God?

Ecclesiastes 9:10-11 explains that whatever we find our hands to do we should do well.

Using your creativity within your business is to express yourself or express the message of the gospel through the stream that God has appointed you. If at least one person’s life is changed or heart is touched through your business then your profit is made! As Jesus said the harvest is ready but the labourers are few which is why I choose to be a labourer of love for his kingdom through using something so universal as creativity to honour God. That does not mean that your business has no be non-profit because we all know that we do need money in the kingdom. The difference with our businesses is that our drive and our goal is not money but the work of God through us to transform the lives of other people. Money is a resource.

Here are 9 ways to PRACTICALLY honour God in your business;

  1. Change your perspective! Desire to see all things through the lens of Jesus Christ.
  2. Connect with those that share your vision and can therefore push it to where God intends it to be with you.
  3. Write down the goals for your business!
  4. Have regular ‘business meetings’ with God in his presence. Many times what we think is a ‘God idea’ is just a ‘good idea’ not that there is anything wrong with the idea but allow the Holy Spirit to examine it.
  5. Be Holy. Be the example you want to see. I’m sure your business is there to either impact or change the world in a sense. Be the standard that Christ desires to see through your business!
  6. Watch your mouth. Your mouth has power. Do not allow your mouth to be a hindrance to where God wants to take your business.
  7. Do not be afraid of change but follow the Holy Spirit as He leads you.
  8. Have FAITH! I’m 100% certain that this vision is way bigger than you but nothing in this world can ever be as BIG as GOD.
  9. REST! Allow God to do what He wants to do with you not getting in the way.


 

  • We have a access to a global market in the palm of our hands! 

This is a massive advantage that no other generation really had and I think we underestimate the power we have. Everyday we are engaging with brands on a deep level through various social media platforms. Brands by big corporations and brands by Bob down the street. Everything and everyone is online now. The normalisation of smart phones has made the internet has such a powerful tool. Do you know how much people pay for billboards or tv adverts?! Crazy amounts of money. But now me and you can share our views, ideas, products, services online today and people in the next room or halfway across the world can view it in SECONDS. And all for FREE? I think thats pretty amazing and something we should all take advantage of. 

  • We are drowning in resources!

Following on from the first point, what would we do without the internet! When I started Cocoon, I didn’t know how to design, I certainly didn’t know how to put a website together or how to brand or market my business! I was pretty clueless actually. But thank God for people who decided to create content and share it on the world wide web teaching people like me and you how to do these things. I googled my fingers off and spend hours watching videos and reading articles. There is so much out there and it strips away all our excuses! I learnt that I had to be committed to learning now that so many resources are readily available.

  • You owe it to yourself.

Yes you do! You owe it to yourself to create something that could lead you to financial freedom. You owe it to yourself to build something you can pass on to your children, something that will make a mark for you here on earth! God has deposited in all of us great gifts and talents and if you are able to make a living out of it, then why not! So often I hear the quote that the richest place in the world is the grave, because people die with all their talents/gifts/business ideas etc still in them! What a waste that would be. You still have the power to ensure that does not happen to you and that you leave this earth having emptied yourself of all God has hidden in you. 

And guess what .. I think you owe it to the world too. Think of some popular companies we use regularly, Coca-Cola, Uber, Apple.. imagine how different the world would be if they never took a leap of faith and started something..

So that business idea you have been toying with, put it on paper and make it happen!

Thanks for reading!

Mary xo