When I meet with small businesses, one of the frequent questions is: “How can we start selling?” While this question is no doubt important, it should not be the number one question for a new business. Below is the accepted three-step plan to selling.

1) Product -> 2) Marketing -> 3) Sales

At Page1, I like to replace the above formula with a more holistic approach to marketing. Rather than focusing on the output of sales, my goal is to focus on the input. My formula for growth answers a question ABOUT the product or business. Asking “Is the product or business…”

1) Personal -> 2) Approachable -> 3) Relatable

I believe that a strong business is supported by three main pillars: Sales, Profits, and Story. Your story can also be referred to as brand identity, and answers questions about the business. It’s the message, tone, and vision of your brand. Who are you? What do you sell? Why do you sell it? Sales and profits are influenced heavily by the marketplace. They fluctuate. There’s a continual state of restlessness when we speak in terms of sales and marketing. When starting a new business, it’s not enough to focus on sales and profits as an indicator or long-term brand strength. Why? Because when one of these pillars falls, the business can become unstable. To follow profits means a business is being led by the market. To set a vision means a business is being led from within. 

Success is measured in more than dollars. Before focusing on sales, pause and ask if your business is personal, approachable, and relatable. The process of answering these questions will help better define your company and set the brand in a position for long-term growth.

Stephen Palacino