top of page

Keys to a Successful Business

by Lisa K. Stephenson & Riley Cook

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." - Marlon Brando, The Godfather

If you’re a new business owner or have been in business for some time and need advice on how to grow your business, you’ve come to the right place. According to ( statistics show that more and more people in the United States have started their own business over the past decade, with 2021 seeing 5.39 million business applications alone.

More businesses mean more competition.

We’ve got 5 tips on how to build and run a successful business. Surely, we’ve watched the news and we see how many billionaires and millionaires lose everything overnight. But what can you do differently? For starters, stop thinking that your business is special.

Tip 1:

Public Relations: Lisa K. Stephenson, CEO of ASIAS Brands and Retail Focused Public Relations Officer says, “No one wants to buy from you because you own a business, people buy from you because you have a brand they can trust. It’s no wonder when we walk into a store and we see Tide vs. some other company, we are quick to pick up the Tide. This is due to one thing, their branding is strong. The ingredients could be bad, the product may not work as well as the non-leading brand, but still, people will buy it.”

Branding vs. Marketing – Branding is why, Marketing is how | Branding is long-term, Marketing is short-term (think of an ad for a holiday sale) | Branding is macro, Marketing is micro | Branding defines trajectory, Marketing defines tactics | Branding builds loyalty, Marketing generates response | Branding creates value, Marketing extracts value | Branding is the being, Marketing is the doing.

Starting a business is easy, the state will happily take your money for an application in forming an LLC, trademark, or incorporation, but the real question is can you afford to be a business owner? Being a business owner is more than just posting something on social media and hoping everyone will gravitate towards it. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, market inexpensive ads but what they are not telling you is that those ads with a smaller budget will not reach active users of the platform.

There are 30 million deceased accounts on Facebook that are still seeing ads. A deceased person cannot buy anything. In other words, you do not want to be frugal when it comes to quality public relations. You want to save enough money for at least a 3-month campaign to give a good PR boutique some time to help with your branding. Still have questions? Feel free to email Lisa.

Tip 2:

Marketing: Marketing is the activity of businesses promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising ( 2022 Media Kit). When it comes to marketing this goes hand in hand with branding. A good marketing campaign coupled with public relations can take an unknown brand to new and incredible heights.

So how do you do this? There are many holidays during the year, you can either create a specific company holiday (ex. Amazon’s Prime Day) or you can focus your efforts on one particular holiday depending on your industry. Once this is established you can start to pump up excitement for any upcoming sales or major promotions/changes you intend to make that the general public will be interested in.

As a business owner, CEO, etc., your purpose in the company is to generate revenue. To do that you are left with making the tough decisions on where to invest your money for the growth of the business. In doing this, you have to be willing to share the responsibilities. There’s a saying that goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Tip 3:

Investments: Gone are the days of FREE collaborations. If you’re doing this, STOP right now. Like-minded businesses are the only companies you should be contacting and asking to work together. This should never entail the request for free labor. Collaborations should always be mutually beneficial—whether this means offering something on the back-end or front-end, something of value should be offered.

If something is free it has no value. Add value to your product or service by giving value to your product or service. If you approach a similar business and want to collaborate, you should advise them of your seriousness by offering them something of value. A simple, I’ll post you, if you post me is mediocre marketing and lazy at best. Ramp it up!

We see the same brands and businesses splashed across our television screens and social media accounts for a reason (McDonald's, Ford, Macy’s), they do not believe in loafing around in their marketing and branding efforts. They want a baby to know of their existence before that child is even delivered. Did you know that McDonald's spends upwards of $650 Million in marketing alone? Why would McDonald's need to market at all? Chronic brand awareness. Investing in their brand so others will want to invest, too.

You do not have to be a millionaire to succeed at this; when you reach out to a company/influencer to collaborate, keep in mind that the payment can be either commission based 0r paid out over a specified amount of time – a three-year marketing campaign can be paid out over 3 years.

This is the option most celebrities are offered when partnering with larger companies: Kim Kardashian and Balenciaga, Nicki Minaj and Fendi, and the list goes on. This can also work for influencers. Knowing that a company wants to keep them on “payroll” for their marketing is always a quick yes. The point is, offer something of value. Another option is backlinks.

Products do NOT equal payment and please, we have to stop thinking that as a new brand company you will get picked up by high-end media. Talking about you and your brand or business is not beneficial to them/us. It does not get clicks and views aka monetizable content.

Offer a company something of high value. Find a blog in your niche and offer to write content for them linking back to your website. You can either pay them to host your content or request it in exchange for a link on your business website. Here you can see there is a transfer of value.

Tip 4:

Price Point: Be realistic. The best way to crush your quarterly goals is to understand your target market. Companies like LVMH have multiple brands that appeal to different markets. If you wish to be on the luxury side, then your products should scream luxury.

If you wish to be more appealing to college students or young adults, then your products and pricing should speak to that. Do not overprice your items to get rich quickly. This is how you lose business and earn bad reviews and a reputation for being a ‘cash grab’ business.

Tip 5:

Community Participation: If there is a major disaster that requires the assistance of others, participate. This is the ONLY time you should be looking to give things away for free. Partnering with your local shelter or doing a food drive etc. is where you can and should find ways to help your community and build your presence there. This will help increase brand awareness.

There you have it, 5 key tips to a successful business.


bottom of page