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To move forwards, first look back!

Posted 21st January 2021
By David Langdown

You often hear people say, “don’t look back” but at Focus7 we believe that in order to build your personal or business brand, that is exactly what you should do.

When we work with a client, we want to get to the heart of their business and to do that, we have to look back, back to the essence of the leaders and their personal purpose. What were their motivations for starting their business or for joining it? What impact were they trying to make? Who were they trying to help? What were they trying to achieve and why?

We look back to the early days of the business, what it stood for, what it was known for and the brand journey that has brought it to its current position.

Sometimes, things today look very different because they have strategically shifted to address a changing environment. But often, we find that businesses and leaders have simply been knocked off course by circumstances. The pressures of hitting sales targets, paying staff, suppliers and the VAT bill, and dealing with day-to-day people issues have resulted in many compromises and changes. It hasn’t happened overnight, it has been a gradual process, one that has left them feeling frustrated, disillusioned or lost.

Before they can move forward, they need to stop and look back, unlearn some of what has become perceived wisdom and habit, and revaluate what is important to them as a business and on a personal level. They need to rediscover the passion and purpose, and from that point, they are ready to start reimaging their business and to plan for the future.

Our workshop process is designed to facilitate this. We invite our clients to bring their key stakeholders together with our brand strategists, creative and client service leaders. Through a series of exercises and open discussions, we immerse ourselves in their business. Through questioning, conversation, gentle probing and sometimes more vigorous prodding we highlight gaps and disconnects in understanding, thinking, strategy and communication.

It is a level of deep reflection that brings everyone together, unites them on purpose and takes them to a position from which to ignite their brand and grow in a grander way. But don’t just take our word for it.

Here’s what Alan Giles, CCO of communications surveillance specialists, VoxSmart, says about our workshop process.

“Many companies, regardless of size, can be distracted from their core purpose, due to the ‘day to day’ and the constant drive to improve results. Working with Focus7 provides an ideal opportunity to step back, look back into the brand and determine if it is still fit for purpose, and if it is, is it being presented in the right way.”

“At the point I joined VoxSmart, I was keen to understand not only who we are, but also what we do, and who we do it for. These questions are fundamental and having people from across the business functions engaging is key. The team at Focus7 spent a lot of time and effort really asking the simple questions of the VoxSmart team, getting to the heart of our business and helping us align on our purpose. As we move forwards, with a new and consistent brand identity that is presented in the right way to the right audience, both colleagues and customers will instantly understand what we are about, with no room for misunderstanding – this is a key win for me.”

Patrick Harrison is Managing Director of LSGi, a specialist network of Will Writing and Estate Planning professionals. Patrick says:

“For any ambitious business that has a vision for the future, trying to identify what needs to be done and in what order to realise that vision can often be overwhelming. The process we went through with Focus 7 was expertly organised and as their name would suggest, focused. It was an intense and demanding programme but at the end of it, the sense of being overwhelmed was replaced with one of clarity and optimism.

“What’s more our vision was expanded and our horizons widened. The well ordered ‘To Do’ list that resulted from the programme has without doubt accelerated our plans by several months if not years. Every ambitious business owner should consider going through this process.”

If you would like to experience our workshop process, get to the heart of your business and make it beat faster, please contact david@focus7int.com or vida@focus7int.com and we would be delighted to talk to you.

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