Episode 29: Are You Selling A Half-Baked Pizza?

woman working on an imac with gold lamp in background

What is the foundation of your business?  More importantly, why does this foundation matter?  A lot of people have started asking me, “What makes a small brand different from a big brand?”  But, it took a while for me to really start understanding the difference between a big brand and a small brand. 


The key difference is a foundation.  To explain this concept, I'm going to use the example of setting up pizza. When it comes to building a business, a lot of our product based entrepreneurs usually want to sell more, market more, and have people find them.  When I hear that, it makes me think of a half-baked pizza. 




Your Half-Baked Pizza


Many times, people are coming from just having a physical product.  Either they're making it at home or they're getting it from a custom manufacturer. Then, because they have a product, they think that the next thing they need to do immediately is to actually start marketing and selling. 


However, I want you to just think about it this way. Let's say you opened a pizza bakery.  You’re still getting it started, but you know how to bake pizzas.  So immediately, you're telling the CEO that you need more customers.  But at this point, you’re trying to find customers when you have a bunch of half-baked pizzas.  At that point, your pizza only has cheese. You haven't put the sauce together, you don’t have any spices, and whatever you use to make your pizza hasn't been put in together to have the completely baked pizza. So how do you sell a pizza to customers when you really only have raw dough with some cheese?


The Work of Building A Brand


Now, I want you to think about your business like a pizza that needs ingredients. When you say that you want more money, customers or sales, you have to ask yourself this question first:  Have you fundamentally done the work that needs to be done when it comes to building a business? 

Oftentimes, people ask me who my ideal customers are as a business coach.  I know that my ideal customers are people who are really looking to build a sustainable and profitable product based business. They aren't people looking to quickly sell a product. After all, when you're thinking about building a business, how you operate is very different from if you're just thinking about having a hobby, right? So let's look a little more at this information.




The Conversation No One Is Having In Business


Building foundations in the business space is not a conversation that anybody's having. They aren’t even talking about it in the online space.  A lot of people are talking about running ads, using Instagram, doing reels, growing your followers, making 1 million in a year, and all the other fun topics.  It's a very surface level work that is being communicated out there.


So if you're one of those entrepreneurs who's feeling like you’re doing everything that everybody is saying must be done, but you’re not seeing success, I want you to ask this question: Is your foundation right? Is your foundation solid?


If you’re not sure about your foundation, here are the different things to look at in your business:


Building A Solid Foundation For Your Business 


#1 Do you have the correct product?

    1. Are they what your customers want and desire to buy
    2. Are you able to communicate your competitive advantage?

#2 Do you have the correct pricing?

    1. Are you pricing based on your competitors?
    2. Are you pricing on perceived value of your customers?
    3. Are you pricing based on a simple multiplication strategy?

#3 Do you understand your competitive advantage?

Another way to ask this is, do you understand your messaging?  When you understand your messaging, you are conveying the reasons to believe in your product.  Ask yourself what FEELING is that are you selling? This feeling could be confidence, warmth, authenticity, or anything else.  Then you need to know why people would buy your product.  These things identify your brand's offer that no one else could claim.



#4 Do you know your product’s “IT” factor?

When you're thinking about an "IT" factor, think about a luxury product you own.  Why did you buy a designer?  Louis Vitton, for example, has its own IT factor.  People buy it for many reasons, but they always react to the IT factor.


#5 Design

    1. Does your branding elicit the feeling you want your customers have when they experience you?
    2. Labels and packaging often have too much information
    3. You have to know the science behind your packaging design
    4. Have you spent time understanding the feeling you want your brand and business to evoke?


#6 Are you able to predict the profit you will make months in advance?

Can you look at the results of your business last month and know how it will perform next month?  Do you have a clear understanding of where you want your brand to go?  This is key in creating a profitable business.  




How Do You Start Building A Strong Foundation?


If you’re ready to do the work of building a strong foundation, you have to really ask yourself these questions.  You can't build the business based on emotion or emotional decisions!  It's not going to take you anywhere.  I always say that business is math, and math is based on numbers.  You have to ask the hard questions and look at the results you’re getting to do the business math.  There are times yes, you're going to be emotional.  So give yourself a moment to be emotional and have your pity party, but come back and take a CEO approach.  Say to yourself, “Okay, this is business, let me solve the problem.” 


Remember, you are more than a product!  To have a fully baked pizza, you need the product, messaging, design, pricing, and CEO mindset.  Then you not only have a product, you truly have a brand.


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