Key Advice To Small Business Owners During These Challenging Times By Peter Drummond

Small Business Canada

As Principal and co-founder at PSD+G Strategy Group, Peter has devoted 30 years to helping his clients achieve business success. With his wisdom, wit and creativity, partnered with a keen desire to understand their DNA and core strategic challenge, Peter has earned a loyal following among big brands, start-ups and not-for-profits. His passion is building purpose-driven brands, especially those with social impact.

Peter has led the business and brand strategy work at Corus Entertainment, Bio-K+, Natural Products Canada, Canada Post, Kijiji, Open Blue Sea Farms (Panama), Shoppers Drug Mart, Live Nation, as well as Ocean Nutrition Canada, and 48North Cannabis.

Credited as co-creator of LEVEL5 Strategy Group, a national leader in strategy consultancy, prior posts include running a strategy consultancy in Montreal, as well as an identity and design firm in Toronto within Cossette Communications Group.

With a passion to share his knowledge and experience and help grow a new generation of thinkers, Peter teaches at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Marketing Strategy for the Executive MBA National and Americas programs.

Peter has a BFA in Communication Arts & Design from Virginia Commonwealth University and attended the Graduate School of Business Executive Management Program at Columbia University.

Peter is also co-founder of 32 Degrees Ventures. A social impact firm committed To change the impact of ice on water. For more information join our conversation:

What is your key advice to small business owners during these challenging times? 

FUTURE PROOF your brand with PURPOSE and a PLAN

Now, more than ever is the time to Future Proof your business. Whether you are a start-up, a regional or national business or a global brand, you have experienced fundamental changes in your operations since COVID.  Starting yesterday, you will need to be more focused and compelling on why customers should stay with you or try your business for the first time.

Remember, customers, make instinctive choices based on the perceived value they are getting. You need to convince them why they should buy from you and stay with you. Like the many crises before us, those who prepare, invest the time and do the hard work, will be a better set-up for success when the customer makes brand decisions.

Take the time and ensure that you have a fact-based strategic brand plan that is built up from the outside-in.  Dig deep to better understand the marketplace and your customer’s unmet needs.

If done well and grounded in insights, your strategic brand plan will help you be highly focused, more decisive, and keep everyone accountable for your purpose and goals.

There are key questions to ask oneself as you build your plan

  • What is your brand’s purpose and why do you exist?
  • What business are you really in and how do you make money?
  • Who are your real target customer and their influencers? 
  • Who are the high potentials for growth and the role of innovation?
  • What does your brand stand for and is your value proposition both compelling and differentiated?
  • Are both the leadership team and the employees aligned and understand the plan?

Your brand is your most valuable asset and it provides you with a competitive advantage if you are able to meet and exceed your brand promise.  More importantly, you need to integrate a brand into your business and manage and nurture it for growth that reflects our ever-changing world.

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