If I asked you to describe your brand in a few words, I doubt you’d respond with, “oh, it’s a bush business,” or “right now, I’m focused on building a tree business.” To either, I’d say, “huh?!” But if you went all Mother Nature on Tiffany Aliche, more popularly known as The Budgetnista, she would totally get it. During her BlogHer Biz “Brand Building for Beginners” workshop, the financial educator and best-selling author shared the importance of a singular focus when you’re the new kid on the block.
“It’s so tempting when you’re first starting out to be the bush business or what I call the buffet business and to offer all things to all people,” she said. “But you really do stunt your growth.”
So what exactly is a “bush business?” First, it’s helpful to think of what an actual bush looks like. It’s short but wide. There are a lot of branches extending in all directions from one single source. A bush business is built similarly and they’re pretty common. I’m talking about that friend who offers five different types of freelance services or the influencer who makes and sells a mixed bag of products. “You’ve seen it,” added Aliche. “‘I make jewelry and I make dresses and I do hair and I make lotions.'”
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This isn’t to say a “bush business” is a bad idea. Multiple revenue streams are never a bad thing. However, if you’re a new creator, Aliche recommends you “hunker down and focus on your niche” first. In other words, start out as a “tree business” so you can build consistency, grow an audience, and improve the skills you already have before expanding. Like a tree, your foundation will be strong, resilient, and hard to ignore. Plus, you’ll be prepared to scale your business without losing control of all the moving parts.
“When I started my business, literally I was The Budgetnista because that’s all I wanted to do. I can teach you how to budget. So that was my tree trunk—budget budget budget budget budget budget,” she explained. “And then one day, I thought, ‘Oh, I learned how to help people with their credit.’ And debt. And then investing. And then and then and then. Before you knew it, I could branch out because I had built such a strong tree trunk.”
Additionally, remember that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to establish your tree business either. Things like branding graphics, a camera, and even social media followers are things you shouldn’t waste your hard-earned coins on. Replay the second week of BlogHer Biz (above) for more of The Budgetnista’s can’t-miss branding advice and if you haven’t already, register for BlogHer Biz. We’ve got two more weeks of tactical workshops and game-changing advice for small business owners—you don’t want to miss it.