What is a personality-based business?

When I describe the type of work I like to go after, I often use the phrase personality-based business.”

There is no universal definition for what a personality-based business is. Some online marketing experts that a personality-based business is one where the person’s name is the business. The product is the person.

I think that misses a much larger segment of small business.

For me, I think it really comes down to this: If you have a business where you are recognized and where you name is inextricably linked to the business, you have a personality-based business. If you have a small team of employees who are known by your customers, you have a personality-based business.

Some businesses are obviously personality-based:

  • Business & life coaches
  • Independent financial advisors, accountants, etc.
  • Small law firms
  • Independent home improvement services
  • Individual real estate agents

But then there are these businesses:

  • Local restaurants, where the chef and/or owner are visible
  • Auto repair shops, where customers say, “You’ve gotta see Mike. He’ll take care of you.”
  • Healthcare professionals, even if their name isn’t on the door – that’s a very personal business!

Basically, a personality-based business is an independent business where

  • The owner is visible and working
  • Customers speak about the people and what the people do – and not the brand
  • Personal relationships are a major part of doing business.

All of these types of businesses benefit from a strong online platform and social media presence. When people are talking about you, you should be part of the conversation. If they’re not yet talking about you, you and have a great opportunity to encourage dialog.

And when you put in the effort that your competitors do not, you become that much more of business, person, and personality that customers grow to know, like and trust.