From conversations I've had recently, I've come to the conclusion that most people still believe that managing a business is very different than branding and marketing a business.
I disagree vehemently to this way of thinking. Management and Marketing are in a real way the same thing.
To manage a business you have to understand it. You have to organize it and make sure each piece is doing what it needs to do to reach goals that accomplish the company's mission.
On the other hand, to discover a company's brand you have to find the intersection of what prospects, customers, management, employees, alliances, vendors and all the other audiences want from or value in the company.
So if you first take the time to discover your brand, you'll be able to more clearly make decisions regarding how to organize your business correctly, which people to hire, what processes to put in place, which technology to purchase, what vendors to work with, etc., etc... and you'll also be a more efficient and effective marketer because you'll be focused on communicating what you do best that the customer values most.
To build a better business that can meet the current economic challenges start with your brand.