Procrastination is a natural human tendency, but in the competitive world of small business, it can prove devastating. The waiting game is particularly damaging when it comes to brand development, for, the longer you go without clarifying your brand and targeting the right audience, the more time and money you waste on ineffective marketing campaigns. From fear to indecision, your reasons for stalling may vary, but no matter you excuse, your failure to define and develop your brand is causing your business irreparable harm. The following are a few of the most common excuses for stalling on brand development — and why those excuses are invalid.

There’s Not Enough Time

Small business owners never have enough time, and while it’s true that life as an entrepreneur is crazy busy, some things — including brand development — need to be prioritized. Ultimately, the upfront time commitment you place in creating your brand will pay off, as it will ensure that you do not waste precious time on pursuits that do not support your long-term goals.

You’re Lacking Financial Resources

When it feels like your new business can fold at any time, the last thing you feel like doing is focusing on big picture issues such as developing your brand. However, a clear vision can ultimately make it far easier to secure the resources you require. Investors have absolutely no interest in supporting entrepreneurs who lack direction. They’ll be far more likely to give your pitch the consideration it deserves if you present a polished, confident image. A focused brand allows you to immediately demonstrate what you’ve accomplished thus far, and where you’re going.

You’re Still Working on Team Building

Instead of gathering an unorganized team of employees and then trying to pigeonhole them into a suddenly defined mission, your vision needs to be clear from the beginning. This will ensure that those who join your team are truly on board. A loosely-defined brand will attract similarly-minded individuals who lack passion and are simply working for the paycheck. Is that the type of person you want on your team?

It’ll Shutting Out Consumers

Many entrepreneurs hesitate to focus on a target market because they fear excluding other prospective customers. This is a viable concern, but if you fail to identify a target audience and tailor your message to fit that audience, your brand will not strongly appeal to anybody. Focus your vision and watch as your customer base grows, both in size and loyalty.

The longer you wait to define your brand, the more opportunities will pass you by. From potential investors to employees, the best and the brightest want to be associated with easily-identifiable brands created by entrepreneurs who are clearly passionate about their respective industries.