Why are you in business?
It's a pretty simple question but not easily answered by many small business owners. (Too) many answer the question with something like "to make a profit". This confuses the expected outcome with the purpose of the business.
Understanding the "why" provides a key reference point for all the stakeholders in the business (owners, employees, customers etc). This reference point should make it easier to operate and perform in the business. For example, our why is growing wealth for small business owners. If we understand this it should provide a reference point for:
- Our people, processes and systems (are they geared to the why?);
- The way we communicate with our clients (are we all focused on it?);
- The clients we are best matched to (do they want what we offer?);
- Ultimately, as a team are we delivering it?
This reference point becomes the corner stone for the structure that is our business. It makes many decisions much easier to make. Is this potential new small business client seeking growth in their wealth? If not, we're probably not the right match for them. Do our systems provide a means through which we can deliver strategies and advice on growing wealth to small business owners? If not, they need changing? Will this new tool assist us in delivering growth for small business owners? If so, we need it.
Too many small businesses not only have no "why" but they go through the motions, especially if they've been in business for a long time. The lack of purpose usually results in a lack of passion which invariably results in a lack of (good) customers.
Customers won't continually buy from a business to assist in profit growth or because you've been around a long time. Customers will buy from a business if they understand and connect with the "why" or purpose of the business and they share the passion.
WHY are YOU in business?