Ask most people why they are in business and they will give you any number of reasons. Things such as wanting to improve the lives of others; make the world a better place; provide for their family; have more free time; the list goes on and on.
Fact is business is about making money, which means the bottom line is the bottom line. Many business owners, managers and sales people seem to forget this. If you don’t have a strong bottom line you cannot continue to do business for very long. And if you can’t continue to do business you cannot achieve the other primary reasons you do what you do. The way you get a sturdy bottom line is to understand some basic truths about business.
A few fundamentals to running a successful business are to know what your product or service is, who your customer is, who you are, what drives you in business, and what trends are impacting the economy and marketplace.
Many people run their business without these key ingredients. Sure, a company can survive, but is survival all you are seeking? Don’t you want more? As previously mentioned, most people are in business to design a certain lifestyle for themselves and their families. Many are in business to create an experience for their customers. Still others are in business to improve the quality of their community. Unfortunately, many miss the mark by a long shot.
Think about why you are in business. What is it that drives you? Wouldn’t it be great to thrive beyond your wildest dreams and be a contributor to many of the causes you believe in due to the success of your business and professional life?
Regardless of where you are in business, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been running your company for some time; whether you work for yourself or for someone else there are essential pieces of information that are key to your success. First, in order to thrive you absolutely must know who you are. Not only who you are in the business, but in life in general. You also have to know what you believe in, what your values are, and what drives and motivates you.
Another key aspect of succeeding in business is to understand the needs and wants of your customers. Until you determine exactly who your customers are, you will have a difficult time satisfying what they want and need. That is why it is so important to determine what drives you. If you understand what drives you, what your values are, your beliefs, your dreams and goals, and what your ultimate purpose is, it will be so much easier to figure out who you want to do business with.
As has often been the belief and practice of many business owners, sales professionals, and managers, when asked who their market is, they respond with, “Everyone!” Fact is, if everyone is your market, ultimately no one is your market.
It’s incredible how many people have never taken the time to determine who they would ideally like to do business with. The more clarity you have, the simpler your process of doing business becomes. Do not confuse easy with simple. Running a business is not necessarily easy and yet, the process can be simple when you gain massive amounts of clarity.
Additionally, your existing and potential customers will have a much easier time distinguishing you from your competitors. With a new competitor cropping up on what seems like every street corner, make the decision making process for your clients as simple as possible. By gaining clarity through self-evaluation and customer evaluation, you attract more of your ideal clients. As you attract more of who you want to do business with you can focus more on the business of providing a great experience to your customers.