A common trap that some start – ups and indeed entrepreneurs fall into is to build their company based upon the product they produce. The challenge with this approach is that any potential customer is forced to ask the question, “How can I taste the difference between you and your competitors?” If I am unable to determine what it is that makes you special and different, then, as your customer, the only determining factor in my buying decision will be PRICE!
Live by price and you could well die by price because it is only a matter of time before somebody comes along and undercuts you.
If you take a walk down any High Street, you will find empty shop fronts, a great many of which once house a business that was in a price war with its competitors.
There are numerous ways of getting yourself out of price competition. Today I would like to focus on just one, ‘Your WHY’. Taking time to discover ‘WHY’ you do what you do, could well be the most powerful exercise and investment in time that you will make in your business life because people are more likely to buy products from companies when they have an understanding of what the company stands for and they trust and respect it.
Knowing your ‘WHY’ will also give you a great foundation on which to guide the thousands of decisions you have to make in your business. It is easy to spot businesses that have not carried out this exercise because the ‘WHAT’ and how they go about things will be littered with contradictions and misalignment.
In our workshops, I often tell the story of Julia Butterfly Hill, a conservationist, who, whilst out walking came across a giant redwood tree marked with a big blue cross. This didn’t mean there was a sale at Debenhams; it meant that the logging companies were planning to cut down the tree. These trees are a protected species, and yet the local authorities were turning a blind eye to these practices because, once the tree was down, the ground could be napalmed and a golf course, luxury housing complex etc. could be built on the land.
Julie was not prepared to allow this to happen, so she climbed the tree and built two 6’ x6’ platforms and resolved to not get down until the logging company reversed their decision. There were numerous attempts to get her down, including water cannon and the firing of drugged darts, but she wouldn’t be moved.
A question for you ‘How long would you stay up a tree to save it?’
Julie was up that tree for 738 days
She named the tree Luna and wrote a book about her exploits (the book’s title is ‘The Legacy of Luna’). In the book she explains that, “in life and indeed business you need to find you non- negotiable goal.” In other words, your ‘WHY.’
So what is your ‘WHY?’
What is it that drove you to start your business in the first place? You may say ‘money…’ Dig deeper because for a great many business owners they could make just as much by being an employee and not have to put up with all the strass and strains that a business can sometime bring.
It could be that there was something about your industry that you didn’t like or maybe it was about the way the customers were being dealt with. It could be you had an inner urge to help people. Whatever it is for you, tap into it, find a way of verbalising it, and then use it to build ‘The Culture’ in your business. What is it your business needs to do, on a day to day basis, to take you closer to your ‘WHY?’
By moving the focus of your business from making money to achieving your ‘WHY’, what you will find is that the money will just show up!
Let me know how you get on.
If you’d like to look at this topic in more depth or have a chat about how else we might help you drop me an email or give the office a call on 0151 348 1202 and we can arrange a chat over a cup of coffee.
“The best vision is insight”…Martin S. Forbes
“Capital isn’t scarce, vision is”…Sam Walton
“It takes someone with a vision of the possibilities to attain new levels of experience. Someone with the courage to live his dreams”…Les Brown
“We go where our vision is”…Joseph Edward Murphy
“People with sight see things as they are. People with insight see things as they could be”…Joseph P. Martino
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams, who looks inside awakens”…Carl Jung
“The power to affect your future lies within your own hands”…Nido Quebein
Dedicated to your success
Business Performance Coach