BEST Kept Secret to Growing a Successful, Thriving Business
By Stephanie Beck
As a business owner you want to develop a base of recurring customers. Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for over 20 years, in this article you're going to learn the BEST Kept Secret of how to have more joy from your work, get more customers, ultimately make more money doing what you love and discover how online and print marketing allows you some of the best ways to achieve those goals. It doesn't matter whether you have one employee or 101 employees, all of the items we are about to share can be applied to any sized business.
Alright, are you ready, here is the BEST Kept Secret to every successful marketing campaign: Always lead with your WHY! That's right, "Why are you doing what you are doing?" It sounds so simple right? If you want to be successful, you must find a way to separate yourself from your competitors. Everyone in your industry has a similar product or service and guess what they all have in common? The product or services help people.
So, if you want to stand out from the crowd and have clients wanting to work with YOU rather than any of the other countless businesses out there, do NOT just tell people WHAT you do... tell people WHY you do it. This is your unique angle.
In this day and age, the world of business is undergoing a completely revolutionary shift. The rules are changing. Businesses that solely focus on their bottom line will wither away and soon be forgotten. So for most of you reading this article, it would be safe to say you were first drawn to start your own business because you had a passion to help solve a problem for people and you saw a way for you to make money, right? But it really goes beyond that. You need to fully understand your "Why".
Consider this. According to the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration; small firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.9% of the total employers. An estimated 552,600 new employer firms opened for business in 2009 and 660,900 firms closed. This amounts to an annual turnover of about 10%. Non-employer firms have turnover rates 3 times higher. Even during good times, the small businesses' survival rate is discouraging because about half fail within 5 years. Unfortunately, 2011 was another tough year. Most business owners do not decide to close their doors because they don't enjoy what they do, but simply because you do not know how to translate your "why" you do what you do into how it helps your customers and potential customers lead better, healthier lives. These are very sobering thoughts, but not to worry, if you are reading this article and wanting to make some simple changes you are on the right path. This isn't all doom and gloom. The sole purpose of this article is to offer some simple steps to create, not only the business you really want, but really, the life you truly desire. A successful business just happens to be in the picture.
Are you ready to make a change? Start now by getting a piece of paper and a pen. Begin by making a list of your personal, professional and financial "whys". A personal "why" could be that you want to help make a difference in someone's life. A professional "why" may be you want to educate 100 people on the benefits of your product/service within the next year? A financial "why" may be that you want to be able to support a favorite cause or start a new local charity? Invest 5 to 10 minutes and complete this exercise now. We will wait. Incidentally, this is a great exercise to repeat frequently because as your business grows your "whys" will evolve, change or in some cases get much bigger than when you first started. This is even something you can have all of your team members within your organization complete.
Since you have a nice list of reasons why you do what you do, let's take it a step further. Being a business owner promoting and selling your product/service is one thing, but being a business owner where your skills, open heart and your deepest desire for improving other peoples' lives fuels a cause and a bigger mission... is completely different. It's no secret that as an entrepreneur you are incredibly passionate about what you do. You may even be among the vast majority who chose this line of work because they were answering the same noble calling: to heal the world. That's the difference between what you do, and why you do it.
So how do you translate "why" you do what you do into how it helps your customers and potential customers lead better, healthier lives? You know why you do what you do so how do you get that communicated into benefits for your customers? Unless you understand the modern-day solution to creating the business of your dreams, you are in danger of being just another statistic.
Think about it, all of the greatest companies in this world don't just offer a product or service... they offer an experience and at the core of it all, and those that do it well, offer an opportunity to be a part of something bigger. Your "why" is something bigger.
In order to communicate your "why" into that experience and make it so the customers see, feel and understand how it benefits them, remember to see it from their point of view. "How is my "why" going to help them?" When you lead with why you do what you do is going to benefit them and you share this beneficial vision to others, you will attract more people who share that same desire. Furthermore, those people are going to happily pay a premium to have an ongoing relationship with you.
People want to know YOU. When clients want to work with you, it's because of your connection, the rapport, what is unique and fascinating about you, and ultimately, how they feel by associating themselves with you. Of course, it's important to be able to provide a high quality product/service, but remember, at the end of the day, they buy YOU, not your product/service. By sharing how your why benefits them you are creating a relationship. Remember that saying "no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care"? Your "why you do what you do" to benefit your customer shows them how much you care.
To help you get clarity on translating your "why" into benefits for your customer, on the same piece of paper now we want you to answer these next 3 questions:
- What aspect of my business do I love the most?
- What vision do I have for my life and of the world, and how does my product/service play into that?
- How does my product/service improve other peoples' lives?
Be sure to give these some thought, take your time to really think about what it is that you feel most passionately about your business and why you choose this profession. Once you have answered these questions you should have your "why" and how your "why" benefits your customers.
You may be asking yourself, why is this so important? Because, people are starting to care less and less about what a business does, and more and more about the people behind the show, who they are, and what they stand for, your "why" and how your "why" helps them.
Let's take a real world example. Take Apple for instance. Why do you think they have such a loyal, raving customer base, and own such a huge part of their market? They don't just sell electronics... they offer an experience, and an opportunity to be a part of something bigger.
If Apple were like everyone else, a marketing message from them might sound like this: "We make great computers. They're beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. Want to buy one?"
And that's how many of us communicate. We say what we do, or how we're different or how we're better, and expect someone to take action based on that. But it's not inspiring.
Now, here's how Apple actually communicates: "Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?"
Do you see how this is completely different? That's a perfect example of leading with "why" and how the "why" benefits the customer.
So, that's it. The BEST Kept Secret, lead with your "why", and how it benefits your customers and you will reap all of the rewards that come with having the business of your dreams. Live your passion and serve millions of people around the world simply by sharing your "why".
About the Author:
Stephanie Beck, Owner of SRB Solutions, is an educator and advocate for Massage, Chiropractic & Spa Business Owners! She helps businesses in the health and wellness industry get more customers by making them findable on the internet. She has served as a published guest columnist for Massage Today, DC PracticeINSIGHTS, and Marketing Matters. She and her husband live in San Diego, CA. To get more strategies like this visit: www.srbsolutions.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org.