I’ve been reminded several times this week of something that I already knew, but definitely needed to be refocused on. It is something that separates successful businesses from struggling businesses. It’s about foundation and goals. I listen to a lot of podcasts and read lots of business related material and it just so happens that a prevailing theme for this week has been about making sure that the purpose of what you are doing is kept in mind in everything that goes into the business. That includes the website, the messages, the advertisements, the images, the videos, and anything that has to do with your business. If the foundation is weak and the goals are not in place, then anything you build will tend to crumble, fail, and fall.
I have a philosophy that I follow that I lovingly refer to as, “follow the why“. I come from a pretty solid background of problem solving; thanks to the type of work that I have done for many years now. The idea is pretty simple and very powerful. With anything that you do or any problem you come up against, if you follow the why, you can pretty much count on success. Whether it is solving a problem or working on some project, if you understand the purpose, you have the key to success.
I talked about this a little bit in a previous post: “Hanging Together By A Thread“. The simplified success formula is:
HOW + WHY + ACTION = SUCCESS
An analogy I like to use is driving. If we take the “WHY” out of the equation, we might have a map that shows us how to get to a destination and we have the action of driving to that destination, but why are we driving there? What is the purpose or the reason. Now we just wasted time, energy, and gas to get to somewhere that we had no reason to be.
The same thing can happen in business. If we don’t have a clear purpose or a goal for our business, in other words, we don’t clearly know why we are in business, then we run the risk of wasting time, money, and energy on things we don’t need to do.
Start With The End In Mind
If you research and study enough about business and marketing, you will inevitably come across this phrase, “Start with the end in mind”. For business and marketing and really anything you do, start with the purposes or goals. Then build from there. I recently read about how business people would be found trying to build their websites and they would hire designers and coders to put it together. At the end of it all, it turned out not to work in most cases because there was no central purpose in place. So, everything that was built on top of that foundation turned out to be less than good.
Something else that is important to note is that the goals do not have to be huge or complex. Simple is always best anyway. When it is simple, it is easy for it to be clear and easy to follow and convey. So, before you go buy a bunch of supplies and build a website and get graphics done and hire all sorts of help, be sure your goal is in place and is solid. You may find that you don’t need some of the stuff you were planning to get or maybe you do need it, but it has to be different so that you can hit your goals.
What about if you are already knee deep in the throws of running a business and realize that it has been built on top of a shaky foundation?
No, no. There’s no need to go that far. It might have to hurt a little bit though depending on how deep you are in and how invested you already are in a foundation that can’t support the business you are trying to run. However, not all hope is lost. Just take time to re-evaluate your goals. Then start making changes where you can. Ideally try to make the most out of what you already have to work with. This is a perfect opportunity to make use of the famous 80 / 20 rule. Before you start making changes, figure out which changes are the smallest ones that have the biggest impact. Your main mission here is to get the biggest bang for your effort or money.
Also, it is important in all phases of your business to take measurements and correct the course of your business on a regular basis. I am mostly referring to using analytics tools so that you can keep track of how you are doing. If you don’t know how you are doing, it is very hard to know what needs to be changed so you can head in the right direction. I plan on creating some tutorials on how to use some very handy tools such as Google Analytics in order to monitor and analyze what you do online.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free post them below or bring it to one of our social channels to discuss it. You should be able to find the social icons or widgets on this site fairly easy. I hope this has been helpful or at least got you thinking about things a little differently.
Best wishes for a growing business!