Create a business around your Purpose and your Customers
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
I read this article from the Guardian this morning entitled: A million people may quit self-employment in Covid-hit UK – study
Link to the article here
Then what the heck am I doing writing about starting your own business? Yeah, let's all give up our hopes and dreams, right?
I will quote Mr Mark Cuban here - “Whenever there is change, and wherever there is uncertainty, there is opportunity”
Before I get too philosophical here and even dramatic (over-emotional), no wonder why sometimes my wife calls me a drama queen, let me share the reason behind this post.
A bit over 2 years ago, I decided to embark full-time on the ship of entrepreneurship. I realised that time wasn't going to stop, so I turned on my engine and hit the road. What a journey, adventure, bumpy road, stupid thing to do... I've had all kinds of thoughts and the one prevailing is that I wouldn't change it for the world. What a way to grow this is, even if in many occasions I feel like banging myself against the same wall over and over again. This is why mindset is the most critical element in all of this craziness.
I will always remain an entrepreneur and even if I have to go back to being employed since we don't know what life can bring, I'll make sure to have at least my side hustle.
A while ago I created a guide/presentation type of document that I even turned into a challenge (a very popular marketing strategy within the coaching industry), I'm a bit tired of the concept by the way. Don't write on a Sunday morning, I keep on digressing lol.
The presentation was around how to create a business around your purpose and your customers, and I bring it up because I think it can be a very useful tool when pivoting around difficult and uncertain times.
I personally applied many of the concepts when the COVID-19 pandemic started and they have really worked (I have worked my butt off as well, there is no magic here). How do I know, because I'm still writing from my entrepreneur/self-employed chair.
The structure of the challenge/presentation was as follows:
Day 1 - What’s my Purpose and what business could emerge from it?
At this point I ask myself these questions:
• What do I love doing?
• What are my talents?
• What does the market need?
• What is that something people would be willing to pay for?
• What would my ideal business be and who would it be for?
• When I've found my purpose, that to me is like, what?
I do this often, especially when in a very changing environment. It keeps me grounded, aligned and most importantly, flexible.
As an example, when the first lockdown hit, I had to pivot quickly, paying very close attention to the market. As a result, I now have several online training courses with a global presence, a podcast and one in the making, new online business partners that I haven't met offline yet and the list goes on. The key here? Flexibility, Attention on the Market and Work.
Day 2 - Get curious about the Market
Starting with your environment and the people you spend most of your time with.
• What do I perceive around myself?
• Is this the environment where I would like to create and develop a business? Who do I currently interact with?
• Do I spend time with successful people?
• Is my environment in alignment with my Purpose and ideal Customer?
• If I could, what would I change?
• Having the above clear will allow you to work out the market for your business. Especially when starting from scratch. It can also help you identify areas of improvement.
• Next, it’s time for a MACRO, MICRO and Internal Analysis. I invite you to do this regularly.
Note: I will provide you with a link to download the full presentation at the end of the blog.
Day 3 - Who are my Customers?
The key areas I pay attention to and some of the questions I ask myself.
• How do I behave in my current environment? How am I being perceived?
• How do potential customers behave in my target market? Where do they hang out? How do they interact?
• How would I need to behave in order to reach them and gain their trust?
• How do they buy?
• What is changing? What do I need to change?
Skills and Capabilities:
• What’s their education level?
• What are they looking to gain, develop, improve upon?
• What do they expect from my business, me, my product or service?
• What do I need to build credibility?
• What Skills and Capabilities does the market demand?
Values, Beliefs and Identity:
Mine and customers'.
• What’s important to the customer about the market, my business, product/service?
• What does the customer hold to be true about the market, product and service?
(Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes, think like them).
• Who are they now and who will they become after engaging and dealing with me, my business?
• What’s important to me about my business, product/service?
• What do I hold to be true about the market, product and service?
• Who am I to them?
• How much am I worth?
DAY 4 - Who is already satisfying my potential Customers’ Pains?
Here I focus on my competitors and what they are doing and with that in mind, I ask these questions:
• Which factors should be raised well above the industry’s standard?
• Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered?
• Which factors should be reduced well below the industry’s standard?
• Which factors that the industry has long competed on should be eliminated?
This will keep you current and always moving forward. Apply these questions to your business and life as well. What can you eliminate, reduce, raise and create?
More on the document you can download at the end of this article.
Day 5 - Wrap up in a SWOT and Strategise!
Other than writing when inspired, I don't like to take many notes and fill out frameworks and the likes. You can do it if you wish, in the end, we all have different strategies, right?
The most important thing here is that you are always aware of your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.
How am I going to mitigate my weaknesses and threats and leverage on my strengths and opportunities to effectively satisfy the identified Customers’ Pains and meet my Purpose?
"Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." -- Ray Kroc.
I hope you found the above somehow useful and feel free to get in touch if have any questions, need support or just fancy a virtual coffee - firstname.lastname@example.org