As humans, it is in our nature to focus on the ‘What’ and ‘How’ – What do we have to accomplish and how are we going to do it?
These are functional aspects and of course they are very important parts of running a business.
However, what’s often neglected is what sits at the core, the ‘Why’ are we doing this all in the first place?
Start with Why
Before we dive into projects here at the efficiency hub, we always ask our clients some very specific questions to help us understand how strong their business foundations are. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Simon Sinek – we apply his philosophy to everything we do, so naturally, some of the questions we ask are ‘Why did you start your business?’ and ‘What motivates you to show up to work every day?’
Think about it yourself: Did you start your business because you saw a problem you could solve? Are you creating a unique product or using materials that are difficult to source? Or are you trying to contribute to a bigger cause?
The easy answer
Often, the first answer is: ‘I’m doing it for the money.’ While this is probably a factor, there are easier ways to make money than starting a business – a 9 to 5 job would probably do the trick.
So I’m asking you, why did you choose the difficult path, the ups and downs that come with running your own business?
Instead of opting for the obvious, consider what money represents to you and why (there’s that word again) you’ve chosen to start your own business to get it.
Perhaps making money on your own terms is about freedom? Or maybe it’s security? Or perhaps there’s an entirely different reason altogether.
Sometimes the answer comes easily and sometimes we need to dig deeper, but there’s always a story to why someone started. Being clear about your ‘Why’ forms your core and helps you craft everything you do around it, stay focused and create a solid brand that makes sense as a whole.
The ‘Why’ in your brand
Let’s get one thing straight: Your brand is not just your products or your logo. Your brand is everything you do. It’s how you speak and interact with customers, how you package your products and most importantly how you make people feel. As you might have guessed, at the core of all of this is your ‘Why’, because it’s what got you started and what keeps you going. It fuels your passion and adds meaning and purpose every day.
If you know your ‘Why’, you can determine clearly what problem you are solving and what you’re promising your customers and how you’re adding value to their lives. Everything starts to flow and making decisions isn’t quite so difficult anymore.
Your ‘Why’ and marketing
If we don’t focus on the ‘Why’ first, then the ‘What’ and ‘How’ become trivial, we find ourselves aimlessly running around and eventually wondering why we’re even doing this.
It is deeply rooted within us to question and analyse everything we encounter. This quick-decision-making instinct developed thousands of years ago when it was core to our species’ survival, yet it still plays a role in modern-day marketing. Within split seconds, we decide whether something is worth our time and whether we’re interested enough to engage with a brand or not.
Whether it’s a conscious thought or something that passes our minds without us even noticing, we tend to connect more with someone or a brand if we understand what fuels them and if that resonates with us. It’s a bit like going on a great first date when you discover you have lots of things in common. It instantly feels like a bond is formed, our interest is sparked, conversation starts flowing.
If you are clear on the ‘Why’ behind everything you do, it reflects in everything you do. Your brand makes sense to your customers, your marketing strategy is cohesive, things just gel.
Your Why and your team
With your ‘Why’ clearly identified, you’re giving your team a clear path, which allows everyone to operate more efficiently. We tend to focus on making plans and executing strategies but without knowing why we’re doing it, we’ll likely miss the point.
Letting your team in and openly discussing why you’re doing something before assigning tasks sparks a conversation and even though everyone on your team may be unique in their approach towards a solution, they are all on the same page focusing on a common goal.
If anything, open communication and giving your team the chance you contribute allows you to embrace everyone’s strengths, which often leads to a much better outcome than you could have imagined.
Now think about what happens to the outside world once everyone on the inside understands your ‘Why’. If you have purpose and a clear focus behind everything you do, the value you’re adding will be apparent and that is what people will want to connect with.
With this foundation in place, you can begin to understand who your customer is and where they hang out. Communication becomes more efficient and effective as you identify the best marketing channels to reach your customers. You don’t need to convince the masses to buy from you. All you need is an audience who’s genuinely interested and wants to connect with you. These people are called your niche, and they’re all the people you need and should care about. They’re YOUR people.
The bottom line
As Maya Angelou once said, “People may not remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
Knowing your ‘Why’ is a feeling, it’s the meaning and purpose that shines through your actions. It’s what creates that magical bond with your niche and ultimately translates into consistent sales and loyalty.
Do you know your ‘Why’? Or are you still figuring it out? Tell us below in the comments.