The WHY: The Importance of explaining WHY you are in business

David Hadley

Sometimes if someone is having a bad day we hear the comment, “why are we in business?” Whilst this comment is sometimes bought out of frustration it is possibly one of the most important questions one should ask of themselves. Not only should business owners ask this question but they should also ask this of their team members.

If we asked the majority of people what business are they in, I am certain they would describe what they do and how they do it.

Simon Sinek, in a TED Lecture, believes business people should be stating why they are in business. If a business focuses on the what and the how, they miss the opportunity to show how much they care for their customer by not mentioning the why. This flows through from the owner, to the team member serving at the counter, to the customer.

For example: If I was in the music business I could explain that my business sells CD’s and musical instruments (what we do). The way we do this is we have a display set up and customers can come and try the instrument or listen to the latest type of music (how we do it). Alternatively the business could explain that they are in the business of bringing joy and pleasure to their customers through appreciation of music. There is nothing better than seeing the smile on a customer’s face when they experience the feelings they receive just from listening to their favourite tune (the WHY – purpose).

This then assists with the marketing focus, through branding and advertising. I can recall reading a comment Richard Branson made along the lines that he was not in the airline industry, but in the entertainment industry. I guess the reason ‘WHY’ he wanted people to fly with him was to have an entertaining time whilst sitting in your tiny seat on a plane for extended hours!

People don’t buy what you do; people buy WHY you do it.

Green Taylor Partners – Passionate about your success

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