What Business Are You REALLY In?

By April 1, 2019 July 9th, 2019 Insight, Marketing

When someone asks what you do for a living, how do you respond?

My guess is the first thing that comes to mind has something to do with your daily activities, industry, or the tasks that just keep you busy. “I’m a mechanic, financial advisor, interior designer, marketing guy” etc. These all may be true, but if you’re the owner of a business, it’s important to take some time to consider what business you’re REALLY in. Think past the industry, product or service, and more about the NEED or DESIRE you’re fulfilling for your customers.

You may be thinking, “what kind of hippy-dippy bullshit is this guy talking about”, but stay with me. Every business has a deeper purpose and reason for being, something more than what appears on the surface. Simon Sinek refers to it as the Golden Circle, and Tony Robbins defines it as the “core benefit” you deliver better than anyone else.

I’ve been working on this theory for CR Creative. In the past when asked what our company does, I would usually respond, “we are a marketing agency.” Although this may be true in the literal sense, it’s not only boring, but also the way most other marketing companies would respond.

After spending some time thinking about what business we’re REALLY in, my response is now “We create the tools that every business needs to survive.” How’s that for an attention grabber? I’ve taken a boilerplate answer and added a sense of mystery and urgency that appeals to nearly every business owner, while encompassing everything we do – from business cards to websites (and more).

Recently, I had the pleasure of working through this exercise with a client. Darcie Janzen, owner of D. Janzen Interiors contacted us with an interest in our Small Business Coaching service. At first glance, Darcie’s company may appear to be your run of the mill interior design agency. However, when I asked why she chose to pursue this line of work in the first place, she answered, “I love creating a space that people can look forward to coming home to.” After additional thought, conversation and research, we determined that the business she is REALLY in is “creating functional sanctuaries”. Now the response is short and sweet, and evokes unique emotions that will set her apart from other interior design companies in her industry.

This exercise can be a difficult task for some, regardless it is worthwhile and rewarding. When you switch your focus to the customer, and fulfilling their needs in a unique way, a major shift in how you operate and market your business will start to happen – benefiting everyone involved.

Peter Drucker said it best:

Because the purpose of  business is to create a customer, the  business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions:  marketing and innovation.  Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.  Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the  business.

By taking the time to determine what business you’re REALLY in, you can then start to align your future marketing and innovation efforts to focus on the unique qualities that set you apart, and attract the customers who you can provide the most value to.

I’ll go into this more next time!

This article was written by Matt Pasut, the President of CR Creative Co.
Follow him on LinkedIn for more business insight and advice.