Tag Archive for: #businessschool


Why does your company exist? (from your customer’s perspective)

We are seeing a lot of attention being paid in recent years to this idea of knowing your “Why” or Purpose of your business, for good reason.

Discovering the answer to this question can have a profound effect on the success of your business. It provides context for so many other strategic decisions as grow your business, a foundation piece for your business plan.

On the surface, “why” seems like a simple question, yet many business leaders struggle to find a strong, compelling, and succinct answer to this question.

The key to getting to a clear Purpose statement is to focus on your customer’s perspective.

Start with this question:

What fundamental value or benefit do our customers receive from us?

Brainstorm a list of answers with your team. Mix and combine ideas until you have a good starting point. Review and tweak over time

Here’s an illustration. Imagine you are the owner of a company that sells lighthouses. What might be the Purpose of your business?

Something like: Our company purpose is to protect the lives and property of our customers at sea.

With this purpose in mind, the company has the foundation to build out and improve it’s products and services over time. Eg. Life boats, life jackets. GPS systems, charts, etc all flow from this strong purpose statement.

Pontish Yeramyan, CEO of Gap International, wrote in a recent article about being purposeful:

“The 21st Century Organization can also differentiate itself by operating within a bigger context than a vision or mission, something more expansive. It’s not enough anymore to simply have a clear direction – people must be able to throw their entire selves into the game to be successful, with full engagement of heart and mind.

We have found that when leaders leverage Purpose, it creates a competitive advantage that’s difficult or even impossible to replicate. Purpose creates the ability for people to care about something much bigger than their personal concerns and fully apply their talent to meaningful endeavours.

 If you think about it, Being Purposeful creates the platform for organization success, because it taps into a reservoir of potential energy latent within the organization. When peoples’ orientation to their job transforms from performing work to that of making a difference, they become exponentially more effective at coming together to produce extraordinary results.

 It becomes possible to consistently produce results beyond what is predictable in the normal flow of business. Powerful strategies can be created and re-created when purpose is present. Purpose gives people a far more expansive space to create and grow, where creative, purpose-based thinking replaces crisis-based, firefighting thinking.

 An organization of people who have connected themselves to something bigger can thrive rather than simply survive –they can move fast together and nimbly adjust strategies and tactics to succeed.”

 When your business plan starts with “Why” the other pieces will follow more easily”

For more tips on planning please visit plangenie.com

Clarity Creates Confidence

C19 is “disruptive Innovation” on steroids. Every business has been disrupted, even those that are seeing revenue growth through this period. C19 has been the disrupter, and the best leaders will, and already are, looking at their business critically, using this situation to find new, innovative opportunities, both externally (customers, supply chain), and inside their companies (deployment of people, operating systems).

The challenge for many SME leaders is transferring their new ideas and evolving vision into a working plan.

A number of practical questions arise:

  • Where do I start?
  • How do I get past the initial resistance from some members of my team?
  • How do I translate my future vision into measurable goals?
  • What are the most important pieces to include in a high level summary of our future vision?
  • How do I incorporate my values and cultural changes in the plan?
  • How do I integrate new ideas with our current methods of doing business?
  • How far into the future should we plan?
  • How often should I review and update my plan?
  • How do I maintain momentum when I need to make major changes (pivot) in the future?
  • How do I engage my team in creating departmental plans?
  • Who do I share my plan with and how do I do this?

The devil is in the details.

When you are ready to put some of your new ideas into play, a good starting point is drafting or refreshing your Business Plan Summary. A template with detailed instructions is available at plangenie.com.

This content rich web site will also help you find answers to the other questions listed above.

The act of writing a business plan is a powerful catalyst to self discovery and clarity.