What business are you in?

StairsSometimes I wonder if some entrepreneurs know what business they’re in… This image made me laugh because it reminded me of so many business owners who don’t know who their clients are and what they should be doing for them.

I know it seems like an obvious question, but trust me, it’s not.

Take a coffee shop. Ask most owners and they say they are in the coffee business.


90% of them are in the business of SPEED with the coffee being 3rd or 4th on the list. Sure, the coffee has to be drinkable, but let’s face it. Even the best coffee won’t have people waiting 15 to 20 minutes DURING THE BUSINESS DAY RUSH…

That’s why you need to know WHAT business you’re in.

If you do have the bet coffee and it does take 15 minutes to concoct the perfect brew, then your business is now LOITERING, WAITING AROUND for the coffee.

Same product (coffee), totally different ‘business’.

If you don’t get it right, you’ll always struggle with frustrated clients and the bottom line to match.

Get it right and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

2 Responses to “What business are you in?”

  • Nice article. I facilitated many groups whose task it was to develop a mission statement. To most groups, it seemed it ought to be so basic, straight-forward and obvious. When I would take them through the drill of “who we are, what we do, who we do it for, how we do it, why we do it”, something so simple all of a sudden was viewed differently by the different members. The point is that “simple” isn’t necessarily “easy”.

  • Interesting concept. I had never thought of it that way before, but you are so right!

    I thought my business was teaching and presentation, but when I get right down to it and think about it the way you suggest in this post, I would have to say that I am more in the business of preparation and facilitation.

    I’m not sure how to market that quite yet, but I’m sure I will get there.

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