Defining the purpose of your business. Why, that’s a good idea!
I’m not a theoretician, I believe strongly in actions speaking louder than words and I have built Make Believe brick by brick through hard work. But I like to listen and absorb ideas from people whose job is to inspire and motivate. One person who has inspired me is the motivational speaker and marketeer (startwithwhy.com). Sinek’s philosophy is simple and extremely powerful – we know what we do in business and we know how we do it. But we really need to be asking ourselves why we do it. Think about your own work, if you are an employee you might consider you do your job to have the means (money) to enjoy your non-work time. Your job may not be inspirational, your salary may be moderate, but you have enough to live reasonably well.
But if you run a business – however large or small – you need to ‘the why’, a purpose, cause or belief which motivates you each stage of the journey. In fact, ‘the why’ is the very reason your company exists.
Sinek is clear, people do not buy into what you do, they buy into why you do it. And at Make Believe we prominently place ‘our why’ on the home page of our website – “we wake every child’s dream, inspire their minds to dream it, do it, believe it.” This message of inspiration is the foundation of everything we do. And Kevin Roberts CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi develops Sinek’s theme by changing the definition of what people are actually buying, calling it a relationship rather than a transaction. Using the analogy of ‘lovemarks’ Roberts shows how customers are not just buying something – in our case performing arts – they are actively embracing it. Walk into any Apple store and you will see people almost worshipping at the temple of the iPad. In short, lovemarks inspire what Roberts calls ‘loyalty beyond reason’ reaching your heart as well as mind.
Every child who puts on our uniform and takes his or her first tentative steps into the world of performing arts learns and feels this vibe; that we genuinely want to wake their dream and help them achieve their personal best PB). For some students, a PB might be performing on a West End stage, for others it might be gaining enough confidence to ask someone out on a date or overcoming a personal fear. And importantly, I make sure that every one of our franchisees asks themselves – and indeed every one of the teachers they employ – ‘the why’ question. Once they know the answer they will be able to provide a fantastic service and have an uber loyal customer base.
So when you have a spare few moments, have a little think about your personal ‘why’ and how it may impact on what you provide for your clients and customers and please share your thoughts with me.