I am passionate about making coffees and I want to open my own cafe. (passion)
Selling beauty products can make money, even better, it can be done online! (profit)
I hate working for someone and I want to be my own boss and change the world! (purpose)
Have you heard one of the above either coming from your friends, an online guru or even perhaps, that’s what’s in your mind right now?
The barrier to entry to start a business is getting lower and lower due to the accessibilities of technology, information and resources which have vastly been improved. Which means that many more people have been sold onto the idea of starting their own business as opposed to following the path of being an employee.
Unfortunately, the business landscape has transformed rapidly and massively in the short few months during the Covid19 crisis which left most business owners only with doubtful futures for their businesses. Having a passion to make coffees, sell products for the sake of making money or to ditch the idea of being employed to become your own boss are no longer substantial enough to pull you through.
So, if passion, profit or purpose weren’t going to be enough for your business to thrive in the competitive market place and even sail through the storm, what could it be?
Like it or not, it will be your ability to go from the mindset of SELLING to SERVING. Put it this way, nobody likes to be sold, but everybody likes to be served! That’s exactly what your market is telling you!
Many times, the very reason that excites many entrepreneurs or new business owners has always been the products and services that they have to offer. The thought of raising funds and allocating most of it to the development of products and services as well as the set up (interior design) can be some of the most intriguing moments to many new business owners out there. I mean, who doesn’t want to be seen as the shiniest, the most outstanding, the most unique or the most cutting edge? The bragging right is real though!
Yes, having great offers and set up are important to present your best self as a business. But, by having that as the sole focus, it will cripple your ability to seek out opportunities and ensure your business thrives by constantly meeting the demand of the market. What got a lot of businesses into trouble during the crisis was the inability to think from the mindset of SERVING. Most paralyzed when customers could not physically be there to make purchases due to movement restrictions orders. Many were fixated by the conventional way of business and could not accept disruptions to the way they fulfill their sales and delivery. The only few that thrived, were the ones that showed up to solve some of the biggest problems and pains the markets were facing.
The mindset of SERVING requires one to put the market and consumers’ wants, needs, pain and problems as priorities and create offers or even to build a business around them. As a business owner, you are no longer going to sit there and assume what the market wants or blindly look at what works, then follows. Because what was relevant yesterday might not be relevant anymore today. Instead, you will do your time to dig deep into the pain and problem your market faces to determine how you can bring about greater value and impact beyond the physical or upfront offer you have.
Going from the mindset of SELLING to SERVING will also mean that your approach to dealing with your customers/clients will ultimately go from a transactional to a transformational experience or journey. It means that, rather than a one off transaction, you should start focusing on the amount of value you can bring to the clients/customers. Simply put, your clients will like to pay you more if you can create more value for them!
What if you run a cafe, restaurant or a hair salon, how can you add more value to your customers beyond the usual coffee, food platter or a haircut? Do your customers have needs beyond what you serve them ongoingly? Sure they do! Can you empower them to live even better simply because you’ve helped them to either save time, feel more joy, grow more and feel more connected through your offers? Sure you can! Do you have the resources to make them happen? Yes you do! Because the future of business is also about collaboration and leveraging one another’s resources to SERVE your people even better!
So the key takeaway message here is, we have to stop falling in love with our own products or services and start falling in love with the market! As running businesses is all about making the kind of return (profit) that will justify its existence, and by knowing that the amount of return you get is in direct proportion to the amount of value and impact you create, it is time to adopt the mindset to SERVE and to always stay close and relevant to the market’s needs. The key mindset distinction to go from selling to serving will set you free from having to compete or compare, instead, you will always be a step ahead of everyone and get the most fulfilment as an entrepreneur to make true changes to the world!