There us one question that is so fundamental, so basic, and yet so telling of a small business that it is almost embarrassing asking.
And, if taken seriously, is one of the hardest to answer.
That question is “What business are you in?”
I was working with a start-up company recently who were starting to design and manufacture anerobic digestion equipment (energy-from-waste) and I asked them this question – which business are you in?
* Anerobic Digestion
* Energy from Waste
* Renewable Energy
* Green Technology
The way that they answer this question, and the way that their staff answers it, leads to several completely different courses of action, emphasis on different ways of working, etc.
I heard a story recently where Starbucks executives were asked what business they were in – they answered “We are in the coffee business. We serve coffee to people”
Wrong, the CEO said, “We are in the people business. We serve people with coffee.”
That simple transposition changes everything, the way that the coffee houses are laid out, the attitudes of staff, the provision of newspapers and community boards …….. and the change is led from the top.
KDE Ltd (www.kde-ltd.com) can help refine your thinking as an SME, and suggest ways forward to maximise profit, minimise work and stress for you as a business leader. Give me a call?