Sun, 07 January 2024
As we step into a new year, Pria Masson encourages us to think about the “why” behind our businesses and why “story telling” should not be our core focus.
I was listening to a podcast where a business leader talks about the changing landscape of skill requirement. According to him, a few years ago, the greatest in-demand education was engineering. It was engineers who had ideas and the ability to convert those ideas into businesses. However, apparently now, the most in-demand services are those of “story tellers” i.e. creators of content and those with the ability to tell a story around the simplest products and sell directly to customers. While intuitively this could seem logical, it itched at something in my brain and made me think: “How can the biggest need of a businesses be a support function?” As we make all those many new year resolutions, I suggest getting back to basics. Let me explain.
Imagine that you work with a bank. A bank has a lot of activities, but the core activity, is to lend money and earn an income on investments. If this bank, spends a lot of time deliberating policies and procedures, creating manuals and putting systems in place – does that change the core reason the bank exists? I ask because it makes you think; does it not? The systems, the policies they are all there to create order around the core work of the bank – the generation of money. Would it not seem very counter intuitive to say that the main work of a bank is the policies and procedures?
It’s the same logic for creative and support functions. They exist to help a firm effectively market and sell core products. But far too many entrepreneurs seem to forget the core offering. The main reason as to why they started the company. There was always a core problem to be solved, a core experience to be delivered or a core need to be fulfilled. As you spend time “padding” the businesses, and selling your story, the core product is and always will be the hero. It needs to be.
Marketing basics talk about the fact that you can get eyeballs on a product, you can generate initial interest with jingles, and stories and gimmicks – but a customer will stick around for the actual product. And this little basic idea is what can make or break a business. Every business needs a steady, predictable revenue stream. That comes from loyal and repeat customers. Why is this critical? Because fixed expenses need to be made, bills need to be paid, advances are due and often resources need to be planned. None of the above is possible accurately without some sort of steady customer stream. And a beautiful story – that can only get you so far.
So, as we start afresh in 2024, go back to your initial drawing board. Think about the “why” behind your business. Think if the reason still exists. If it does, strengthen that reason and ensure all the “frills” support it. If the reason has changed, follow a new procedure, but work to strengthen the new “why”. At the core, there is always a why. There needs to be.
When we exercise, strengthening the core is imperative. Same goes for your business. Do not neglect your core just because the fancy moves are more attractive. Story telling is great if you’re an author – even then you do it to sell the books. A story, content and even a million likes is not the same thing as actual revenue. Make 2024 the year when you remember “it’s not all about money, but it’s definitely a lot about the money, honey.” Happy New Year.
Pria is an experienced business consultant who works as a business coach and advisor helping clients with their strategy, business plans and idea assessments . You can follow Pria on her Instagram using the handle @guide¬_my_idea.