Why are you in business?
Focus on just one word for a second: why?
Companies who get the “why” right routinely end up leading their markets. This isn’t just something we’re saying. It’s not an opinion. It actually happens.
In the book “From Good to Great,” Jim Collins and his research team studied what made companies transition from being good in their markets to leading them for decades. They also learned why some companies faded into the background.
One of the many reasons some companies ended up winning was because they got their “why” right. They existed for more than just making money or growing bigger.
Nucor, for example, figured out it could be the best at using company culture and the latest technology to produce low-cost steel. Gillette could become the best at building global brands of daily necessities. And, Fannie Mae could become the best at helping people own their homes.
If you don’t have a stated reason as to why your company exists, you likely focus on money.
What’s Different about Amazon?
Amazon doesn’t see themselves as a retailer. They don’t exist just to make money. Rather, they see themselves as a tech company who happens to be in retail. They want to deliver goods to consumers and businesses faster than anyone else and at lower prices. Of course, the natural byproduct of doing so will be amazing profits and growth.
Do you understand this mindset shift, and how it impacts your business and its growth?
Your company may not be Amazon, or have the resources necessary to compete with retail giants. But, that doesn’t matter.
If you can find your why, a reason that you exist other than to profit, you can build a secure leading position in your niche. And, you can even stay safe from Amazon.
Finding your why isn’t easy or fast. The companies Good to Great studied took an average of four years or so to discover their “why.”
What Can Your Company Be the Best At?
Every company has something they can be the best at. It’s simply a matter of identifying that, and then mobilizing your employees and finances to support that vision. Amazon can’t be the best at everything (even though they might try).
So, what is it? Can you create your own line of products that give a better experience than any competing product? Can you hire and train employees who offer better customer service than anywhere else?
Those are just questions to stimulate your thinking. But, they’ll get you on the path toward leading your market for years to come.