This is the question I’ve been asking my small business clients recently. But what do I mean?
Here’s an imaginary scenario to help explain:
Imagine you are on a plane with 20 other business owners in the same industry as you, selling products or services in a similar genre to yours. Your destination is an airport in a country with a massive potential market for your product. Greeting you all at the airport is the CEO of the largest global company in your industry. His brief is to acquire a small company he believes has the most potential for growth. When you get off the plane you firstly have to make the short list by waving a placard that will make him pick you. Everyone else will be waving a placard too. He’s only allowed to pick five. What will your placard say? What is the message you have to take to the world? What are you and your business there to champion on a world stage?
If you are selected to the short list you will have five minutes to present your business and convince him to buy you. He wants to know why your product or service is better than the rest. He wants to know why he should pick your business. What are you going to tell him? Remember, your main competitors are also presenting their case. Why is yours so different? Why are you so passionate about this? What is it you really have to say to him?
Now bring yourself back to today and ask yourself the same questions. What is it that you are really about? What is your message to the world (or your Country) and why is your offering so important? Why? Why? Why?
Forget about what you are selling for a moment and focus on why it is needed. And what makes it better and different from all the others in your space.
This message to the world is your platform. This is the why behind your business…. the wind beneath your wings. (Sorry, but I do feel a Bette Midler moment coming on here because this is about emotion… being a hero, flying higher than an eagle, touching the sky…) With a business you have an opportunity to do something meaningful and to create change in the world around you. It doesn’t have to be what you sell that makes the difference, it can be the way you go about it. Whatever you are selling, you will sell a whole lot more if you are clear on your platform. You will have something meaningful to say and people will want to listen.
And on that note I’ll leave you with another lyric that’s bouncing round my head:
‘You’re the voice try and understand it, make the noise and make it clear…’
Make it happen
From the desk of liber8yourbusiness. Business mentors and publisher of Liber8 Your Business: The revolutionary business planning technique that will set every small business owner free