How to find the who and why of your business
Starting a business is exciting. It’s fun. It’s also can be very overwhelming. Where do you even start? Or, maybe your business just sort of happened and now you are a few months (or years) in and you are still unsure of who you are as a business and where you are going.
Never fear, Sarah and I are here to help! We’ve been there and we want to make sure that your business is at its best. We have created the Girlfriend’s Guide to Business Basics. A training series that will help you get your business on track.
Why? Why? Why? If you are a mom, you’ve heard this question a time or two. We are born with a natural curiosity for why (some more than others). Knowing the motive behind something is as important as knowing how it works. Your two-year-old knows it, and so do you. It applies to everything, especially business.
Let’s pretend there are two shoe stores. Store #1 sells all the shoes you could ever want and at at a good price but they don’t treat their employees very well and they support causes you don’t believe in. Store #2 sells one type of shoes and the price is more expensive than store #1 but you know they are in business to help underprivileged children get the shoes they need. For every pair of shoes you buy, they donate a pair of shoes to someone in need. Which shoes store do you choose?
If you are like many of the millions who buy Toms shoes, you would choose store #2. Why? (there’s the pesky word again). You choose them because you know their why and you are inspired by them. So much so that you will feel good about spending a little extra money. You even like that they have limited styles because you are happy to wear their iconic shoes because of what they represent.
My first business was on Etsy. About a year into my Etsy shop, I started selling boutique style handmade girl’s dresses. They were beautiful and they sold pretty well. Then I had another baby, my time was more limited and sitting to sew handmade dresses became a struggle. So, I changed what I was selling. I had to rethink my business.
Growing up, I fell asleep to the hum of my mom’s Bernina sewing machine. Every night, after we went to bed, she would sew. She sewed dresses for me and my sisters, blankets for friends, costumes for the community theatre, everything. I saw that through learning this talent, she was able to bless many. My mom taught me to sew. It was a big part of my identity and gave me confidence to try new things. I believe that when people learn new skills, their confidence grows and they are able to bless others. This became my why for my next product: sewing kits.
Sewing kits were dresses that were already cut out, ready to sew. They helped inspire the wanna be seamstress to try out sewing without the stress of choosing and cutting the fabric (the biggest barriers to starting any project) . With these dress kits, my business took off. Once I knew my why, could clearly communicate it and had products that supported it, I found the right customers who loved me, my business and my products.
mormon mompreneur how to find the who and why of your business
If you don’t know WHO you are and WHY you are in business, then neither do your customers.
So let’s get down to business and figure out WHO you are and WHY you are in business. Let’s dig in and ask the hard questions.
1. What makes you excited to get up in the morning?
My mom always says, “You need something that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and laundry probably isn’t it.”
If you are adding something to your life on top of everything else you are doing, it better make you feel excited and fulfilled.
2. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Now answer why does this make you excited? Write it down. Then ask “why?” again. Write it down. Continue asking why until you can’t answer any more. This will boil down your why to something very simple and easy to communicate.
You can use this why as your litmus test when making decisions. For example, my photography movement, Beauty Revived, celebrates real women with real beauty. Photographers donate sessions to these women to help tell their stories and revive the real meaning of beauty. My why was my belief that every woman has divine nature and individual worth and it was my desire to help other women see that in themselves. That is my why.
For a time, I allowed my focus to change and I accepted sessions of H.S. boys. While I do think there is value in highlighting the good boys are doing, it was not consistent with my why and it confused my followers. If I would have weighed the decision to include boys against my why, the answer would have been clear. Knowing your why keeps you on the right path.
3. What unique gifts do you have to offer?
Now that you know what excites you and your why, you can get to figuring out what gifts you have to offer the world. The scriptures teach that D&C 46:11
For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.
It is our responsibility to find our gifts. If you are stumped on these questions, don’t be. Get on your knees and pray. Heavenly Father will tell you what you are good at and how you can use your gifts to build His kingdom.
4. How can you use your gifts to do what makes you excited?
Now it is time to bring it all together. How can you combine what you love to do, with your unique gifts and talents to fulfill your why? I’m a photographer. I am good at taking portraits and working one-on-one with people. I get excited about showing my clients that they are beautiful through my photography. My why for photography is that I want to show my clients their divine nature and individual worth. So, I chose to photograph High School seniors. That decision made sense with my talents and my why.
No matter if you are just starting out or if you are years into your business, it is always good to bring it back down to the basics of your business. Having a clear sense of why is the foundation to making your business better.