Ever wonder why some companies sell more than others? Two companies might have similar products, staff and environment, but one does better than the other. Why? It all starts with the company’s fundamental purpose and how they think, act, and communicate. Read this blog to understand how your company will function best.
While thinking about business goals for the new year, I remembered a book titled, Start with Why by Simon Sinek. Originally published in 2009, his words still hold true. I want to take the time to share his ideas with you and encourage you to think about your why. What is the purpose of your goal/s? What is the reason for your small business?
Mr. Sinek explains how leaders should think and act for a more successful business. He talks about a “Golden Circle” in reference to how our brains process information. On the outside of the circle is the “what”. Clothes, computers, vitamins, or whatever the company is selling. The next inner ring of the circle is “how”. How is the product made? This idea includes quality ratings and rewards received. The final piece of the circle, the most inner part, is the “why”. What is the purpose, cause, or belief of that company? Why do they do what they do? I’m not just talking about making money here. Rather, what are their fundamental principles for starting that business. According to Simon successful business should think, act, and communicate from the inside of the circle out rather than outside in as so many do (Sinek, 2009).
Science supports this theory! Decisions are made in the middle part of our brain also known as the limbic system. This system has no language (that’s the frontal lobe) but rather makes decisions based on emotion. The Frontal Lobe is represented in the two outer rings of the circle (“how” and “what”). Ever have that client that won’t buy something because it ‘just doesn’t feel right’? You tell them about this great product that is backed by quality and has won awards and it’s perfect for their needs, and yet they say no. They say they just can’t ignore that feeling that something is not quite right? That’s the limbic brain talking, the “why” part of the circle that makes decisions based on emotion (Sinek, 2009).
How do you cater to that client? Reverse the advertising starting with “why”. Why do you do what you do? Lead with that, then follow it up with how great your product is and what it is. Like-minded people will be hooked because the decision-making part of the brain already likes your company. Then, their logical brain (frontal lobe) won’t stop them because you followed it up with great what and how’s (Sinek, 2009).
I’ve said it before, “like surrounds itself with like”. Like minded individuals stick together. Sinek’s theory applies not just to marketing, but also hiring employees. When companies and workers have the same “why” the workers are loyal and business thrives (Sinek, 2009). They aren’t just driven by a paycheck but rather a purpose. The same purpose as the company itself. Like minded individuals.
So, do you know your why? If it’s a fuzzy idea in the back of your brain this is the time to make it clear. Once you know what your purpose is take a look at your business and determine where the “why” could be utilized better or utilized period. Everything you do in your business should be driven by your “why," your purpose. Start there and your business will succeed.
For more on this theory check out Simon Sinek on Youtube.
Sinek, Simon. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Portfolio Penguin, 2019.