What businesses are you in? Really? This is a question that 90% of small business owners forget to ever answer - and it's the most important question regarding your business!
Many managers in big business will tell you, "businesses exist to make money." This is one of the few truths in the world, and it accurately describes the majority of the large money-makers. Then again, many of these money-driven businesses are running into problems nowadays, giving rise to small businesses with different motivators. So ask yourself this important question, why am I in business?
An advisor of mine asked me this question when I started Jumping Duck Media. I didn't have an answer at the time, so he made one for me.
You want to get into publishing, but I can tell you there's no money in that industry. So what's your motivation? You aren't in it to get rich. I think you have a book you want to self-publish and need a vehicle to do it with.
At the time I thought he was right. I had put absolutely zero thought into why I was starting a company and did not really understand what business I was in. I didn't know the name of the game, so I couldn't study the rules.
It's been a while since that coffee-shop conversation and I've had more time to mull things over. Jumping Duck Media is in business to help individuals and small businesses with large dreams accomplish seemingly impossible goals. This is an altruistic description, but the one I present to my clients nonetheless. The motivating fact behind this mission is much more selfish.
I've spent too much of my life justifying not doing the things I really wanted to do. By helping others overcome this same flaw, I am challenging myself to change my personal view of risk and learn to grasp for loftier goals. This is the name of my game ... what's yours?