Saturday, June 9, 2007

What is Our Business?

When one is planning a business this is the most important question for them to answer. Unfortunately it is a question that all to often is not answered. This is all to often to the detriment of the entrepreneur. By not answering this seemingly basic question tends to make your best efforts wander into fields you didn’t intend to go. When you are planning to go into business this is the first question you should answer.

It is not to say that your plans are written un stone, but at least by answering this important question at least you will find yourself set on the right track. It will cause you to focus on one goal rather then many goals. Too often in planning a business we tend to use a shotgun approach rather then a single goal rifle approach.

Another name for this process is, “Mission Statement.” This can cover a larger space in business planning then simply saying our business is, “Building homes.” The mission statement is often used in the corporate world by companies having more then one division. A good example is a large Japanese corporation hiving several divisions. Each of these divisions has a separate mission statement that is keyed to what each division does. There is also a “What is our business” statement for the whole conglomerate that describes the individual mission of each division.

I too am guilty of running a business or businesses without a clear statement of what we were doing. Very shortly I found myself running around trying to operate two businesses at once. The result was predictable, I was unable to give either of the businesses the time they needed. Consequently, both businesses suffered. I operated these two businesses for several years, and finally decided to get rid of one of them. The decision was based on a rather simple basis; which one paid the most for the least effort. The other business was sold.

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