Knowing the ‘why’ of your business is the ultimate key to success (and why you shouldn’t ask your customers what you’re about)

24 August 2020

In a world where competition is fierce, it is critical that your customers know why they should choose you over your competitors.  If you are unable to pinpoint and articulate why your customers should choose you, guess what? They won’t.

Developing your Value Proposition has been said to be one of the hardest things in setting up your business, and yet it is so vital to your confidence, your customers and ultimately your success.

Let me demonstrate this with my friend. He won’t mind.

This friend set up a company several years ago which sells software to measure and track team performance and engagement.  As a very clever guy I expected him, quite rightly, to do well.  However, he was struggling to gain traction in the process of growing new business.  In a bid to solve this he had decided to ask current customers about his business and how they were using his product in order to use this information to market to potential new customers.

Sounds like a sensible idea, right?

Unfortunately, not! Though understanding how your customers interact with your product is vital for future product development, if you need to ask your customers why you are in business, and what your product or service does for them, it does not give anyone a belief or reason to buy from you.  Simply put, it diminishes the value you deliver and as consumers we all need reassurance that we are making the right decision on all our purchases, large or small, business, or personal. The emotional connection will create the purchase (the Porsche) but we all need the logical reason to justify it (German engineering is safest for the children Darling!) This is where confidence is king, and this only comes through knowing what or who you are buying into. Therefore, you and your business need a firm and passionate belief that you can offer your customers something they can’t live without and that only you can do this for them. You also need to share it.

Let’s go back to my friend.  Not having the clarity of what makes him different or better than anyone else meant that he wasn’t standing out and was missing new business opportunities.  To resolve his new business issues we went back to basics.  I asked him to tell me his story, the story of why he had spent years of his life creating and building his business.  What came out surprised both me and the rest of his team.

He explained that his business idea came from his deep desire to ensure that every one of us who goes to work has utter confidence and trust in the decisions that are being made about us. We might not always like these decisions, but we know that they are fair and based on all the information needed. He therefore created a product which gave Owners, Directors and Managers the ability to do just this for their teams. 

Boom, there it was.

Not just the Why of his business, but why potential customers needed him – his Value Proposition, the one thing that made his product stand out in the crowd. This was so much more than a measuring tool, like the other products in his market.

Simon Sinek has said that ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’, and whether this is something that you buy in to or not, the truth is that if you’re not passionate about your Why and sharing this with the people you want to connect with, your What won’t matter at all.

If, like my friend, you’d like some help getting clarity on your Why, building your Value Proposition and growing your new business opportunities then get in touch with me at or fill out a contact request here (link to Contact page)