Build A Resilient Business - Wants & Needs

The second post in a series on building a resilient business.

Part 1 |Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Here’s an overview of the framework that I’m going to cover from a 30,000’ view in this short series, and in tons of detail over the next year through the BUILD Coaching Program.

In part one, I wrote about the importance of mindset when it comes to building a successful business.

I showed how a single shift in mindset helped me to find a new purpose in my work while also 4x-ing my income in the span of two years, and how I’m using this same framework to build two new businesses right now.

Here’s the rest of the framework that we’ll cover today and the rest of this series:

  • Mindset 
  • Wants & Needs
  • Validation
  • Traffic
  • Optimization and Growth 

Each of these parts naturally leads to the next, similar to the concept of the flywheel that Jim Collins coined and talks about here.

The short version of the flywheel concept is that building a resilient business doesn’t happen overnight. 

“There is no single defining action, no grand program, no killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment. Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.”

Essentially, doing the right things, in the right order, for a long enough period of time until the flywheel gathers enough momentum to get you the results you want.

It’s a mindset shift that is very different from what we generally see as the way to build a business that pays us enough money to do what we want in the way we want to do it.

Throughout the rest of the series I’ll be breaking down each of the steps in a little more detail, but it looks like this:

Mindset > Wants & Needs > Validation > Traffic > Optimize & Grow > Mindset > etc.

And around and around we go.

We covered mindset in part one, and for those of you still reading along, I KNOW that the rest of this series is going to be extremely valuable for you.

Let’s continue with Wants & Needs.

You may already think or assume that you know what you want, and what you need. But we aren’t just talking about you here.

No, we actually have another mindset shift.

“You Can Have Everything In Life You Want, If You Will Just Help Enough Other People Get What They Want.” ~Zig Ziglar

We aren’t just talking about your own wants and needs, but let’s touch on those first.

When you build a business it’s generally because you want to get more freedom, more control, and to get more fulfillment in the work that you’re doing. There are a ton of other reasons, but for simplicity, we can often group them in this way.

But we rarely take a deep dive into what we need from the business in order for it to “work”.

  • How much money does it need to generate each month? 
  • How many clients or customers is that going to take? 
  • How long will it take to get to that point? 
  • What tradeoffs will I have to make? 
  • What kind of lifestyle does it need to afford me?

If you don’t have those needs met, you’ve essentially created a different job for yourself, one where you’re the boss, but with some new and some similar problems compared to having a typical 9-5 job working for someone else.

If you have any amount of stress, or frustration, or dissatisfaction with the way your business is going, this is what I’m talking about.

And if you have to work 40+ hours a week in order to get paid, that’s definitely what I’m talking about. You don’t own a business, you created a new job for yourself.

If you take a closer look into what you need, not just what you want from your business, you will actually get there a lot faster because you’ll be able to plot a more direct path than if you just wander around hoping to stumble across it.

Businesses don’t just magically meet the needs of the business owner. They are met because the business owner did the right things in the right order for a long enough period of time in order to cause those needs to be met.

(You’re going to see that phrase pop up over and over again this week.)

The goal of this part of the process is to take the time to not only understand what the business needs to provide you as the business owner but to understand what you as the business owner deeply, truly need in order to be fulfilled and to have joy in the work that you do.

That’s a statement that takes a lot more than one email to unpack, and we’ll do that in the BUILD program.

But, we also need to look at the other part of this equation. A business doesn’t exist to just get your wants and needs met. No, there are people that your business seeks to serve and change for the better through the work that you do. We need to also understand their wants and needs.

What is it that you are helping them with? What pains and fears do they have that you are providing relief and answers for? How do you change them, and how do you seek to serve them?

We also have to understand what they deeply, truly want.

If your business builds websites, are you really meeting the needs of your clients by putting words and images on a page? Or is it possible that they need something more than the technical specs of a website?

Maybe they need traffic, or influence, or greater control, or to feel better about their brand. If you don’t understand their real wants and needs, you could deliver a perfectly good website that completely misses the mark and then wonder why they didn’t hire you again for the next project.

If we just set out to make something we like and hope that there is an audience for it, it can certainly be therapeutic or fulfilling, but it will be much harder to turn into a resilient, profitable business.

Rather, by shifting our mindset and doing the right things in the right order, we start with a different set of questions.

Specifically:

  1. What change are we seeking to make?
  2. Who are we trying to change/Who is it for?
  3. What promise are you making in exchange for their money or time or attention?

When we start by understanding the audience or group of people we seek to serve, we can uncover or reveal a few things:

  • is the audience large enough to build a business on serving them?
  • are they potentially willing & able to pay for your product or service?
  • is it going to align with my own wants and needs and desires for the way I want to live and work?

If the answer to those three is a very clear “Yes!” then we can move forward to the next step in the process, the next natural part of the flywheel, and start testing and validating some ideas, sometimes called “offers”, with that audience, to make sure we’re building something that truly aligns with those wants and needs on both sides.

Today, though, ask yourself the questions laid out here and see how well your wants and needs are being met, and how well you understand the wants and needs of your audience.

If you’re stuck, one of the most simple and effective ways to get that info is to just ask!

More about the testing process in part three.