Entries in goals (3)

Customers don’t care about your goals.

So - why are you in business?

To make money right?

Sure you need Sales to exceed your expenses.  Everyone gets that.

Most people would also say you need goals.  I accept that too.

But here’s the problem.

Your customers don’t care about your goals.  And they couldn’t care less about your profits.

Customer Tug-of-War

You’re in a tug-of-war with customers.  They want you to make “less” profit by dropping your price.  You want the opposite.  You both dig in.

Go on, admit it.  Customers can really suck sometimes.  Everyone seems to be taking a bite out of you.

How do you reconcile this problem?

Some businesses try to ‘satisfy’ their customers - every customer.

You shouldn't sell customers anything and everything.  You only sell what your company was created to do. It’s called  authenticity, and customers love it.

If you’re a high end fashion brand and your customers come in asking for cheaper alternatives, will you go down the line to ‘satisfy’ them?  Or will you be authentic and stick with what you do? 

The starting point is knowing what your company was created to do, it’s purpose.

Ask yourself one question: “Why does my business exist?"

It’s a tough question because you can only define purpose in terms of how the outside world views your business.

It’s about one thing

It becomes a question of value.

You need to know what your business brings to the world, it’s value to the world.  It's not about what you ‘offer' the world.

When you think about the offer, you are thinking about yourself.

This is the tough part. You need to see value from the customer’s perspective, but start from what you want to do in the world.  

Poor Yahoo

Let’s look at Google and Yahoo as an example.

Yahoo started life as a search engine, even before Google.  And yet Google’s share price is now $597.78 and Yahoo at $39.59 at Sept 7, 2014.  Google is 15 times more valuable.

Let’s look at how they defined themselves 10 years ago.

Google in 2004 ~ We maintain the world’s largest online index of web sites and other content, and we make this information freely available to anyone with an Internet connection.

Yahoo in 2004 ~ is a leading provider of comprehensive Internet products and services to consumers and businesses through our worldwide network of online properties.

Google was focused on what it was; a search engine.  It maintains that focus.  

Yahoo wanted to be “leading” but didn’t lead.  They focused on what they offered.  Yahoo offered products and services. 

Big deal, so does everyone.  

Yahoo was looking for ways to make money and lost sight of why it was there in the first place.

Source: NASDAQ

You don’t have to be a financial whiz to know Google is doing better.

Your customers are selfish

Back to your customers.  

They only care about what you can do for them, not your goals.

They don’t even care about your Purpose.  They only care about their value.

You don’t define Purpose for customers.  Purpose is yours.  It’s your single point of clarity.  Home base.

Part of the problem is that all the fancy management words are confusing and seem too blend together.

Now, you might be thinking that purpose, mission, vision, goals, strategy and tactics are different words saying the same thing. 

They're not the same.  Purpose is often forgotten because it’s mixed up with Mission, Vision and Goals. You need to be clear on the difference.



VISION:  Outcome

GOALS: Specific targets

STRATEGY: Your choices

TACTICS: To-do list

And it all starts with Purpose. 

Next up, we’ll look at the 6 things that define a valid Purpose.

But for now.  Start thinking about your Purpose.

End note

Yahoo in 2014 changed dramatically ~ is a global technology company focused on making the world’s daily habits inspiring and entertaining. 

Google in 2014 just tightened some wording ~ Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful

Forget year end reflection and goals

Now the year has ended, everyone seems to be talking about reflection and goal setting.  I'm not buying it.

Reflection is not singular, but continual. It is something you should do all the time.  I force myself into constant reflection by doing things like:

  • meeting my advisory Board (sometimes reluctantly)
  • having trusted peers who expand and challenge my thinking
  • forced unplugged time with nothing but a pen and paper (think conference or air travel).

Don't reflect at year end, reflect year round.

As for goals - well I am not a great goal setter, but I love action lists.  Next year I'll be doing lots of exciting things:

  • expanding my company internationally (underway)
  • running client workshops (booked)
  • revving up my speaking business (starting with a revamped showreel)
  • launching my online training program (a Big to-do)
  • focus on networking - even if it's at the expense of 'direct' marketing (underway)
  • launching a new Brand (finalised development)

Here's the thing.  If I do all these things, the results will follow.

As for personal development.  Again, it's as obvious and inhaling and exhaling.  It has to happen all the time. On that thought I'll leave you with a comment from a great friend Rowdy McLean.

"Being your best is bulldust. You can't be your best because you have NO IDEA what your best is. Just be better today than you were yesterday and better tomorrow than you are today. That my friends is achievement. Simple huh?"

 Related reading - I hate goal setting - here's how to get around it

I dislike goal setting - here's a trick to get around it.

I'm not a goal setter, but I need goals.  I can't motivated by artificial deadlines I set myself.  Why?  Because I just move the due date!

However, creating real deadlines changes everything.

Here are two real deadlines I have created for the next two weeks.

1) This weekend I am competing in the Scott24hr Australian Mountain bike race in Canberra.  It's real because I have to train (get fit), and commit to my three other team mates.  It's all about forced commitment to exercise and not letting my team mates down.

2) Next weekend I'll be in the the U.S. for a Sales conference which requires quite some preparation.  The conference is forcing me to re-brand my training and speaking business.  It's accelerating development.

If you're like me, then try to find a real deadline which can be used to spur you along.  For example, if you are a Manager struggling to work on your local marketing strategy, set the staff launch meeting in the next three weeks.  To avoid embarrassment, you'll get it done.

Back to the bike race.  I don't aim to win, as I'm competing against ex-Olympians.  I aim to FINISH, not let the boys down, and have a great time.  I'll let you know how it turns out.