Countdown to a Startup (#99) -- Apple Pie anyone?
The business of baking apple pies has almost nothing to do with actually baking the apple pies -- it does however have everything to do with all the crap that gets in the way of those apple pies being baked
When you have a hobby you can enjoy doing what you want when you want as much or as little as you want. When you have a business that simply is no longer true. When you have a business you have a commitment to deliver what you say you will when you say it will be done.
Each and every time.
Running a business like a hobby might be successful some of the time but it will never be successful all of the time.
Simple: When something gets in the way then it's easy to give up or backup out of delivering things on time or as promised.
After a certain point you learn how to say things that get people to give you money.
We call that Marketing.
Give these same people what they want and they will come back when they want more of the same.
We call that good business practice.
Fail however to give those people what they want, or what you promised, and you start looking for new people to give you new money. This at precisely the time when the focus should actually be on what happened, what got in the way, so as to address the issue, challenge or problem because as the smart money says -- otherwise it will happen again (and again and again).
You would not believe how many business models are predicated on a constant stream of new money coming from new people. Its just their business model.
The business owner(s) simply hasn't had the guts to look in the mirror and figure out why they have a constant churn, why people never come back. No news is not good news in business. Yes it might be status quo. Yes it might be the easy path. In fact it might be the normal path. Ask anyone in business for any length of time and they will tell you however its never easy.
We call these kinds of business models value extractors.
Yes there are the odd tailwind businesses that grow insanely fast and seem like a breeze to operate and grow. The exception that proves the rule as they say. The first time the winds shift however these businesses usually have as much staying power as proverbial chaff.
Most tailwind business are built on the value extraction premise as they know they will have no staying power -- so why not just take the money and run?
Innovation is the building of the internal practices and systems that power the business. No matter which way the wind is blowing nor how hard.
Innovation is about doing the work that needs to be done to constantly deliver a product or a service faster, smoother or more efficiently than most consumers could do it for themselves or get it elsewhere and to deliver it consistently. When you pick your niche be sure to pick well so as to be very good at consistently delivering your experience.
Even if you occasionally "hit it out of the park" some days and manage to maintain a solid baseline other days that is still unexpectedly not "good enough".
A customer comes in one one of those days when you ace it and in their mind that's the norm. That's what they tell others to expect. That is what they expect next time. They come back or their friends come in and you have an "ok" day then guess what? No deal - you've broken their expectations of you. Ok was not what they came in for.
The business of baking apple pies has almost nothing to do with baking apple pies but it has everything to do with baking the same apple pie each and every day, no matter what, until you can bake a better apple pie each and every day no matter what.You do not have a truly scalable business until you can do that.
Yes you can make money. Yes you can file tax reports and returns. Yes you can have an accountant and a lawyer. Yes everything, including you, think you have a business and you might actually do well from time to time.
Until of course you don't and then you wonder why.
80% of all business fail within the first 5 years (E-Myth) and 80% of those that do survive fail within the next 5 years.
No one said it was going to be easy.
Part of what I'm trying to do with this series and with Magic Marketing Systems is to help startup business owners get to where I should have been decades earlier in my business life far faster and less painfully than I did.