A visionary business needs to do more than just sell what people will buy.
Some people will tell you that all you need for a good marketing plan is to know what your customers want to buy. If you know that, you can create what they want, and then sell it to them. As long as customers buy what you’re selling, these people say, your business will be successful.
I disagree. Yes, offering what people want is an important element of a visionary business marketing plan. But it’s just one part of the equation. The other parts are your purpose, and your natural gifts and talents. You can see each of these areas represented as a different-colored circle in the diagram below.
I believe all of these elements are necessary for a successful visionary business marketing plan. If any one of them is missing, your business will end up struggling.
All too often, however, I see visionary entrepreneurs ignoring one or more of these areas when they’re planning their business. So in this post, I want to talk about why each element is so important, and what happens when any of them is missing.
The blue circle – your purpose and mission:
Purpose is what drives you. It’s what energizes you and pulls you forward. It’s about the difference you want your business to make in the world.
A strong sense of purpose will keep you motivated and excited about doing what needs to be done to grow your business.
However, if you only have purpose, you tend to suffer from “Starving Social Change Agent Syndrome”. Because you’re not using your natural strengths and gifts, everything is far harder than it needs to be. And because you’re not creating what people want to buy, you struggle to make a living.
Visionary business owners who focus only on the blue circle often burn out before they can make the difference they long to make.
The red circle – your natural gifts and talents:
Your natural gifts include all your talents, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities. This means the skills and experience that you’d put on a resumé, but also the talents and abilities you were born with. Your gifts also include the kinds of activities you used to love as a child, and the areas your friends and family would say you excel at.
Using your natural gifts infuses the work you do with ease and fun. However, if you only focus on this area, you have an enjoyable hobby, not a visionary business. You might gain pleasure from your day-to-day work, but it doesn’t serve a greater purpose. And again, because your offerings aren’t selling, your business doesn’t support you financially.
The yellow circle – what people buy:
I said above that what people buy is an essential part of the equation. When you create offerings that people are willing to pay for, your business brings in income. That income then supports you in making more of your difference in the world.
However, if you only focus on this area, you probably won’t be very happy in your business. Some of your offerings might sell, but you’ll probably still struggle. That’s because people will usually see that you’re not passionate about what you’re doing. You’ll come across as being “just like everyone else”, so potential customers will often choose to buy from someone else instead.
The sweet spot – the intersection of all three circles:
In the middle of the diagram above, you can see a white area where all three circles overlap. This is an area of limitless possibility: the place where you want to position every individual offering and your business overall.
I call this the “sweet spot”, and when you’re in it:
- You feel passionate, inspired and motivated about the work you’re doing
- You’re really good at what you do, which means you’ll be able to give people tremendous value
- You’re selling what people want to buy, so you have lots of clients, and make great money
Is your business (or the business you’re planning) in the sweet spot?
In this post, I’ve talked about the three essential elements of a visionary business marketing plan, and the sweet spot where they all overlap.
I invite you to take a moment to look at your own business, or the business you’re thinking of starting. Where does it fall in the diagram above? What would you need to do to move it into the sweet spot? Please join in the conversation and leave a comment below.