opinion pieces

Thinking about “Why”

Olivia Maier

· 4 min read

Recently I watched a TED talk by speaker Simon Sinek, an expert in leadership and strategic communications. His 2010 talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” goes into detail on how to be an effective leader. But, one of his points really stands out as an essential business concept, and one that SMBs are able to address on a really impactful level.

Simon Sinek has developed a concept that forces businesses to think about the why, how, and what of what they do. It all starts with “what”, which is fairly obvious for businesses to answer. And, if your business is up and running, you’d be able to answer “how” it is done.

But, there can be a lack of a clear answer for the “why”, the purpose of the company. This “why” goes beyond making a profit, it is the essence of what your business is.

This is the area where SMBs can really shine, in defining a clear “why” and working to communicate that to your target market.

If an SMB understands how to communicate this message through social media, and customer interaction it can set them apart from their competition of any size.

Maybe your business was created to provide a more personalized experience to a service, or an affordable option for an already popular solution. Maybe your business takes an already proven idea, but does it in a more socially and environmentally responsible way. Maybe your business exists to create more opportunities for your local area.

Whatever it is, small and medium-sized businesses are able to address this in a way that larger companies can’t. Think about it, larger companies often struggle to find ways to market themselves as being personable. People tend to see larger companies as being these abstract and emotionless ideas.

Consumers tend to trust SMBs more than large companies, and this is because SMBs are seeing as being more human.

Don’t just take my word for it.

In a research study by Gallup, they show that 70% of Americans have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in small business, more than three times the 21% confidence rating for big business.

So what does this mean for SMBs? Well, Simon Sinek’s research shows that “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

If people already are more inclined to think that big businesses are only motivated by superficial “whys”, they’re less likely to have confidence in them. That partially explains why there is more confidence in small and medium-sized businesses because there is more trust in the “why”.

This is a concept that SMBs can really take advantage of. Concentrating marketing efforts on conveying the “why” to your consumers will help them know why they should be placing their trust, and business, in your hands.

Social media marketing is a way to start conveying your “why”, immediately. These platforms can help you consistently remind your customers why you do what you do, and inspire them to with your “why”.

If you have a physical location or online website, create easily viewed spaces that address this “why” as well. By centering your communication around this, you can take advantage of this idea.

This is an easy way to stand out from big companies while you are an SMB with limited resources. But, it isn’t enough to market your “why”, you have to show it to your customers in every interaction you have.

It’s not enough to just talk, you have to show your “why” with your actions.

One resource that you have and those big companies don’t? The ability to give personalized service, each and every time you communicate with your customers. That’s where Yodel can come in. Working in the field of increasing customer satisfaction, we know that it starts with being able to communicate your “why”, each and every time the phone rings. We understand how important this is for an SMB, which is why we are here to help you convey your “why”.

To view the full TED talk, check it out here.

Why does your business do what you do? Or what are some of your favorite “whys” that you’ve seen in SMBs? Feel free to share in the comment section below!

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