The Definition Of A (Your) Business
A while ago management guru Peter Drucker wrote the definitive definition of a business:
There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two — and only these two — basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are ‘costs’.
Creating a customer requires providing them with some value unavailable elsewhere. This is the core of a competitive advantage and the essence of a business strategy.
Looking at the world through this lens makes you understand why so many businesses fail — they don’t focus on creating value which is not available elsewhere (to illustrate this point just look at all the Instagram clones out there — none of them ever took off as they just don’t provide value which the customer can’t get anywhere else).
Start from your customer and focus relentlessly on creating value your customer can’t get somewhere else. Often this means you need to innovate, create something which is either new or significantly better than the status quo.
Are you currently creating customers? If not — what needs to change to do so? If yes — how do you create more?