I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek. For those of you who don’t know who he is, you can read his books or watch his videos on the subject of “Find Your Why”.
It’s a fascinating idea.
In a nutshell, Sinek argues, “the why is the purpose, cause, or belief that drives every one of us.” He believes that everyone has a why, and so do businesses.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t know what the why is.
If we take the time to look within, we’re able to find the words that define our why and express the things that truly inspire us. Once we do this, everything changes.
This holds true for us as individuals as well as for our businesses. If you’re feeling sceptical about this, just ask someone, even ask yourself, why do you do what you do?
Money Makes the World Go Around
A lot of people say, “that’s easy! I do my job to make money.”
Sinek argues, however, that money is just fuel. Money helps you achieve your why, but it’s not actually your reason. He uses the analogy of a car; a car needs fuel to get from A to B, but the car’s purpose isn’t to use fuel, it’s to go somewhere. The fuel just helps the car achieve its purpose.
It’s the same with a business. Sinek argues that businesses need money, of course, they do, but it shouldn’t be their sole purpose. Businesses exist to do things to advance a greater cause and contribute to the development of society. Money helps them do this, just as fuel helps a car get someplace.
Think “We, Not Me”
I love the idea of finding purpose and contributing to a greater good. After all, we’re very social beings and if society as a whole prospers, so do the individuals in it.
That’s maybe a good mindset to adopt for April 2020: an unprecedented time of lockdowns, restrictions on international and national travel, and strange concepts like social distancing and shelter-in-place. It looks like they could be around for a wee bit longer than anyone would like.
For most folks, this has had and will continue to have, a negative effect on our daily lives as well as local and global economies. Businesses, both big and small, will have to learn to adapt to a new paradigm.
We are being forced into unprecedented states of self-awareness. We are all being asked to consider the greater good. For the benefit of our communities, we are being encouraged to stay at home whilst still be part of a team because, like it or not, we’re all in this together. The undeniable message of this new world is “we, not me.”
Maybe there’s also an opportunity.
I remember when the first Bali bomb went off outside the Sari Club in October 2002. I was working in one of the most popular villa resorts in Seminyak at the time, occupancy was running at 98 percent. Two days later, we were down to just two percent, and we weren’t alone. Every hotel was hurt but not everyone approached the crisis in the same way.
Instead of closing doors and forcing redundancies, we used the time to look at our operations. We re-evaluated systems and procedures, we set schedules for those preventative maintenance issues we’d been putting off for so long, and we created property-specific training courses for every department.
It was all because we wanted to find ways to offer better services for when things got back to normal.
Things did get back to (almost) normal and when they did, we were ready. It turned out that we’d done the right thing. Now, it seems, we’re being faced with something similar.
Your Future is In Your Brand
The world has changed since 2002 and I’ve learned a lot. Now, I believe, is the ideal time to take a long hard look at your brand.
I spoke with Nick Pegman, an old friend of mine, and the inspiration behind AffinityDIA Brands, about this. Total transparency here, AffinityDIA Brands is a strategic associate of Seven Stones Indonesia.
Nick believes, “now is the time to reassess, review, and redefine your business’ brand; its purpose, its essence, and how it can truly stand out from the competition – especially in these times. And in doing that, when these times have passed, you’re much better prepared to be relevant again… and fast.”
It might not feel like it after 10 days of isolation, but it’s important to remember these times will pass. And when they do, Nick thinks, “your customers will have more choice and more control.” Meaning if you haven’t prepared for that, you could well be in trouble.
Find Your Why and Lead the Way
The message, then, is to use this time to define your why – your purpose, your cause. Define what you stand for and let this help you focus. Let your team know this. Share your insights. Reinforce them with your actions and messages.
Use this time to engage with customers. Have a look at your customer journey. Find the holes in the customer experience and turn them into positive touch points.
Try to understand and connect with what your customers are thinking and feeling. Do they really want more of the same? Have they also changed because of these turbulent times?
Pegman said it very well,
“if you’re a hotel, a retailer, or a service provider, branding is more important now than ever. It’s a way to not be seen as a commodity or just another product. It’s a way to connect and emotionally engage with customers, employees, and the community. As a business, it’s a way to make money, save money, and build equity.”
At Seven Stones Indonesia, we’re encouraging our clients to use this time to clarify their brand and consolidate investments, to streamline and restructure, as well as look at smarter ways to organise their businesses. For example, regulations on visas have changed dramatically in recent months and it pays to know where you stand and what options are now available.
We offer a range of market entry services including company registration and product licensing. We help our clients get to grips with what costs can be loaded to their businesses and how these affect the level of taxes paid.
Speaking of taxes, we also advise and offer solutions for the effects of using nominees for your business or property, and why you need to move away from models that used to be mired in red tape. These are now being exposed in Jokowi’s new era of openness in his administration’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business in Indonesia.
If your business needs some help and advice on how to use lockdowns in a positive way, let us know how we can help. Send us an email at: [email protected]