Finding Your Business’ “Why”by Michelle Bomberger | August 4, 2015
Close your eyes and visualize all the aspects involved in moving your business to what it is today. How have you grown? Do you still maintain your core mission and values? How do you make sure your business’ “why” is visible in how you talk about your business? Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” has resonated deeply with business owners. It forces us to think beyond the notion that all a business sells are products and services. We sell a core belief – a rallying point. The reason for your business’ existence must resonate with leadership, employees, and with clients & prospects. Some business owners may innately know their “why,” but struggle with spelling it out bluntly and clearly. To help business owners establish their “why,” below we share Equinox’s journey of pinpointing our “why” and telling its story.
Start with reviewing your branding – Is your business’ “why” apparent?
Equinox Business Law Group began as Small Business Legal Services with the mission of serving businesses differently. Three years after our inception in 2009, we embarked on a rebranding effort. The name Small Business Legal Services was limiting our potential audience and didn’t describe all that we do. Our business’ “why” was missing. With our rebranding, we crafted new internal messaging consistent with our mission and with a focus on “why” versus “how.” See the differences in our messaging below:
- Small Business Legal Services messaging: “Small business owners need a business-focused attorney with experience in business operations to assist them in understanding the key legal formalities required for their business as well as the risks associated with their specific industry and business practices as the company grows…Many of these business owners are intimidated by lawyers and fear the costs associated with engaging an attorney. [Our company] will address both these concerns for small business owners.”
- Equinox Business Law Group updated messaging: “Equinox Business Law Group PLLC is a law firm that uniquely combines legal advice with real-world business experience, enabling business owners to make decisions that balance opportunity and risk. We give clients the advantages of a big firm and the responsiveness of a local partner at a predictable cost. And because we are as committed to your needs and goals as you are, you never have to worry about missing an important business opportunity.”
Our attorneys use their extensive real-world business experience to guide business leaders, but this doesn’t address why we get up and do this work every day. Knowing this, we built upon our “why” using the continuing strategies below.
Consider how your business’ “why” factors into your products and services
As part of the re-branding effort, we launched our General Counsel Services – an all-inclusive, fixed monthly fee for legal services. Our goal was to break down the barriers that keep business owners from leveraging attorneys to help them make business decisions. General Counsel services remove the unpredictable, high costs of hiring a lawyer and help build a deeper relationship with regular interaction and discussion. We still believe this solution is ideal for businesses. Many clients benefit from leveraging its value for their businesses for years – but this is a “how” that exemplifies our “why.” So, we continued to struggle with getting the message out there regarding our services. A partnership with a lawyer is important – critical, even – to business success, and it doesn’t need to be difficult, expensive, or complicated. How can we relay this message to our audience?
In 2013, I read “Start with Why,” and wow! I knew this was what we were looking for. Using this methodology, we built a good description of our business’ “why.” The result is reflected in our digital messaging: “What if your law firm could: be a legal partner, empower you with information, provide less complexity, commit to a predictable cost, and provide an alternative to the traditional model.” Our struggle was moving away from a focus on “how” differentiators, and shifting the focus to the emotional, passionate “why” differentiators.
Clearly relate your “why” to your business core values
Equinox offers a unique model for business owners to take advantage of, yet few really know it or understand it. It’s imperative to craft the correct verbiage in order to promote your business’ “why” effectively. Make sure that the core of your “why” is documented clearly so that as your team grows, the message isn’t muddled or eliminated.
The Equinox team had 4th Avenue Media share the importance of the “why” concept with the team and how to get started. In a single session, our team established Equinox’s core values and who we are as a company. This helped us better get to our “why.” Our challenge was being bold with our language and ensuring it resonated with all those who believed what we believed.
We believe businesses need and deserve a legal partner they trust to help them solve business problems, to balance risks and opportunities – a lawyer who speaks their language and can stand in their shoes. Business leaders are put off by the high costs, slow response times, and complexity associated with lawyers, so they never find that critical partner to help make business decisions. We know there’s a better way to work with businesses. That’s why Equinox’s corporate counsel team is devoted to a business-first approach, providing every client with business law the way it should be. We work to create a safe and successful future for every business to protect business leaders’ livelihood and legacy while seamlessly moving businesses forward.