For many owners out there, a business can feel like a concept car. You know it exists, but it’s hard to really get a sense of how all the different parts work together in order to create a single, functional machine.
You can see the results, obviously, but understanding how your business succeeds (or getting a grip on why parts of it aren’t doing as well as you’d like) can be difficult if you don’t know how to think about it.
An exercise that might be useful for you to help wrap your brain around your business, though, is to think of it like a car.
Because a car is a single machine, but it’s made up of a lot of moving parts that all have to work together in order to make you move forward. So the next time you have a hard time visualizing what’s going on with your business, just remember…
#1: The Body is Your Brand
What is the first thing you immediately notice about a car?
Aside from the color, it’s probably the body shape.
Is it a bulky panel van, or a sleek sports car?
A friendly-looking round top with big headlights, or an aggressive dragster that just screams speed and performance?
Body shape does the same thing for a car that your brand does for your business. It provides the first impression, but it also defines the shape of your business and outlines the niche you’re filling.
While the body shape may not necessarily give away everything that’s under the hood, it can affect what sort of options you have for all the other systems you need to make your business run properly.
#2: The Engine is Your Unique Selling Proposition
Since you run a business, you already know that your USP is one of the most important aspects of that business.
It is, in a very real sense, what you can do or offer that no one else in your field can.
It’s what drives your business forward, and it is often what provides you with the greatest amount of momentum.
Which is why if your business was a car, that unique selling proposition would be the engine.
Because while all the other elements of that car can still exist, none of them will have the necessary drive to actually work without that USP bringing everything together and providing the blasting power you need to gain speed.
Another way that your USP is like the engine in a car is that, while it’s vital you have it, it doesn’t do you any good all on its own. An engine suspended from a chain goes nowhere, no matter how top-of-the-line it may be.
#3: The Wheels Are Your Products and Services
Every business out there is selling something. Whether it’s a product, a service, or both, your customers come to you because they need something. That’s why your products and services are the wheels of your business.
For one thing, all your weight rests on them.
If your catalog is not robust enough, then you might find your business simply isn’t going anywhere, no matter how well the rest of the components are working together.
Additionally, you need to make sure that you update and balance your wheels, otherwise, you might find that your catalog simply can’t handle your business moving at certain speeds, and that’s when you have to pull over to make repairs, losing business all the while.
#4: The Steering Wheel is Your Company Management
Even a car that’s in perfect working order needs a functional steering wheel if it’s going to avoid the hazards of the road, or driving off a cliff.
Which is why if the steering wheel goes out, then it doesn’t matter how well everything else is working together.
That’s where your company management comes in.
They’re the ones who need to be able to direct where your business is going and to make turns as necessary.
Whether it’s changing lanes, avoiding oncoming disasters, or just making sure that your business is heading in the proper direction, that steering wheel needs to be able to move everything else out of harm’s way.
#5: The Brakes are Your Marketing and Campaign Data
Would you get into a car without a set of working brakes? Of course not! Because as a sensible person you’re aware that brakes are one of the most important things you can have because sometimes you need to make sure you stop going in a particular direction before you drive right into a calamity.
If you’re running marketing campaigns, then it is important for you to review your data to make sure you don’t need to slow down or alter what you’re doing.
Sometimes you just need to tap your brakes to find the right groove for your marketing efforts, and sometimes you need to hit them hard because you are going in the exact wrong direction in order to get the results you want.
Either way, it’s one of the most important and necessary pieces of your car and your business.
#6: Your Staff is Your Gas and Oil
Even if every part of your car is in perfect working order, you aren’t going anywhere without the fuel to drive you forward, and the lubrication to keep everything running smoothly.
For that reason, it’s important that you hire the right people to help keep your business responsive and functioning.
The same way you need to make sure you have the right grade of oil and gasoline in your car, some employees just aren’t going to be up to doing the job you need from them.
And if you have the wrong kinds of fluids in your vehicle (or if you put them in the wrong location), then that is going to do a lot more harm then good. So make sure you have the right people, and that you check on them to be sure they don’t need to be refreshed, or that you don’t need more to handle the workload.
For more thoughts on marketing drivers, and understanding the forces that make a business work, simply contact us today.