• There are 2 types of businesses: those that are struggling and those that aren’t

    Even among experts there isn’t a clear answer as to why some businesses thrive while similar businesses struggle. It’s easy to see why a business is thriving. You can point to the great product/solution they deliver, the big group of raving fans and the robust business practices. But not so easy to pinpoint why a business is struggling.

    I found thriving bricks and mortar businesses growing a strong local community and others not. I saw struggling ones with strong communities and without. I saw service based businesses both thriving and not that had amazing results for their customers. I saw businesses with innovative business models and systems rocking their world and others working it to crickets.

    There are businesses having great success with tactics and strategies. Other similar businesses fail miserably with those same tactics and strategies. The conventional answer is that they didn’t execute on it properly, they missed a step, they didn’t use the right copy or they didn’t put themselves out there enough. Somehow, if it didn’t work and it was their fault. If it works for one it should work for all.

    Not so!

    After working closely with 100s of small business owners and studying 1000s of businesses to see what the difference was I finally realized the answer.

    The answer was obscured by the fact that there wasn’t a consistent set of factors that the 2 groups shared. The thrivers and the strugglers shared many factors making it even harder to tease out an answer.

    Once I recognized the pattern, it all made sense. So here it is

    Businesses and business owners fall into one of three predominant tendencies. They are either people people, product first or any business.


    People People

    These are the businesses that gather communities. The owner is often considered a sales person. They are great at connecting, and making people happy . South West airlines comes to mind.


    Product First

    These businesses are product/service/solution oriented. They are the better mouse trap waiting for the crowds to beat a path to the door. When they focus on their solution, they attract their crowds. Think Apple.


    Any Business

    Put these business owners into any business and they will make it amazing. They can see where they need to put in systems, tighten up the way it works or try a new business model. Think Amazon.


    Businesses struggle for 2 reasons:

    They try to be what they aren’t .This happens when  a product first company tries to be a people people company. Or a people people company tries to market their innovative business model.

    They only focus on their tendency. Given a plethora of things to do in business, they default to what is easy for them at the expense of building a business that provides a great solution to a hungry, happy community in a profitable and efficient way.

    What does this mean for your business?

    Knowing your tendency allows you to focus on your strength and to build your business to take advantage of it. Build your strategy and choose your tactics based on your tendency.

    You can fail at a strategy that someone else crushed. It’s not you, it’s that the strategy was the wrong one for you and your business.

    Look around at the businesses you see that are thriving. Which focus do they have? How are they doubling down on that focus? What are they doing about the other 2?

    You still have to have the other 2 working for you. A people people business with a great solution that makes their community happy can still fail if it is not doing it profitably and efficiently. When you know your tendency, you can get help with the rest, or at least recognize that you need to put some effort there.

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