Strengthening Your Core (Business)
Every business has a core. Whether it’s a specific product, a primary service, or an original merchandise line, your core serves as the cornerstone of your business. It’s the thing that got you into the industry and the reason your doors are still open today.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for busy, hard working folks to lose sight of that core. It might happen slowly over time, as you and your team look for new opportunities. Maybe a swift shift into a new market completely takes you away from what your business once was. However it happens, it’s never intentional and it’s never a good thing.
The tricky part is that in order to thrive in today’s fast-paced economy, we have to be innovative in all aspects of our business. So how do you maintain a healthy core business while still allowing freedom for new product development or service expansion? You strengthen it. Here how:
- Set clear, visual goals specific to your core business and repeat them often.
These don’t have to be extensive, 10-year plans. We’re talking about tangible, repeatable goals you can check off your list every week. Think of this as a quick set of crunches. Every week you hit the same 3-5 goals that relate to your core’s pain points. Maybe you want to send 10 follow-up emails a week or post 4 times on your various social media channels. Whatever your goal, make sure you hit it time after time. The results won’t show up immediately but give it three months or so and you’ll start to see definition in your business unlike ever before.
- Do a regular gut check.
That’s right. It’s time for a weigh in. Ask yourself, “Does X, Y, Z align with our core business?” Before starting a new branch or product, see how your current initiatives are faring and, most importantly, keep bringing the conversation back to your core. Does your new branding enhance or deter from the main product? Will an offering distract or support your current service? By asking a few simple questions, you’re able to make changes without losing sight of what matters most.
- Create solid values that speak into the “why” behind your core.
Think of this as healthy food to fuel your fire. Values have a way of reminding us who we are and why we do things, even when times get tough. Without solid values, it can be easy to pivot without even recognizing our shift in direction. Keep these values broad enough to cover the scope of your business, but specific enough to drive action. For example, if one of your values is about good customer service, create a value statement like: “Leave every customer interaction with full confidence that you just made their day,” or “Blow every customer’s expectations out of the water and leave no room for a bad experience.” Let these phrases feed your passion and serve as a specific reminder of who you are as a company.
Look, we’ve all been there…too many weeks spent skipping your workout routine and not enough focus on a healthy diet. A weak midsection can be the catalyst for an entire body system breakdown, not to mention a waistline you didn’t exactly wish for. So treat your business as the living, breathing entity that it is. Focus on your core, feed it well, and watch your sales numbers soar.