A business is a business when you have a repeatable system; before that it is just hustle.
A business starts when a system starts making money. This might sound like an obvious definition but a lot of people get confused at this point. Some people hate on businesses for wanting to make a profit. Others who start a business get distracted by shiny object syndrome and do all the business activities; apart from making money!
When we coach consultants, startups or coaching businesses at Social INK this is a common theme. Hustle that brings in money and lets you explore what the pain points are is a step to creating a business. But it’s difficult to maintain and why a lot of small business owners burnout.
Until you start making money in a business with paying customers all that you are doing is hustling. And I am not saying that you don’t need hustle to start a new product or service. You might need your hustle to kickstart a business or open a door that leads to future success.
But systems that repeat are what founders and entrepreneurs should be creating. Hustling gets you started; a system that creates value for others and that they are wiling to pay for that’s a business.
Can you build a repeatable system that serves your market?
Systems can sit across multiple business functions; Product, Marketing, Sales, Operations & Finance. There are multiple systems and approaches to make these functions tight. The better they operate, the more value that you can bring the better the business. The difference could be instead of working to a day rate as a coach or consultant there is a package that you sell. That is the beginning for a system; a repeatable solution to an established problem in your niche.
There are some great hustlers out there that can flip products and make money from it. But that’s not a businesses. Relying on hustle leads to burnout. What you should do is use you hustle to get started and find opportunities. Then look for repeatable systems in that hustle that makes money. Use hustle to create openings for systems that attract money; not hustle that chases money.
Tapping into what your market needs is your first system.
Your first system should involve understanding your target market’s pains better than they do themselves. Be it through talking to the customer, looking at reviews of other products and services or building a community that shares problems online. All other systems will flow from that.
As a fundamental definition a business provides something of value, that people need, that those people will pay for, to solve the problem, that makes enough profit to make the endeavour worthwhile. When you are getting started look for the systems. Look for the best way for you to bring maximum value to people. Thats a solid start.