Thursday, June 18, 2009

Important Question: What Business Are You In?

I had lunch the other day with one of my mentors and I began telling him about some of the diversification plans for SBM. He stopped me at one point, with a very direct question: "What Business Are You In?"

Can you answer that question in your business? Years ago Hertz Corporation asked this question and realized that the firm was not in the "rental car" business, but rather the "get people out of the airport as fast as possible," business. This discovery changed the way the executives and employees made decisions. It spawned a Hertz Club where members no longer had to wait for vehicles, a huge success for the company at the time.

So, what business are you really in? When you discover the answer, every decision you make should meet this objective.

For SBM, we're not a "publication," or a "newspaper." We're in the business of "Educating and Promoting Small Businesses." After some reflection, I realized some of my diversification ideas didn't really meet this goal.

What Business Are You In?

--Ron Ameln, SBM


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