Don’t Start a Business, Start a Crusade

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Don’t Start a Business, Start a Crusade

Businesses fail. Businesses die. Businesses fade into oblivion.

Revolutions never die.

So start a revolution, not a business.

It is no longer enough just to start a business. You need a clear purpose, a mission, and a reason for existing. Martin and myself did not just start a brewery we set out on a mission to make other people as passionate about great beer as we are. This promise and premise underpins every single thing we do and acts as a resolute reference point for every single decision we make.

Whatever type of business you start, it is your responsibility to ensure it is anchored by a strong, eminent, readily comprehensible and entirely encapsulating mission. For example:

  • Zappos did not start an online shoe business. They started a crusade to elevate customer service through treating their staff amazingly well.
  • Noma did not start a restaurant. They embarked on a mission to re-invigorate Nordic cuisine, complete with their own Nordic Cuisine Manifesto.
  • Apple did not start a computer business. Their mission was to change the world through technology.

Do something you love and have a clear mission. The tighter everything revolves around your raison d'être, the more your offering will resonate with customers and the easier it will be to turn customers into fans.

Your mission needs to be singular and compelling. Your team and prospective customers need to be able to buy into it. Your biggest challenge from day one is to give people a reason to care and that reason has got to be your mission. In today’s saturated reality, the market for yet another brand, another business, another product or another service is pretty much non-existent. Yet the market for something to believe in is infinite. You need to give people something to believe in.

People no longer just want to buy a product or service. 21st century consumers increasingly want to align themselves with companies and organisations whose missions and beliefs are compatible with, and enhancing to, their own belief systems. Your customers will need to be actively complicit in helping you to succeed and you need to give them a compelling reason to do so. You can make people care and make them evangelise by having a strong mission.

Having a crusade at the heart of your business is the first step in turning customers into fans.

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