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What business are you really in?

· April 2, 2011

I will bet you 1 hour of my consulting time that I know what business you’re in. And, I will bet you another 1 hour that you yourself don’t have a clue.

I will bet you 1 hour of my consulting time that I know what business you’re in. And, I will bet you another 1 hour that you yourself don’t have a clue. Think you can win?

“What business are you in?”

We are asked this question so many times, at almost every cocktail party and each time we meet someone new. So often in fact that, by now, our response is completely automated. And, we keep reciting it without realizing how utterly wrong it probably is. How come? Let me explain…

When asked what business they are in, most business owners will reply with things like: “I’m a landscape designer,” “we manufacture toys” or “we install swimming pools.” You probably reply along the same lines, too. And, why not? It sounds perfectly fine, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t.

Landscape design, toys or installed swimming pools are your products or services. But, they are not your business. To make it a business, you need one thing: a paying customer. Without customers, there is no business. Simple as that. Only after you manage to sell to at least one customer, you can claim to have (the beginning of) a business.

So, what business are you in? You are in the business of selling! Selling to customers. Shocked? Don’t be. If you think about it, it’s pretty logical…

Without customers, there is no business. Without selling, there is no customer. Selling is what brings the cash in. And cash pays for everything. You need cash to purchase material. You need cash to pay your employees and your suppliers. Without cash you cannot manufacture your product or deliver your service. Without cash your business cannot operate. If you fail to bring in cash, you have no business. And, without a business, you need to start worrying about finding another way to pay for the roof above your head, for the food you eat and for your kids’ education.

Put simply, you need money to operate and selling is what provides it. That’s why you’re are in the business of selling. And, if you (think you) are not in the business of selling, then damn make it your business to be in the business of selling! Because that’s the only way your entrepreneurial venture can survive and (gasp!) grow.

Whether they realize it or not, every single business person is in the business of selling. Yourself included.

So, did you win the bet? Did you know you’re in the business of selling? If yes, you won a free one-on-one hour with me and I will be delighted to schedule it for you. However, if you didn’t answer correctly, you owe it to yourself to bookmark my site, subscribe to my e-mail list and/or my RSS feed and follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook. Because I can probably help you grow your business beyond what you thought possible.