Do you have a business idea or an idea for a business? What do you think about these collocations? They look like synonyms, yes? At first glance, it may seem so.
Let’s start from the beginning. In order to start a company, you have to have an IDEA:
- What is your company about?
- What goods will you produce?
- What service will you provide?
When you answer these basic questions, you will define your business idea.
Yes, a business idea is the essence of your company. For example, automotive company, cleaning service, grocery shop, flower boutique and many other well-known types of companies. You are a professional in a particular area and decide to start your organisation. Great news and good luck!
You are a professional tailor. Of course, you will establish an alteration shop or sewing workshop or clothing company. I assume, that you will not open your panel beaters workshop, grocery shop or jewellery company.
In this example – tailor (sewing or repairing clothes) – your Business IDEA. It may be a small alteration shop or big clothing company producing clothing all around the world. But will this idea be your IDEA for Business?
You think – YES!
I am telling you – NO!
Idea For Business?
Let me explain to you some things. Take, for example, car manufactories (as the most obvious case). The IDEA of this company is to produce cars – vehicles, that move people and freight from point A to point B. And this is the Business IDEA of ALL car manufactories!
Starting to understand?
Moving forward. There are many car manufactories all over the world. At the first stage, when Ford only started with the NEW IDEA – self-propelled car – it was enough to have ONLY Business IDEA. He was first, he was alone and no one competed with him. But as time went on, and other companies, seeing the success of the Ford enterprise, began to open their automobile manufacturing plants.
Now we have dozens of companies with ONE Business IDEA – car manufacturing. How they will differentiate themselves on the market? How consumers may make the right choice? The company IDEA of moving a person or cargo from A to B – is the same for everyone: Mercedes, BMW, Ford, Mazda, Peugeot, etc.
What is the difference?
And here we come to the basic IDEA of this text – the difference between Business IDEA and IDEA for Business.
The difference is in …. DIFFERENCE!
I agree, but this is the IDEA of a profitable company.
In our days, when the competition is too high, every company should show and promote their UNIQUENESS! Customers want to know WHY they have to buy a car from this manufacturer, clothing from this company and food from this store. They need an explanation. And company HAVE TO give these explanations to their clients, otherwise, the company will be cast into oblivion. That is life, our modern life.
This explanation, this UNIQUENESS called IDEA for Business. It is also known as Positioning IDEA (thanks to Al Ries and Jack Trout). The company, the organisation should work out the IDEA that may penetrate the mind of a potential customer and gain a foothold there. Only by creating the IDEA for organisations you can stand out from competitors and ensure the success and prosperity of your company.
I have to add something very important to this: your IDEA should be INTANGIBLE!
“We are cheaper” – not an idea.
“We are better” – not an idea.
The potential consumer should be very comfortable with this IDEA, he should strive for it, associate himself with it. It should be his IDEA. Only in this case, consumers will be faithful to this product/service no matter what the competitors are doing.
Let’s look at some well-known examples.
|Business IDEA||IDEA for business||Company||Business Category|
|Cars||The ultimate driving machine||BMW||Car Manufactories|
|Cars||Power of dreams||Honda||Car Manufactories|
|Credit Cards||There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else there is MasterCard||Master Card||Financial service|
|Bank||The Citi Never Sleeps||CitiBank||Financial service|
Did you feel the difference?
I can put here more and more examples. But the main IDEA is the following: people in our days do not buy cars, credit cards or clothes, but feelings, perceptions, status.
And this is the IDEA, IDEA for Business.
Customers will not buy a car, they will buy “Power Of Dream” or “The Ultimate Driving Machine”.
They will not use an ordinary credit card, they want to associate themselves with good and humanity.
I think now, you understand a bit better the difference between those definitions. Let’s shortly summarise it.
Business IDEA – this is WHAT is your business about (car manufacturing, house building, clothing design)
IDEA for Business – HOW you convince your potential customers to buy YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE. The IDEA for customer’s MIND.
The way you explain people WHAT, WHY and FOR WHAT you doing your company. And this is the MOST IMPORTANT IDEA for the life of your company. Because, if you can’t explain to customers WHY they have to be your closest friends and followers, they will easily run away from you to your competitors at the first available opportunity. And you will have to start all your promotional campaigns from scratch.
Looks like a waste of money?
That is why it is VITALLY IMPORTANT to create IDEA for yoru company before you start to promote it!
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