Beyond the Bones . . . Finding the “Who” in Your Business

When I was in high school back in the 70s, like most students, I had to take biology before they’d let me out the door. I sat in the first row of Mr. J’s formaldehyde-ish smelling classroom – right in front of a human skeleton that peered over the class with a stony gaze. On a boring day, I’d sit there and stare right back, wondering “who” that skeleton once was and what her life was like. I’d marvel that in spite of our different outward appearances, we all looked about the same as that skeleton when everything else was stripped away—the pretty girls and the pimply faced ones, the muscular jocks and the waifs, the paunchy middle-aged teachers and those who were probably as ancient as the skeleton. So, I would ask myself, what did this person once look like? What made her different? What was her story? And I’d spend much of the class allowing my imagination to bring her to life.

So it is with our businesses. When it comes down to it, in many ways a business is a business. Underlying each one is a system of processes and procedures that make up the “bones” of the business and give the company structure . . . the organizational charts and work flow processes, admin, bookkeeping, production.

But what lies beyond the bones of your business that gives it its unique character? What is its story? Why did you create your company? What does your company do that you’re very proud of, that you can feel in your heart, that you’re passionate about? What brings it to life for your employees, for your customers, for the community? Are you communicating the vision of your company and why you’re in business? If you help employees and customers understand that, and help them understand the WIIFM in your vision, your business suddenly doesn’t look just like your competitor around the corner anymore. In the minds of potential customers, you’re business is dynamic, full of life—and you’ve invited them to share in it.

So, who is your business? Are you telling that story?


About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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