It has been over a decade since I first watched Simon Sinek’s TED talk, How great leaders expire action, and read his book Start with Why. Each time I revisit this material, I find new takeaways and better ways to refine the marketing messages I put out. It starts with WHY and the Golden Circle framework. Below, I’ve outlined some ways you can put it to use in enhancing your small business’s purpose, message, and tactics.
The Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is a powerful tool that can help small business owners clarify their company’s purpose and goals. The framework is based on three concentric circles: “why,” “how,” and “what.” The “why” circle represents the company’s purpose or mission, the “how” circle represents its unique approach or value proposition, and the “what” circle represents the specific products or services it offers.
To apply the Golden Circle framework in a small business context, the first step is to define the company’s “why.” This involves asking questions such as, “Why does our company exist?” “What problems are we trying to solve?” “What are our core values and beliefs?” By clarifying the company’s purpose and values, small business owners can create a strong sense of direction and purpose within the organization and communicate that purpose to employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
The next step is to identify the company’s “how.” This involves identifying the unique approach or value proposition that the company brings to the market. This might include identifying the company’s strengths, core competencies, and key differentiators. By understanding its unique value proposition, a small business can better position itself in the marketplace and differentiate itself from competitors.
Finally, the company must define its “what.” This involves identifying the specific products, services, or outcomes that it is seeking to achieve. This might include setting goals for revenue, growth, customer satisfaction, or other key performance indicators. By setting clear goals and objectives, small business owners can focus their efforts and resources on achieving those outcomes and measure progress along the way.
Overall, applying the Golden Circle framework in a small business context can help business owners clarify their purpose and goals, align their actions with those objectives, and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. By having a clear sense of direction and purpose, small businesses can more effectively attract and retain customers, employees, and other stakeholders and drive growth and success over the long term.