Maybe you have an idea brewing that you’ve wanted to make into a business. Perhaps you’re weathering the storm of those first few months in business. Regardless of where you’re at in your entrepreneurial journey, you need to know the answer to one simple question: Why start a business?
The answer to that question is the beacon that steers your ship. It’s the North Star that guides every decision that you’ll make about your venture. Ask yourself, “why do I want to start a business,” and wrestle with the answer for a while.
Why am I sitting here on a Friday afternoon writing this article? What’s my why? I love small businesses. I love the underdog. I love the idea that in my community, where I live and spend money, there are small businesses giving their big-box competitors a run for their money.
Why start a business selling cold-brew coffee?
I’ll use a local cold-brew coffee shop that opened up a little more than a year ago as an example.
I was thrilled to see a new coffee shop opening its doors in my neighborhood — and I got even more excited to see that they were focusing on cold-brew coffee. It’s a bold move. In the world of unicorn-blended coffee drinks at globally recognized chain stores, here was a local shop carving out its niche in an area most casual coffee-drinkers have no idea about.
There I was, opening day at Sweetz Brew coffee, standing in line to place my order. I struck up a conversation with the barista and realized she was also the owner. I asked her, why cold-brew coffee?
Without skipping a beat, she told me she was married to a firefighter. And because he rarely got enough sleep during his shifts at the firehouse, he drank a lot of coffee. Over time, he started to suffer from acid reflux. His doctor told him it was because of the amount of coffee he was drinking.
She was on a mission. She had the answer to why start a business. She set out to find out how she could make coffee that he could drink to stay alert — but not suffer the side effects of acidic oil that came with standard coffee. She discovered cold-brewing coffee, and this solved his problems.
She started sending him to the firehouse with his own special cold-brew, and other firefighters would try it out — and they loved it. Before long, she was filling jugs of cold-brew for the rest of the fire crew. News spread between fire houses, and they knew her coffee production at home wouldn’t scale.
It was time to step up to making cold-brew coffee her business. Fast-forward a year later.
Sweetz Brew is a stable of the local coffee shop scene in town.
Not only is the coffee fantastic, but every wall in the shop looks like an Instagram backdrop.
It’s the ‘why’ that sets you apart
As a consumer and business owner who knows why she’s so passionate about telling the world about the benefits of cold-brew coffee, I know that the owner of Sweetz Brews is putting the same care and pride into my coffee as she does the cold brew for her own family. When you ask, “why start a business?” I know her answer.
Knowing why to start a business — or why you’re spending every minute of the day launching a business — will help to keep you grounded and calm. Your customers will identify with your why and be your biggest cheerleaders.
I can spend my five bucks at any coffee shop, but I’ll go out of my way and bypass the order-from-my-app-and-pick-up-without-interaction corporate coffee chains and spend time in line ordering my drink because I know it’s brewed with love.
My challenge to you?
Help your customers fall in love with your brand by sharing with them why you started doing this in the first place. Once they know why you’re in business, they’ll identify with you. And that’s how you compete with the big names — and beat them.