Why are you in business?

Posted On May 10, 2007 | Written by Emmanuel Oluwatosin
why are you in business?

Why are you in business? Or rather, why do you want to start a business? I have had to ask myself this question in the past few days. Many people are in business for different reasons. I once had a discussion with a senior colleague who I believe is doing pretty well in his business right now. What he shared with me actually made me to look within.

If you are in business to make money, you are most likely going to get it wrong.

I have been meditating on this statement for some days now. If you would succeed in business, you have to identify some problems and provide solutions accordingly. Your first step is, therefore, to identify some key needs in the society and be ready to meet those needs.

The key to a successful business is to add value by bringing the product or service from another place to where you’re selling it, or by creating the product or service and selling it at a price higher than your total cost of production. As long as you keep meeting the needs of people, money will come your way.

Your main reason for being in business should be to meet needs and not necessary to make money. You become wealthy by either selling a few products or services at high prices, or by selling many products or services at lower prices with smaller profits.

The best strategy, I have seen worked, is to aim to sell a larger volume with a smaller profit on each item. Most great fortunes in the world have been made selling large quantities of products over a wide area, thereby broadening the market and reducing your dependency on just a few customers. Follow this path and you will soon be building a successful business.

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5 Responses

  1. I think you’re right (and your friend is), to a large degree, Emmanuel. But it’s more a matter of emphasis. Of course you’re in business to make money, but if the money’s the only reason, it’s easy to lose the ethical foothold and fall into an end-justifies-the-means kind of situation. Put the value to the world first, and the money will be there. So, simply, I’d say it this way, “If you are in business ONLY to make money, you are most likely going to get it wrong.”

  2. Hi Steve,
    I agree with your last statement, “If you are in business ONLY to make money, you are most likely going to get it wrong.” I once found myself in this situation where I thought that if I could just manage to start a business, I will start to make money from day 1. I was proved wrong. It took me almost 2 years before I could make anything on top of my investment.

    So, right now, I focus on solving a problem of so many people. And it is paying off.

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