Bootstrapping focuses on building business functions, building the mansion. This creates silos with many arms working but no heart, no core. You lose the potential to build in change as your ideas interact with clients and others.
Lean and giving is client-centric. You build by understanding the value you give producing something that has built-in longevity, heart and meaning. As you add employees their stories are woven in too. Building a business around these value stories invites change with each new person, client, and idea.
Lean and giving is built through conversations allowing you to better understand what it means to them. You understand the difference you can make to others, the value you give. This value proposition has greater meaning because it has been built around clients and their problem or aspiration. Delivering value for all parties is organic, rather than building a mansion around your idea and hoping that people will come.
It makes sense financially because telling your story to potential clients opens up opportunities to ask them to buy. Whether they say yes or no, this narrative becomes intrinsically part of your business growth. Building around our clients is more about the value you create for others.
It’s not lean and mean … it’s lean and giving.
The journey to lean and giving starts with you. You learn what you love, about the value you offer. This is “starting with the end in mind” by Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) in action. You witness your funeral and think about what you would like others to say about you. Instead of spending time working all this out on your own, you work this out in front of your clients. Conducting this in the real world helps you unearth your values, how you operate and what drives you.
You can work on your own on your values, but it’s your values in action that matter. Working out how you operate whilst interacting with clients ensures it will work and deliver value. The power of doing it with your clients is that you become invested in what works for them and breeds in client-centricity from its inception. You allow your product or service to be better because it is influenced by the people you are building it for.
The power of lean and giving is built through actions with clients and witnessing the impact you have so this becomes an integral part of your story, your brand. Having worked your model with a handful of clients you deeply understand your value, your activities and outcomes. This power is multiplied because the composite value proposition gives your brand greater credibility. It’s not an idea any more, you have proof.
This evolution produces a deep understanding of your client, your offering and you. Your processes reflect where value is delivered and allows you to explain this with clarity to your best client. You create the People, Process and Physical Evidence needed to market, sell and deliver on brand. You are ready to scale with the proof, meaning and purpose, grounded in the value you deliver to you, your staff, your customers and the wider community.
Lean and giving is a fundamentally better way to build because it delivers a more holistic and organic business model that is truly scalable around the composite of unique value points and so is fundamentally healthier and more robust.
Frances Pratt, Sales and Customer Experience Expert and winner of the HerBusiness member of the year award