Are you committed to your business? That’s an obvious “yes” or you wouldn’t put out the welcome mat each morning. What is your business committed to? This is a different question. Is your business committed to fulfilling your initial start-up vision? Is your business committed to fulfilling a perceived need? Is your business committed to something beyond the framework of commerce?
Recently while working on my newest mosaic piece, I went to the garage and grabbed a fresh bottle of water from the case we keep out there – being winter right now it stays cool. I set the bottle on my work table and went back to the business of gluing tiny ceramic tiles into my design. I looked up and noticed that the bottle had a big green box on its label with the words “Our Commitment” in dark green text. I got intrigued. My initial thought was that Arrowhead would be committed to providing good quality spring water. However that’s not what the stated commitment on the label was about at all. The label says:
- …”We’ve always been committed to monitoring our springs in order to assess their health and manage long term water supply: both now and in the future. Be Green….”
In part that sentence does refer to the quality of the water, but it also speaks to sustainability. So I went to the website. Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water says that its message is in its mission and says its mission is, “…to responsibly manage resources, reduce waste and maximize recycling efforts. Protecting our world isn’t just important now – but for generations to come.…”
This company appears to be committed to more than just providing its customers with good quality, good tasting water…it is also committed to safeguarding the sources of their product so that others who use those sources and future generations will have access to that same water. This is, to me, is an example of business being committed to something beyond the framework of commerce.
This idea of not just you as business owner being committed to your business’ success, but your business having a commitment to something made me look further. As I’ve mentioned in previous writings, I’m a late adopter of new technology so I must confess I just now got a smart phone. This past weekend I got an iPhone [wow! so cool!]. So, I got curious about what is Apple Inc.’s commitment. Here’s what I found:
- “…Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings….”
Inside that mission statement I read a promise that this business plans to continually innovate. In order to ‘bring the best personal computing experience…’ would by definition require innovation, invention, “thinking outside the box,” anticipating new technology, paradigm shifting and more…this is a huge commitment.
In my opinion the touch interface is just such an innovation. As soon as I began to play with my phone I found its first obvious advantage: not having to use and navigate a mouse saves time and effort. Using a fingertip to point and tap cuts out the need to negotiate a mouse – which also eliminates the need for added hardware…you don’t even need a stylus to tap…just requires the heat of your fingertip.
Is it a relevant question to ask of businesses like that of life coach, business consultant, marketing consultant, web designer, writer, business coach and a host of other professions held by solo-preneurs and small business owners: what is your business committed to? Beyond the initial vision when the business began, is there an element of something that is greater than the whole? In years to come what would be the legacy that your business leaves to your successors?