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  • Apr11Sat

    People Make Money, Not Products

    April 11, 2015

    Male and female baristas smiling at camera

    In a recent LinkedIn article, I read this quote by Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz:

    “I'm fond of saying — and I've said it a thousand times over the years — we're not in a coffee business serving people. We're in a people business serving coffee.”

    More businesses need to wrap their heads around that concept.

    You are not just in business to make money. You are a business that exists to provide people with a product or service that makes their lives better. Money is a happy by-product of that.

    Of course, you need a solid business plan, and to ask yourself basic questions about how big your market is and what it’s going to cost to reach them, but generally speaking, if you ‘get’ the first (you’re about people), you’ll get the second (money), and not just in the short term either.

    Working under the mindset that you are in a people business ensures that you will strive to maintain a product or service that is desirable to people, thereby ensuring your future revenue stream. It just makes sense. Serve people with what you do and you will make money. It also makes advertising FAR easier, because it’s easy to tell the story that says, ‘Hey, we’re genuinely here to help you.’, and then point to your products, services, and history of providing them as proof.

    Dove sure gets it:

    ...and all they do is make soap…oh right, and a lot of money.