Starting a business is not the goal. Overcoming indifference is the real objective.

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Starting a business today is much easier than ever before.

With the internet there is access to information, people, and strategies to help you plan and even find funds to start a new venture.

But starting a business is not the end goal.

So many new businesses fail each and every year because the focus is mainly on starting. The challenge that all businesses face (large, small, new, and established) and ultimately need to overcome is that of “indifference.”

Indifference reveals itself and presents a challenge to ALL businesses in two ways.

1. Indifferent customers

2. Indifferent team members

Indifferent customers have no compelling reason to purchase a company’s product or service rather than their competitors. This happens when a business is so focused internally, on their products, their services, their growth strategy, and so on, rather than being highly focused on their customers.

A business that is customer-centric is fanatical about knowing WHO their customers are, WHAT makes them tick (their likes, dislikes, habits, etc.) and WHY they buy certain products or services. These companies are all about understanding as much as they can about their customers and then finding ways to serve them and add value.  

You can spot a customer-centric business by a combination of its purpose (mission and vision), the leadership roles (and the teams who report to them) that are dedicated to knowing and serving their customers, and the customer-focused goals and KPI‘s that they have which are dedicated to measuring and continuously improving in the areas of knowing and delighting their customers.

Related: 10 Innovative Ways to Excite Your Customers

Indifferent employees are complacent because they are not passionate about coming to work each day. This happens when the company is not rooted in a compelling purpose and direction (there is no greater cause for the employees to get behind) or when the culture within the company is either too rigid or too stale.  

One of the best ways to create a culture that ignites team members and gets them excited to come to work every day is to be intentional about implementing sound principles and best practices intended to ensure your company is innovative.

Innovative companies do not have great new ideas about how to better serve their customers by accident. Innovative companies are proactive and intentional about creating a culture of innovation so that they are constantly finding new creative ways of doing things.  Innovative companies understand that we need to get outside our comfort zone and push some boundaries on how we look at problems (and solutions) while creating a safe place for employees to do so.

Related: 10 Simple Ways to Build a Collaborative, Successful Work …

Team members love their job when they are able to feel like they are part of an environment that allows them the freedom and encouragement to challenge the status quo, bring new perspectives, and dedicate themselves to working out their creative innovation muscles. When this is done via following innovation best practices alongside a committment to learning and getting better each day, a wave of momentum is built causing the company culture needle to veer sharply in the direclty of passion and positivity.

Starting a business is not the goal.

Building a company that is rooted in the foundation of being customer-centric and innovative should be the objective of all business leaders.

Because indifference is waiting just around every corner.

Related: 10 Things Your Team Needs From Your Leadership