Thinking of your company as your most profitable product is a fantastic way to think about your business.
Every now and again, you read something and think "Yeah, you nailed it". That's how I felt recently when I started listening to DHH
and Jason Fried
talk about how they think of their company as a product. It's something I've thought about for a long time and feel more companies could adopt this level of thinking. Here's my take on it.
It's not just about the work
It's not enough to just be good at what you do. Are there better project management tools out there other than Basecamp? Yeah probably, but I don't even bother looking at them because I just love the way Basecamp THE COMPANY is run. It would be a fair question to ask what that has to do with the end product, but it completely does!
They have a belief that work can wait. It can wait until after lunch, till tomorrow, till next week.
It can wait and should wait, so that belief is built into the fabric of Basecamp 3 with their "work can wait" feature. Another project management software company who believes in working 160 hours a week won't have that feature because they don't have that belief.
At Better Proposals, we believe proposals shouldn't take a long time. That is a belief that's hard-wired into everyone on our team. Because of that belief, our product is geared towards speed, we give you free pre-written templates to use and make everything easy and simple.
Our product would be very different if we believed in allowing as much customisation as possible for instance.
Fall in love with your company again
Having this level of thinking enables you to fall in love with your company all over again. Learn to love making things look nice, keep your brand looking fresh, create style guides so everything looks neat and tidy and obsess over the details. You don't pay attention to details when you're not in love.
What kinds of things will you care about when your company and all its parts are on that kind of level. Think of your company as a product and you'll reignite your love for the intricate details.
Here are a few ideas for you:
- Get a style guide together for your company. Make sure everyone is using the same version of your logo, the same colour, the same fonts.
- Get reports for things like analytics coming to you at the same time each week so you can analyse them.
- Clean up your work space
- Think about the processes you have and what you can do to streamline them.
- Use Groupon or some deal-site and get a 1-2 night stay somewhere. Do nothing but work ON your business. Get everything you can in order.
- Think about the top 3 standard emails you might write. Maybe an email introducing yourself, responding to a new enquiry and thanking someone for meeting you. Re-write them so they are as effective as they can be, then use that as a template instead of winging it each time.
There's much more you can do, but start to think of your company as your most important product, the one that brings in the most revenue and the one people know you for because when you think about it, it is.