Finding, Getting, and Keeping a Customer
Over a twenty-year period, I have been perfecting the Financial Operating System™ for growing business entities that struggle with connecting the dots between marketing, sales, operations, key numbers, and cash flow. While the system is simple and is a difference-maker for those who apply it in part or wholly, it’s not my main framework.
The Purpose of a Business
Drucker was not the first person to say the purpose of the business is to create a customer and nor will he be the last.
There are thousands and thousands of books on management, leadership, and strategy. The consulting industry generates billions annually across the globe. In spite of this expertise, this guy with humble beginnings from rural Missouri is sticking to the mantra that every CEO’s objective is to:
- Find a customer
- Get a customer
- Keep a customer
If you prefer spiritual language, use the words find, convert, and transform.
Startups are entirely different. Their job is to prove the model that can validate the three verbs above. Once that validation process is complete, the list above applies.
Turning the Big Three Into I-N-G Words
In business, my three favorite words are finding, getting, and keeping. Sometimes, I interchange the word keeping with growing.
Those three words represent the three primary actions of any business (this applies to non-profits too).
- Finding is all about marketing
- Getting is all about selling
- Keeping is all about operations from start to finish
Keeping is the ‘black box’ or the magic in your company. It is the fulfillment of a good or service from the order to the delivery of the good or service. It also includes post-sales support.
There’s nothing else more important. Yes, we need accounting, legal, HR, risk management, and other administrative support functions. But that’s not the purpose of a business. The true purpose of business is finding, getting, and keeping a customer.