Three Essential Elements of a Good Business

True business is often misunderstood by both the novice and experienced, so let's take a look at it from a new angle. 

Look at business as a circle. Inside that circle are many other, smaller circles that are different but yet part of the whole circle itself. There are elements of a business that are true no matter what subset you belong to, and I want to talk about three of them.

The first should be obvious.  A true business needs to make money. If a business does not do this, then it really isn’t a business at all. A business needs to, at the very least, sustain itself and its employees by making enough money to cover expenses. If your business does not make money, then it isn’t a business. It’s either a bad idea or a charity.

Second, a true business has more than money as its goal. Any business that exists just to create a bigger bottom line for its shareholders is extremely myopic. So while a business must make money to sustain itself, it doesn’t make money only to make you, or anyone else, rich. Business makes the world a better place. Generous wages, excellent benefits, visionary community service and more are all part of a well rounded, healthy business. The idea that business only exists to make "the big bucks" is a myth.

Finally, a well designed business creates a variety of healthy relationships with people. At the very least your business should be selling a product or service to a person—which of course requires contact with people.  Some businesses connect with people only through technology, but if your business isn’t bringing you into face to face contact with your community, then you are not maximizing on your business’s potential. Doing business is knowing your community and taking responsibility alongside them.

Three new ideas: Make money, serve the community, and connect with lots of people. Treat each one as equally important.