Make no mistake; make believe is great business. Beyond the special effects of a Hollywood production or Disney Theme Park, every business is based on make-believe!
Plans And Projections
We use terms like forecasts, plans, projections, and more to give credibility and legitimacy to the numbers we made up to complete the business plan. The graphs and charts indicate trends we hope to create or capture. But in the end, they are at least partially (often mostly) fabrications.
Wall Street CEOs release quarterly projections about sales revenues they anticipate reaching. While we can assume they are based on historical evidence, they also depend on promotions, advertising, and marketing initiatives. Guess what writers, actors, producers, designers, etc. do. The are responsible for creating new ways to communicate important messages.
The amount of money given to fund the venture is a rough indicator of how much bankers, investors, shareholders believe in the plan.
Products And Services
The livelihood of every business is the products and services they sell. At one point, every single one of the products and services we buy lived only in the mind of its creator. Faced with a problem, inventors create and sift through a myriad of ideas to find the one(s) they believe will provide a worthwhile solution for themselves and others.
Stories, napkin sketches, designs, 3D renderings, dummy prototypes, working prototypes, and more are all tools for sharing ideas with others so that they might believe in it and want to participate. Even the ‘me too’ products and businesses that are nearly identical to what already exists follow the same path.
Maybe their belief is that they can do it better, bigger, faster, somewhere else, or somehow differently.
Sales And Marketing
The process of growing belief is often referred to as ‘sales’. Repeating features and benefits alone will not do it. Nor will expert demonstrations. Sales is a deeply personal endeavor that is sparked by human connection and fueled by passion.
We cannot sell without belief – belief in our own ability, in the product, the brand, the support system, the buyers’ needs, whatever. The actual belief matters very little. It is all about the way we use it to connect to our audience.
The transaction price and revenue generated from sales suggests how much customers believe in the products and the brand. Ever notice how brand names like Kleenex, Post-it, and Prada are able to claim higher prices than lesser-known competitors?
Imagination, creativity, and make-believe are crucial to nearly every aspect of business. Leaders and managers who build and maintain solid belief systems have powerful advantages over those who do not.
Let people know what you believe. Keeping the trio of sex, religion, and politics to a minimum will help conversations remain focused on making great business.