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The Transformation of the Free Business Model

Free is good. You might send your customers a coupon for something that they can receive for free, the next time that they visit your establishment. Or you might give away a free coffee drink when your customer purchases her tenth body warming vanilla latte.

Free is good, but the new question is: Is your free thing, doing good? Or do you have a story attached to your free thing? A story that’s compelling and makes people want to get on board with what you’re doing?

If you’ve never thought about this before, it’s time you did. People are struggling to keep hope alive in families and in the work place and there’s nothing that keeps hope alive like believing in something.

A cause, a mission, a message or something to participate in or become a part of is important these days. That’s the transformed “free” business model.

Free is now attached to an invitation to believe something great while making money at the same time. I’m sure you’ve heard of Toms Shoes started by Blake Mycoskie. His whole plan was to sell a pair of shoes and give away a pair of shoes to a needy child.

One for One as they call it. So now free becomes a cause or something that moves us all forward to a better place in life. Who would have thought that a pair of shoes could move someone along to a better life? Blake Mycoskie did. But Blake is not the only one. There are many others who have transformed their business and the world by giving.

What do you have or what can you start that will not only increase your bottom line but change the world at the same time? We need business owners to think differently about these very important questions.

Should I give you tons of examples to convince you to do something meaningful? I could, but I don’t really want to because I don’t want to tell you their stories, I want to inspire you to change the world by telling your own story and make it meaningful, make it matter. What do you want to see changed in the world and how can your business help? Not just help by giving a discount, but by giving something that changes the lives of those around you?

My 12 year old niece Madison is brilliant. She’s in accelerated classes at school, she is kind, polite and you rarely see her without a book in her hands. She’s a delightful young lady and the doctor’s say she’s going blind. A birth defect has threatened her eyesight. But Madison is not thinking about what the doctors say, she’s thinking about how to change the world. She wants to encourage other young people who are going through difficult health issues to be strong and to find courage in friendship. When she grows up I have no doubt that she will use her story to impact the people around her.

What’s your story? How can you use it to make the world a better place as you build a strong profitable company?

The good old days of business and work are gone forever. This new economical landscape gives us all a chance to have a do-over in our businesses. A do-over that includes changing the world. Are you up for it?

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