Not The Image


Driving your business bus 24×7, you might realize you’ve gone too long. You kept driving when you should have pulled over and slept. Maybe you find yourself driving down routes you don’t recognize. Possibly you find yourself driving on the walkways.

A couple of unexpected bumps in the road and you’re forced to stop the bus. You get out and look. Sure enough, on the front of your bus are some bodies. You’ve slaughtered someone. Although it may be accidental and entirely unintentional and truly metaphorical, this is not good for business. This is not the image you meant for the public to see.


How do you avoid these mistakes? It seems like a simple thing to avoid losing your business model integrity, yet at times even the best of businesses experience setbacks. No one can see or predict the future with 100% clarity.

The best business models are as simple as possible.

Start with a goal. Define the purpose of the business. Create a statement combining the goal and purpose and let all procedures and protocol extend outward from there.

Allow for adaptability in the business model, but don’t go driving the bus down sidewalks. Don’t adapt so far that you lose sight of the initial goal. What was it again?

As an example, let’s say you’re a rock band. First you need a name. I’m going to borrow 3 words from guitar virtuoso Vernon Reid: 1. Electric 2. Luv 3. Bug. So you’re in this rock band called Electric Luv Bug and you’re going strong with a goal and purpose of making electronic rock that makes fans happy and the other members of the band decide they’re going to shift to doing only melancholic folk music—unplugged! Complete change from what you were doing before. In other words, the business model is being threatened. Can the band’s image withstand such a deviation? Not likely. I’m sure you can think of some real-life bands who have made “new” or “different” music only to offend all of their fans.

No fans for a band is like no riders on a bus.

It’s like a well-known burger place deciding to make tacos.

It’s like Hell Taco or Taco Hell, whichever, deciding to start selling hoagies. “What?!” say the former customers. “Where’s my horse-meat taco?” Then they never go there again.

It would be like a birthday card business branching out from birthday cards to television shows. Oh, wait…

Anyway, the main point is: integrity. Maintain your image by maintaining your integrity. Another way to think of integrity is wholeness. If you fracture your business by trying to extend its reach too far, you could break it permanently. It won’t be whole. You may lose fans, or riders, or customers. The public can be very unforgiving, especially with where they spend their cash.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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