Business Hierarchy of Needs

Business Hierarchy of Needs - Wide View

Wherever there is one or more humans, a hierarchy of needs is at play.

It doesn’t matter if the entity is a single human, a business, a corporation, a school or even a social club, the hierarchy is essentially the same.

At the base level is survival. For humans this means food and shelter. For a club it is members. For a business however, basic survival means money. And without enough money the business will very quickly cease to exist. Robert Kiyosaki refers to this in his BI Triangle as ‘cashflow’.

This document is the Business Hierarchy of Needs.

Business Survival

Money in to your business is the combination of 2 things:
1. Marketing (attracting potential customers)
2. Sales (converting to paying customers)

The survival of a business means cashflow. In simple terms that sales and marketing. Unless you can consistently attract and sell new customers, it’s irrelevant how good your product is because no one will ever know. Figure out how to attract your customers and then figure out how to sell to them… because… nothing else matters!

Once your business is surviving, you want to ensure sustainability. Because an unsustainable business model may survive for the moment, but it’s days are numbered. Examples of unsustainability include falling profit margins, exhaustion from overwork, risk of injury, limited supply chains, innovation, social trends and infinite other possibilities.

Business Sustainability

Sustainability is the combination of two things:
1. Systems (consistent replicate-able results)
2. Training (replacing yourself)

Once the business is sustainable, from that foundation we can launch our expansion. There are many highly successful businesses today that from the outside seemed to almost skip this foundational step, but make no mistake they only survive today because they were able to achieve sustainability. Read the biography of Elon Musk or Zappos Delivering Happiness and you will see where the race for sustainability, was found amongst the drive for a brighter future and the financial need for survival.

Business Expansion

Expansion is about growth. It could be for selfish or selfless reasons, but it is about growing the business. Those reasons could be to sell more products, make more money, reach more customers, have a bigger impact, or something else entirely.
This is achieved through leverage and win-win opportunities.

Contributions and Impact

It’s our hope that eventually contribution becomes the focus and we look for more and more ways to make a deeper and more profound impact on the lives of others. In the business, to it’s customers and other worthy causes.

Leaving a Legacy

Legacy is the ultimate goal. Legacy is what Simon Sinek calls the ‘infinite game’. This occurs when the business takes on a life of its own and can now survive on passed that of its creator.


Understand where your business is at and you will understand what you need to do. Take care of each rung properly and hopefully you will never need to go backwards.

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