During the uncertainty and instability of its first few months, to the sheer responsibility that comes with it, not to mention the never-ending to-do list – running a small business is not all sunshine and roses. While profit may be one of the primary drivers behind your business, it’s your business purpose that takes the wheel.
It’s a purpose that makes the hard yards all worthwhile. When you’re getting to know someone, and the question of work pops up, do you say, “I make a profit for a living.” or does your purpose come to mind instead, “I help people build their dream homes.” “I help people feel their healthiest selves” “I help people stand out online.”
Don’t get us wrong, profit plays a crucial role for businesses, but profit supports the leading act while purpose takes centre stage.
What is the purpose of your business?
The purpose of your business is the reason why you opened the doors in the first place. It’s the problem you solve for your customers, and for these reasons, it must first come for the leaders.
To be clear – we’re looking for three to seven words that summarise how you help your customers and clients. It may be a small statement, but it should pack a punch.
For example, at Orbit, our purpose is to make more possible for small business owners. TED‘s is to spread ideas. Amazon’s is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. But whether you are an Amazon of the world or a freelancer just starting out, your purpose is just as important.
Your purpose should revolve around your audience and resonate with them. They can go to your meet the team page if they want to learn more about you, but for the most part, they just want to hear about themselves and how you can help them – it’s human nature.
Focusing on creating a strong purpose statement will draw in a value-aligned audience and foster brand loyalty, which will have a roll-on effect on your profit. But if you don’t focus on your purpose, you may default to profit.
Profit can not be relied on as purpose can – your profit is not stagnant, but your purpose is. Being driven by profit doesn’t have people queuing out the door to work with you. They care about their profit, not yours.
Purpose doesn’t just drive profit.
Once you have defined your purpose, it’s time to get the team onboard.
Communicating a clear purpose won’t just boost your financial performance, but it’ll also improve team satisfaction and customer loyalty. On the flip side, bringing in more profit for your business won’t endlessly inspire your team but having a shared purpose and allowing them to contribute to something larger themselves does.
Your purpose should be the reason behind everyone’s roles and responsibilities, by taking the time to explain how it all ties together will allow your team to see how they contribute to the bigger picture. It also allows them to feel connected to the business outcomes, and all the changes you make to customers and clients lives.
Spread the purpose of your small business far and wide.
Next in line to hear your purpose is your clients and customers.
When crafted well, a clear and engaging purpose will revolutionise your marketing game. When your target audience hears a purpose statement that directly resonates with them, it nurtures brand loyalty and creates brand advocates. Whenever they stumble across your messaging, be it your website or social media channels, they’ll be more likely to respond to a brand that exists for their needs.
So put the communication spotlight on the purpose of your small business, and make it the guiding light for all your marketing and sales endeavours.