With the pressures of running the business on a daily business, the reason for the businesses existence – its ‘purpose ‘ – can get forgotten, not be paid attention to, or even be buried in the melee of business operations. Yet the purpose of the business is fundamental in steering the business, it is the lighthouse, guiding the business in everything it does.
The purpose of the business really is the foundation stone of the business as it encapsulates the mission statement, vision statement and core values, which together, communicate to your staff, shareholders, stakeholders, suppliers and customers where the business is going, what it does, who it serves and how it behaves.
Some may think having a mission statement, vision statement and core values are only needed for large corporations and multinational businesses, yet, they are equally important for the sole trader working from home and the small business employing a handful of staff.
So why is your business purpose so powerful for your business? it is because your business purpose can serve and assist your business on many levels, it can:
- fuel employee enthusiasm, as well as your own, which in turn passes onto customers and suppliers through their words and actions
- provide you with clarity and focus which can strengthen your businesses – your lighthouse, galavanising and directing all areas of the business, focusing on the journey
- help gain the support of the employees, especially if you need to make changes in the business
- act as a yardstick, against which progress is measured
- communicate to all those who are connected, or are looking to be connected to your business, what you stand for and believe in
- provide guidance for hiring staff, attracting and retaining staff, as staff can associate with your values, mission and vision
- highlight the culture of your business i.e. how things are done around here; setting expectations of behaviour and harnessing unity in your business
- guide decision making, if you are facing difficulty or awkward decisions, will the decisions taken align and fit the business purpose?
- differentiate your business from competitors, because your purpose is unique to your business.
It’s your business purpose which guides you when you’re facing challenges in business planning, having to make difficult decisions as well as running the day to day business operations. So, taking the time to review your business purpose and reflecting on what you are doing and the decisions you are making, to ensure they align and fit with your business purpose, is a powerful tool.
Be guided by your business purpose, it is what your business stands for and the way it behaves, becoming your unique business DNA, and most importantly it differentiates your business from everyone else.