Clarity is always important in your business. It helps you be decisive. It saves you time, effort and money. Clarity gets you there faster.
Clarity of business purpose, is even more critical. It is the starting point of who you are. It is that all important “why” on which entire businesses thrive. It draws the right team to you as you grow your business. It attracts customers because they can see it clearly in all you do. It sustains you when things get tough.
And yet clarity of business purpose often gets left on the long finger in favour of the short term actions necessary to keep things ticking over. The reality is those things would tick over a lot faster if the business purpose was stated clearly and everyone worked with that purpose in mind.
CLARITY OF BUSINESS PURPOSE STOPS THE MEANDERING
If you ever hear someone talking about their experience as an entrepreneur, they tell you it’s a roller coaster ride filled with ups and downs that both lift them and crush them in equal measure.Personally, I don’t think that roller coaster ride is fully necessary and it’s what motivated me in my own work helping businesses grow and scale. When I look at the path of the entrepreneur, I see a lot of meandering that stops very quickly when they have two things firmly in place:
- Firstly, Clarity of Business Purpose
- Secondly, the Will to Achieve it.
BUSINESS PURPOSE REQUIRES DEEP WORK
It starts with a deep understanding of why you came to your business in the first place. So often purpose is something that can feel too vulnerable to share. It can seem very personal. But it’s that vulnerability that makes people love what you do.And if you sit into that vulnerability, the vulnerability starts to fade and you start to own the space. You start to realise this is the unique thing you bring to the marketplace. It defines how you run your business, hire your people, choose your customers and have them in turn choose you.This applies for solopreneurs but also the largest companies in the world. It’s their vulnerability, their bravery that makes them stand tall and own the space. I’ve worked with businesses whose customers are consumers and whose customers are large multinationals. In every case, it’s the business purpose articulated and realised that drives the success.
When you sit on the fence with business purpose, you’ll stay on that fence and never achieve the dream you had when you started your business.
Take heart, you won’t be the only one on that fence but the more people who jump off and own their space the better the world will be. Be brave enough to take the leap.
BUSINESS PURPOSE SETS THE TRAJECTORY AND GIVES YOU STAYING POWER
It doesn’t mean everything is fully formed yet but the simple clarity of drawing a line in the sand to state clearly what you are here to do, sets the trajectory for everything else.More than that, when things get tough or things go wrong you know what you’re here to do so you just keep going. You find the answer to the problem you face. You stick.And as your team grows beyond just you, that shared business purpose and shared belief of working towards this goal together defines your culture. It shapes everyone, so everyone shares in the win. More people join because they buy into your business purpose and want to be part of something important. It is a powerful part of your success story.
IKEA AND THEIR BUSINESS PURPOSE IN ACTION.
IKEA’S business purpose is “To Create A Better Everyday Life For The Many People”.We are all more or less familiar with it. Look a little closer and break it down. The key words are Better, Everyday, Many. They are the pillars of that purpose and everything the business does feeds into that.There’s a story behind this clearly stated business purpose. IKEA as you probably know was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden. He asked the question:
“Why are beautiful products only made for a few buyers?
It must be possible to offer good design and function at low prices.”
And so their business purpose was born; and everything else stemmed from that. Their strategy, their ad campaigns, everything. They learned as they went and every milestone achieved filled that beautifully stated business purpose:
- They discovered that people were skeptical about how they could create such beautiful products so cheaply so they created a showroom where people could see and try their products first. They still have that format today in their stores.
- The first Flatpack was born in 1956, when they took the legs off the LOVET table and the whole world opened up to the accessibility and affordability of good design.
- Their ad campaigns fill us with wonder and ideas in their “Wonderful Everyday” videos.
- They’ve future proofed the business by introducing smart home technology, democratic design and now the “sustainable everyday”.
- If you have some time check out their story here.
- All that from one single, clearly stated business purpose.
WHAT ABOUT APPLE AND THEIR BUSINESS PURPOSE?
Very early on, Steve Jobs came up with the clearly stated business purpose of “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”It’s big. It’s bold and it creates space to go into industries that hadn’t even been invented yet. By clearly stating Tools for the Mind they gave life to the Smart Phone, the Ipod, the Macinstosh and so much more.Even their Ad Campaigns made us “think differently.” They helped us self identify as an Apple consumer and made it desirable to be one or not.
- Check out the 1984 Ad Campaign that launched the Macintosh
- Or the Think Different Campaign which celebrated all the great minds in the world – Here’s to the crazy ones that change the world.
- The Mac V’s PC ads, 66 in all released between 2006 and 2009. They showed the real difference between both products and inspired us to buy from them. We wanted to be a MAC user because it was so much cooler than the boring PC.
OUR BUSINESS PURPOSE
My story around business purpose, comes from seeing the pain and frustration that comes from the entrepreneurial journey, some of which I believe to be truly unnecessary.I believed early on that with so many business success stories out there, there had to be a pattern to this success. So, I watched and researched and learned and started to compile a map of how businesses succeeded or failed. I watched for the challenges and how they could best be resolved. My thinking was simple. If someone had been there before then there had to be a map that any entrepreneur could follow. And that would be the thing that would make the journey easier.Our business purpose here is to make it easier for entrepreneurs to succeed. We achieve this by showing them the journey before they take it and everything we do is designed with that business purpose in mind.
It influences the boundaries we have in place in group programs, it influences the mindset pieces we add to our programs, the live mentoring, the group marketing lab so people can test ideas and so much more.
BUSINESS PURPOSE IS THE SOURCE OF YOUR AUTHENTICITY & THAT WILL ATTRACT CUSTOMERS
Here’s a question for you. How can you be authentic if you don’t know what you’re here for?In this day and age, where authenticity is becoming increasingly important to consumers and businesses alike, it must be clear where that authenticity comes from, even how it’s shaped. The easiest way to show that is to reference your business purpose. If everything you do feeds back to that, you are in direct alignment and as such are eminently authentic.There are benefits that come with that, the primary one being that customers will be drawn to you and if their purpose aligns with yours you will have a customer who believes in you and will want to deepen their relationship with you.
If you’d like to know more about gaining greater clarity around business purpose and why it matters join me for my free webinar called position with purpose – we’ll dive in deeper there. Click here to reserve your seat.
I love to work with businesses, both large and small to help them create sustainable business dreams... Brand and Strategy are at the heart of everything I do and that gets rolled out digitally and across any channel where your customer lives.