Why do you own and operate the business you do? Or, if you work for a company you don’t own, why do you work there? Aside from making money or earning a living, is there another purpose for your company (or the company for which you work)? In recent years “purpose-driven business” has been the buzz-phrase and topic of corporate messaging.
It’s not enough anymore for companies to simply articulate their mission. Investors, customers, and would-be employees want to know what a company’s purpose is. Why does the company exist, and in what way does it strive to make the world a better place?
Perhaps your purpose is to give back to your local community, to minimize your company’s impact on the environment, or perhaps to improve the lives of your customers in a specific way. Whatever that purpose is, you need to define it, share it with your employees, show it to your customers, and refer back to it when business decisions are made.
Define Your Purpose
A good purpose statement should be concise and direct so that it is easily remembered and understood. It should clearly describe the impact that you want to have on your customers and community. And it should serve as a benchmark for decision making and expected behaviors.
Share It with Your Employees
Once you have defined your purpose, it needs to be understood and embraced by your organization. All employees, from the part-time intern to upper management, should refer back to it when performing their duties or making decisions. Your purpose statement should also be shared with potential employment recruits and discussed during interviews. Your company’s purpose should be at the forefront of every employee’s mind at all times.
Show It to Your Customers
For your purpose to be most effective it must also be well known outside your organization. Include it in your marketing materials, make sure it has a prominent place on your website, and incorporate it into your branding. In a world full of companies providing the same service or product as yours does, your purpose statement can serve as a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
What is your company’s purpose? How do you want to positively impact your community or the world? Whether your business has been around for years, is a recent upstart, or you are just now thinking of starting a business, if you haven’t already clearly defined its purpose you might want to start thinking about it.