A new era of purpose-driven business
The Big P: Profit. We measure it, report on it, obsess over it; can’t survive without it. Until recently, the success of most businesses has been measured by revenue alone. But, there’s a different business model we’re seeing more and more of these days. And that is the business that puts purpose on the pedestal, right up there next to profit.
Purpose is the reason for your existence: your vision, your ‘why’. It might be to make a positive impact on society, innovate in sustainable or ethical practices, embrace craft and handmade traditions, or create the most perfect product possible – these are all ideologies that are changing the world for the better. Since Content Space began its journey, I've come across SO MANY of these business owners – who refuse to cut corners, and pursue excellence and quality at all costs. Passion, purpose and meaning are so hot right now!
Back to profit... There's been a long-held notion that by concentrating on making any sort of positive societal impact, you can never make as much profit. That belief is being proven wrong by the army of stalwart entrepreneurs who are holding firm to their beliefs, while creating flourishing, profitable businesses.
Here's a few reasons your business will be better off when your 'purpose' is used as a force for good.
Purpose provides meaning
For you and your employees. As humans, we have this innate NEED to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Give your employees a cause to believe in, the better they will perform, and the better they will deal with any stress or hard times that might come. If you create a culture of purpose, your employees will invest more than time into your business. They will defend it, advocate for it – you’ll be in it together, ordering pizza at 9pm on a Friday night to get a project over the line. The hard work you all put in will feel worthwhile, because it’s for a reason.
Purpose provides clarity
Purpose isn’t something that only the good businesses have. No business can survive without real vision and clarity on where they want to go. Without it, you will struggle to make decisions on how to manage, sustain and grow your business. You might flap around, confused. Having a worthy purpose means some of your decisions will not be the easiest, cheapest or fastest options open to you – but your path will be clear, because you’re striding towards the golden sun of purpose. You know what you’ve got to do.
Purpose brings (good) emotion to work
How many times have you heard that you’re not at work to make friends? Honestly, does business really have to be that way?? The amazing thing about small business is that you get to make the rules. Hire people you actually like, socialise with them if you want to, treat everyone with respect, and be transparent about what your business means to you and what you’re trying to achieve. Bring your employees, customers and suppliers along on the ride with you. And don’t be afraid to show emotion – get excited for the wins, or disappointed for losses – it shows you care about what you’re doing.
It will help your bottom line
Profit is always going to be important for any business to flourish. Finding the sweet spot between purpose and profit isn’t something that isn’t comes overnight, and if you don’t keep your eye on revenue, you will not be able to grow your business, or sustain a living from it. Purpose can help because it drives productivity, so you’re getting more out of the resources you have. Also, a worthy purpose creates a kind of optimism that your customers can buy into. Purpose and passion is so attractive – if you’re expressing it consistently and effectively through all of your marketing channels, it shines through like a beacon for everyone to see.
It keeps you going
Your purpose will get you out of bed in the morning. It will help you when you've just pulled a 100-hour week, and you haven't seen your family in months. It will help you when you have days of wondering why the hell you started this thing – because there's a really good reason behind all of this. Sometimes, purpose and meaning doesn't come knocking on our door – so we have to go out and create it for ourselves.