How A Core Purpose Can Make You More Profitable
How creating a core purpose helps you lead better, profit more, and increase team effort. Plus 4 steps to help you create a successful statement.
There is so much to do and consider when running a business. As a business owner, you have to prioritize what is important to help your business grow. You may be thinking, “Shouldn’t I be focusing on scaling? Do I really need to make time to create a core purpose?” The short answer, yes.
Brands that serve a clear purpose experience 400% more profitability than those who don’t. With that statistic alone, creating a purpose seems pretty important, but it is more than just for profitability.
Your purpose is the core of your business’s existence; the critical ‘why’ behind everything you do. It’s the one statement, your company’s compass, that drives your business in the right direction. You refer to it when difficult decisions need to be made, when you are confused about a direction you should take, and what you should look for in the people you hire.
CREATING YOUR PURPOSE STATEMENT
Creating your purpose can take some time. As the business owner, you probably have an idea of your business’s purpose, but getting your motivation down on paper is another process. You may find yourself writing several versions and reviewing them for a few months before one really captures your intention.
Here are some tips to help you craft your message.
Your Purpose should answer some very basic ‘why’ questions:
- Why is this company doing what it’s doing?
- What is the higher purpose?
- Why should I have passion for what we’re doing?
- Why would our customers miss us if we weren’t around?
While scaling your business and achieving financial freedom may be a huge motivator, you and your team need a reason other than “making money” to be inspired to wake up each morning and do what you do. As you noticed in the questions above, having an emotional connection to your passion helps make it more relatable. Research finds that if you ignite and capture your team’s hearts, not just their heads, they will give you 40% more discretionary effort. Crafting the right message has already proven to increase profitability and achieve a higher effort from your team. Next are a few attributes to consider to ensure a successful statement.
Attributes to consider:
- Higher purpose (beyond profits and jobs)
- Engages team members emotionally
- Does not change…but inspires changes
- Causes team to work around/through obstacles
BUILDING THE STATEMENT
With the questions above answered, you now have what you need to draft your statement.
Steps to create a successful statement, ask yourself “why” five times:
- First, write down the answer to this question: “WHAT does your organization do today? Notice the question starts with “What”. Think about your original reason for starting the business.
- Then, answer this question: “WHY is that important?”
- Looking at your answer to ‘2’, ask “Why does that matter?”
- Complete steps ‘2’ and ‘3’ two additional times.
If you complete the above truthfully, you will likely have found your core purpose.
Use this statement as your draft. Place it on your desk, in the break room, near the phone – write it down where you can see it every day and see how it makes you feel. Don’t be afraid to complete this process several times until you find what resonates with you.
HOW TO KNOW YOU NAILED IT
As you read what you have come up with, see if it fires you up inside and makes you excited and proud. Does it call you to a higher purpose, engage you emotionally, and inspire change and courage to work through challenges?
Once you have solidified your core purpose, review it with your team often and make sure it is front of mind in all decisions you make in your business. Post it where everyone can see it and refer to it during meetings and celebrations. Each member of your team should be able to recite your core purpose when asked.
WHEN TO RE-EVALUATE YOUR CORE PURPOSE
Review your core purpose no less than every year. That does not mean you have to change your purpose, but as you and your company grow, especially if you are a start up or newer company, you might find that your company’s purpose or the purpose you have for your company has changed. Make it part of your annual planning to review your purpose. Involve your team or advisors in the decision making process.
Creating a core purpose at first glance may seem unnecessary. As the owner of the business, you may feel you know your purpose and you don’t need to sit down and polish an official statement. As the above has shown, it is important not only to your bottom line, but for the alignment and effort of your team. It keeps you on track during tough times and reminds you every morning why you wake up to do what you do, as well as your employees. When everyone is on the same page, your company will grow. Don’t discount the importance of your purpose, do it right and let it be your company’s guide.
Written by Jennifer Faught, President and COO of BrainTrust. Certified Scaling Up Coach and has helped companies build their Core Purpose statements all over the country.