blogs.constantcontact.com – Written by Susan Solovic
Why are you in business?
Seems like the answer is obvious—right? You’re in business to make money, or at least that should be one of your top priorities.
But successful businesses realize there needs to be something more driving their success. There needs to be a purpose for their business.
Think about the business brands you love. Don’t you have a visceral understanding of their purpose? Consider the nearly cult-like following Apple enjoys. People identify with the brand because it stands for something. It speaks to them.
What about Zappos? Zappos isn’t in the shoe business; it’s in the business of delivering happiness in a box. That’s the company’s purpose.
So, what’s your purpose?
Making money shouldn’t be the sole purpose of your business. There has to be a sense that the service or product your business provides brings value to the market, and that because of that value, the company makes money. A business focused only on bringing in cash won’t ever rise to the level of being a great enterprise.
Customers don’t come to you because they want to make you rich. They come to you because they believe in the value you provide for them, whether that value is detailing their car, grooming their dog, creating their estate plan, or selling them a lawn mower. So it’s up to you to determine what that value—your purpose—is.
To define the purpose of your business, you and everyone on your team should be able to answer these simple questions without hesitation:
“Why are we doing what we do?”
“What purpose does it serve?”
You should be able to tell your company’s story—a story that motivates customers or clients to do business with you. The same is true for your employees. What motivates them to come to work each day? Loyal employees are motivated by more than just taking home a paycheck. Your team needs to understand the role each plays because they all need to feel part of the company’s purpose—its heart and soul.
When business founders and their teams understand their purpose, they project an energy that’s exciting to everyone. I’m sure you’ve walked into businesses that feels, well, blah—flat, with no life. Such businesses go from project to project with no purpose other than making sure they make money on the deal.
Then there are businesses that have an upbeat, energetic, focused atmosphere—and it’s contagious. It makes you, the customer or client, feel excited about doing business with this group.
There’s a practical reason for this, too. For example, knowing the purpose of my business is extremely important for me personally. The business purpose drives me and gives me the courage and confidence to “sell” my company.
I’ve never liked or wanted to be in sales. In fact, I tried a couple of sales positions during my professional career, and, well, let’s just say I didn’t set the world on fire. Yet everyone tells me I’m a master sales person when it comes to selling my own business.
The reason has to be that I don’t feel as though I’m selling, that I truly believe in what I am doing and why I am doing it. Naturally my goal is to close a deal and make money, but a greater purpose motivates me. That purpose is the excitement of doing something I feel is rewarding for the customer as well as for my business.