If you can’t tell someone in two sentences what you do and why, your business is in trouble or heading that way. Sure you may have a solid business structure, you’ve minimised your tax and things might be going well but your sales and/or service pipeline is kept full by a fuel called purpose. Purpose is not something that your business should stumble upon along its journey. Purpose is not something that you should rely on appearing to you in a dream sometime during your second year of business and suddenly turning things around if times are tough. Purpose needs to be there with you right from the very beginning or things could come to an abrupt end.
There are a lot of books about finding your purpose in business and life but I think for the small business owner with a family to provide for, it’s important to understand how purpose helps businesses.
Returning to base to refuel is vital
Yes it is. But you have to make sure you have a base first. Starting off with a clear vision of what you are going to achieve, with what, why and by when, is a great first step in any business venture. Especially, when compared to vague launch ideas like, “I want to open a bakery, I love bread so here’s some cash, let’s get started.” Disaster waiting to happen.
When things get complicated, and in small business they will from time to time, nothing shines through the mists of confusion and distraction like your original, clear purpose. Your why. Getting back to your why, refreshes you, refocuses your efforts and clears a path forward.
Helps you steer clear of expensive distractions
Pouring your energy and effort into your original intent in the right way is time and money well spent. We find that some small businesses try to get too big too fast or get distracted by opportunities to diversify before they are properly established. Succumbing to anything that tempts you away from fulfilling your original intent will end up costing you – time, money and family time.
Tip: keep your original statement of intent or vision, mission and values displayed throughout your workplace as a reminder of why you’re there and what you’re doing. Anything that doesn’t get you closer to achieving that purpose qualifies as a distraction. Avoid it.
Focuses your team on operations so you can focus on the business
As mentioned throughout other blogs, you cannot do this on your own – not for the long term anyway. You’re going to need help but as they say in the classics, you’re going to have to help them, help you. If you work to:
- clarify your original purpose,
- document your processes and
- ensure everyone knows the path your business is on
…you will enable and empower others to look after the operational side of your business while you drive the vision. A vision that hopefully sees you drawing more money, time with family and happiness from a business you started or bought, for that very purpose.