Wait, what the heck is a Statement of Purpose? Your business already has mission and vision statements. So, what’s the difference, and why is it necessary?
Mission statements share what a business stands for—their overall goals. Vision statements address how a company achieves its mission by sharing direction and strategies. A Statement of Purpose should clarify why the mission is important by communicating the purpose of the organization’s mission.
Is Your Business Purpose Driven?
A statement of purpose can be valuable for any operation. Here’s an example, Tom’s Shoes, created to donate a pair of shoes for every pair purchased, has soared in popularity. This philosophy has expanded to helping one-for-one by donating shoes and contributing internationally to water, sight, and childbirth initiatives.
Tom’s Shoes is a for-profit business, but a for-profit business with a purpose. Founded in 2006, by 2016, the company had given away more than 60 million pairs of shoes, which means they’ve also sold more than 60 million pairs of shoes. Tom’s Shoes customers are fiercely loyal, and Tom’s employees are driven by these principles.
But You Don’t Sell Shoes, Do You?
Tom’s is an extreme example of a purpose-driven organization, but what if your business isn’t as sexy as marketing footwear? What if you’re a B2B, service business, or information technologies?
I read about a law firm that supported its employees in raising funds for St. Jude’s Hospital. They raised $91,000 Hughes and Coleman help fight cancer. Whole Foods created community giving days. The Zappos principle of Delivering Happiness has gone beyond the company and achieved a cult-like status. There are many ways to drive an organization through purpose.
The examples above include a business whose intention is creating happiness for consumers, vendors, and employees. Another’s goal is helping its community, and still, another supporting a charity. Not every business has shoes to share. The question is, what is the purpose of your business? What does your company believe in? What do you stand for?
Creating a Statement of Purpose for Your Business
Form a purpose team. Gather employees, vendors, and customers, and then start by identifying what drives your business. Ask the following:
- What gives our business meaning?
- What does our company do that makes us proud?
- Why do people work here, and what do they expect from us?
- How can we purposefully reach our target audience?
- In ten words or less, define the purpose of our business
Broadcast Your Intentions
Once you’ve identified your intentions, share them. Spread the word to your target audience—partner with other organizations. Publish blogs about what you’re doing and say it with a personal voice, not with corporate speak. Shoot behind the scenes videos. Show your team in action volunteering, helping customers, and making a difference.
Why Is a Statement of Purpose Important?
The reason a purpose-driven culture is so important is that people want to believe in their work. Most people want this but especially young people. The people that will be leading your organization into the future want to know what they do matters.
Your customers and clients want to work with and purchase from businesses that share a compelling reason for their existence. People want to buy from, work for, and partner with companies that have a meaningful purpose.
In this post from Entrepreneur Why a Purpose-Driven Mission is Key to Motivating Millennials they share that “84% of millennials think making a difference is more important than professional recognition.” And that 92% believe, “…corporations should be measured by more than profits.”
Is Your Business Working Purposefully?
Is your business working towards a larger vision, is there a reason beyond profit? (BTW, there’s nothing wrong with profit. It keeps the doors open.) What drives your organization? If you and your business are purpose-driven, you will develop loyal customers, even advocates, as well as employees that are motivated to do their best. So, what’s your statement of purpose?
For many serving entrepreneurs this starts with a journey of self discovery. Tripp shared this article that you might find helpful How Do You Identify Your Purpose?
See you next week!
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