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The Purpose-Driven Business: Why Does Your Business Exist?

Josh Tregenza
18 July 2023 | 4 min read
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Why does your business exist? Is it solely for financial gain, a buyout, or chasing the elusive 10x? While those aspirations may seem enticing, statistically speaking, they are unlikely to lead to long-term success. However, maybe you're feeling lucky.

Cat Burgess on stage at TDC speaking with slideshow saying 'fake it until' which is crossed out and it says you are it.
Well, do ya?

Discovering the true purpose behind your business goes beyond surface-level motivations. In this article, we'll delve into the realm of purpose-driven businesses, exploring why they matter and how they can thrive. So, let's embark on this story once again.

Unveiling Your Purpose

Why does your business provide its product or service? Answering this fundamental "why" helps establish its purpose. If your purpose aligns with making a positive impact on the world, then you've found your guiding light.

It's not just good ethics; it's good business. According this 2018 report, businesses without a purpose statement or those that fail to define and act with purpose underperform by a staggering 42%.

But simply identifying your purpose isn't enough. To truly succeed, you must live and breathe it. The same report revealed that purpose-driven businesses that genuinely embrace their purpose outperform the average by 42%.

Crafting a Compelling Narrative

A well-defined purpose lays the foundation for a positive and impactful strategy. When you have a clear understanding of the positive change you aim to create, it helps you identify your target audience and determine the best approach to achieve that impact. This purpose becomes the spark that ignites a compelling story, one that resonates with those who want to buy from you, work with you, or join your cause. In a world driven by stories, the narrative of making a difference holds far greater staying power than any sales metric ever could.

Having a clear purpose also provides you with valuable guidelines to make decisions swiftly, confidently, and without second-guessing. This shift in mindset, both for you and your business, allows you to look beyond mere financial profit and consider the broader social and ecological impact you can make. It signifies a conscious choice to prioritize more than just the bottom line, embracing a balanced approach that benefits society and the environment.

Profit as a Consequence, Not the Sole Driver

In this uncertain market, many business owners are facing a daunting future. Traditional businesses often find themselves trapped in a never-ending cycle of price wars and marketing gambits, chasing short-term gains. Purpose-driven businesses, on the other hand, weather market fluctuations with resilience.

For them, success isn't solely measured in financial terms. It's the impact they make that defines their accomplishments. This impact may not be immediately evident to outsiders, but they can look for the reputable B Corp symbol on a business's website. Unlike superficial endorsements, obtaining and maintaining B Corp accreditation is a rigorous process. It represents a badge of honour for purpose-driven companies, showcasing their consistent commitment to making a significant difference. This doesn’t mean that only B Corp accredited businesses are purposeful, the accreditation is an easy green flag, (At Storytale Studio, we're still in our early B Corp accreditation journey).

Purpose-driven businesses are characterized by action. They don't wait for accreditation, profit and loss statements or yield to market pressures. This proactive approach ensures the longevity of a business and, ultimately, leads to profitability. After all, profit is an outcome of doing great work.

Rooted in History, Rising in Significance

Don't mistake purpose-driven businesses as a trendy fad of the moment. They have deep roots and a long-standing track record of success. In 2011, James Heskett and John Kotter's book, "Corporate Culture and Performance" unveiled a decade-long research study demonstrating that purpose and value-driven companies consistently outperformed their counterparts by a factor of 12 in terms of stock prices. While this is great news for the Wall Street Cowboy, it further highlights that this is a no-brainer for startups and business to shift to consider the purpose-driven calling.

While purpose-driven businesses aren't a new concept, they have reached a tipping point in today's zeitgeist. Making money is no longer the sole driving force. Instead, businesses with a purpose are reshaping the landscape, redefining what it means to be successful and impactful.

Reflect now on your business's purpose, remember that profitability is a byproduct, not the primary focus. Embrace your purpose, align it with positive impact, and let it guide your actions. By doing so, you'll stand out in a volatile market, connect with like-minded individuals, and create a legacy that extends far beyond financial gains.

Now, it's time to embark on your purpose-driven journey and make a difference. Are you ready to seize the opportunity?

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