Is it time to sharpen up and focus on your ‘Purpose statement’?

Published by Mark Attwood on 22 April 2020

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There has been a lot of talk about “purpose” in business circles recently, to the extent that mission and vision statements are rarely mentioned anymore.  Purpose statements have become something of a requirement for big businesses and some SMEs are starting to take note. They should be used to communicate the passion and the reason as to why the business owner ventured into their chosen field however, we often see a number of problems with these statements:

  1. Some are only a marketing tool which is pushed externally.
  2. Some continue to have the narrow goal of increasing shareholder value.
  3. Often they are statements of intention rather than an expression of what actually happens.
  4. Many of them are reworded mission statements to respond to millennials who strive to understand more about what a company stands for before deciding to work with them or purchase their products / services.

The COVID-19 world has thrown up its own challenges and brings personal values to the forefront and in truth it isn’t just the millennials who want to work for businesses with a purpose that means something to them.  I believe that when financial rewards are put aside we all want to be clear about why we are going to work (or working from home) for a certain business, which in a tough recruitment market could also benefit the business further by attracting the best talent. Employees often work in difficult circumstances and want to be sure about why they are showing up and the difference they are making.  As we all move through this difficult period what if business owners took this time discover or re-discover the real reason they became an entrepreneur or why they are in business now?  Why not ask searching questions like “why did this interest me?”, “why did I believe I could make a difference?” and “whose needs are we here to meet?” and then feed the answers into the ‘Purpose statement’.

At Kreston Reeves, our Partners were taken through a process late last year which resulted in us testing a new statement that makes sense to both our clients and employees, whether current or potential.  I think that we can look at our own response to recent events and the way in which as a wider team of people we have been providing articles, webinars and advice to our clients as they deal with the difficult events as evidence of our purpose in action.

Having a clear purpose instilled in the employees led by the business owner can attract customers who are looking for a partner to not only solve their problems but understand the issues they face, creating even greater opportunities for the entrepreneur going forward.

If you would like assistance in finding your purpose please do contact me.

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