Is your main business objective to make money? If yes, it’s time to shift focus because businesses with a vision or mission that stretches beyond moneymaking are enjoying all the success.
With exposure to literally thousands of small businesses through the marketing we do with Salmat’s small business division, Local Direct Network, our team are very fortunate to have a very eclectic view of the Australian small business landscape. With the benefit of this perspective, I can say without a shadow of doubt that regardless of the industry, businesses who have a mission bigger than just how much money they can make are almost always more successful than those that don’t.
If you run successful small business without a purpose or bigger vision, I bet that if you took the time to think about it you probably do have a bigger meaning, it’s probably just inherent in your brand instead of being one that’s defined and written down.
What does greater purpose mean?
Instead of providing corporate cleaning services, you might wish to create safer and more productive work environments with the cleanliness you create. Instead of selling eye-glasses, you might desire to make highly-fashionable eyewear more accessible. Instead of providing new houses with lights and power-points, you might wish for homes to help their residents achieve smarter and more efficient living.
Generally, the more genuine your purpose is, the more your customers will connect with your mission. The mission rarely comes after the business is in full swing. In fact some of the world’s most successful businesses have sprouted from the mission!
It’s never too late
Just because you can’t define your purpose right here and now doesn’t write you off. It’s always possible to give your business greater purpose and I recommend you consider doing it! Just be aware that customers will see straight through you if you don’t truly believe what you say you do.
But I just sell stuff?
Your mission needn’t be about changing the world. It also doesn’t have to be so serious. It might be about not taking yourself too seriously, it might be about expressing yourself or it might be about self indulgence. Relieving a stressful task, making people smile, helping people forget their woes, these are all missions in the making.
The important thing is that you know exactly who you are, what that means to your customers and that you find a way to share this vision with your customers (it’s a great idea to provide a channel for your followers to discuss the mission amongst themselves also).
So much more than product and price
At the end of the day all business people (with the exception of not-for-profit of course) wish they had greater turnover and better profit. Often though, those that become too focused on where the next sale will come from or how they can skin more profit from existing revenue, lose sight of why people buy from them in the first place.
Customers that follow your mission are not ‘in it’ just for the product or price. They’re ‘in it’ because they share a passion and want to be part of realising your mission. Lose sight of this and you’re forgetting the reason you exist and likely the reason customers buy from you versus a competitor.
If you are genuine in your mission and communicate it well, loyal customers that value the same things as you do will ‘buy in’ and as a result the till will inevitably ring. You’ve won these customers not just because your product and price were right… You’ve won them on an emotional level and as we have all experienced in our lives emotional relationships are hard to break off.