Profits follow Purpose

24th June 2012


Business Growth


The 2nd blog in the series of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales Business Advice week (week commencing 25 June 2012)

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me… Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”
Steve Jobs, Apple

Success leaves behind it a trail of clues. One thing that sets high growth organisations and the people that work in them apart is they are ‘up to something’ in their market place, even the world. Whether it is Apple wanting to create insanely brilliant products or Virgin wanting to transform the customer experience or Facebook helping users connect and share with the people in their life, these companies have a purpose that is beyond maximizing profit or shareholder return.

Their purpose attracts the best people to work for them and keeps them there. Their purpose attracts customers, often virally through word of mouth. The companies that get this really right create a following amongst their customers. Some could even call it a movement. Such customers are willing to pay a higher premium for products or services, buy more of that company’s products or services and are fiercely loyal to the brand. Apple is, of course, a great example of this. As a by-product of its greater purpose, Apple has achieved phenomenal profit growth and in 2011 achieved the status of the largest company in the world by market capitalization.

Profits follow purpose.

Profits are the customer feedback as to how effective you have been at delivering on your purpose and the value you create for your customer.

Have you ever stopped to think what the real purpose of your business is or could be? If your answer is to make money, I agree and there is always something else that you are contributing/ delivering. The most successful business people are not merely chasing profits. In fact those, that do often make far less progress than those that are on a mission to deliver / achieve something of real and lasting benefit to their customers, their community, their market place.

Get clear on the purpose of your business.

Develop Your Purpose
– What is the purpose of your business? What could it be?
– What is it that you are ‘up to’ in the world?
– What are you really serving?
– If there was a bigger impact you could have for your customers / in your market place, what would it be?

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