Businesses need to be seen as places where people look forward to going to work. They need to have a purpose beyond mere profit, becoming a place that people want to buy from and which connects emotionally with both customers and staff. Being a purpose-driven business, with a purpose beyond just profit motivates and engages your staff. Recent research shows they outperformed the financial markets by 42%.
This is what I like to call The Awardaroo Way. The problem is that we’re coming up against inertia and the fact that as a general rule, people prefer to play it safe instead of taking risks. They don’t want to do something unless hundreds of other people have already done it.
That can be a problem, especially if it holds people back from being less transactional in their approach. Transactional businesses are a thing of the past, and relational, purpose-driven businesses are the way of the future. Here are just fifteen of the main reasons why.
Purpose-driven business benefits
1. Staff are more motivated
When your staff connect with your purpose, and when their purpose and your purpose are the same, they’ll feel more engaged and more involved in the workplace. This boosts staff motivation across the business, to the point at which their motivation will be noticed by your customers. This brings us on to our next point.
2. Customers are happier
When your customers feel like they’re part of a bigger picture, they’ll be more loyal to the business. This means that they’ll spend more money with you, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to others and they’ll be more likely to forgive your mistakes if you’re unfortunate enough to make them.
3. Improved business performance
When everybody is all aligned and pointing in the same direction, they’re more likely to work better together and to find ways to solve problems more quickly. It’s like having all hands on deck and getting them to row in the same direction at the same time instead of just allowing every sailor on your ship to do whatever they feel like.
4. An improved business culture
Your culture is the glue that holds your business together. It will make your business a place that people can’t wait to arrive at and where they feel more reluctant to leave at night. Everybody will have an increased sense of recognition and reward.
5. Less stress
Who wants to go to work every day and feel stressed from the moment they arrive until the moment they leave? Nobody, that’s who. The best companies go out of their way to keep stress to a bare minimum, and because of that they make more money and are easier places to work in. It’s better for employees’ mental health, too.
6. Increased employee retention and lower churn rates
When staff leave, it’s very damaging to businesses and service can get disrupted. In fact, replacing staff costs British businesses over £4 billion every year, and it’s easy to see why when you factor in training costs and disruption. Being a purpose-driven business can boost employee retention and help to combat this.
7. Creates value with improved relationships
Developing a purposeful business goes hand-in-hand with adding value and improving your business’s relationships with customers. With purposeful businesses, value is created more easily and it’s invested in relationships that last.
8. Creates trust with improved relationships
Along with adding value, becoming a more relational business will also lead to an increased amount of trust. When people feel a connection with you, your brand and your purpose, they want to buy into that as well. They’re more likely to trust you.
9. Doesn’t get commoditised quite so easily or need to fight on price
When your company doesn’t have any special purpose to it, you end up competing on price because your product or service has nothing to distinguish it from those of your competitors. When you develop a purpose, your products become more than just things and your services become experiences. And when all that happens, people will be more than happy to pay a premium, which you can then reinvest in better catering to their needs.
10. Less sensitive to market conditions
Purpose-led businesses are much less sensitive to market conditions. If your purpose is weak, your relationships will be, too. As the market starts to turn, and as competitors start to innovate more quickly, your sales will slide away as with lower loyalty and need, your products will be more forgettable.
11. Less vulnerable to boom and bust sales cycles
In any business, sales come infits and starts. They can be great one month and terrible the next. With a less purposeful business, you’re more vulnerable to these boom and bust sales cycles. This forces you to spend more time pushing your company with marketing activity or a renewed sales drive. Otherwise, the sales come in and then quickly peter out.
12. Higher innovation
Innovation doesn’t have to mean finding a new way of reaching Mars. A novel way of taking payment that’s easier and more secure, for example, is equally good. Ensuring that purpose is rooted throughout your business means that people will feel more empowered to act creatively and to take measured risks.
13. Higher staff productivity
More motivated, more engaged, better organised and more focused staff will lead to higher levels of productivity. This can cut costs and boost profitability, ultimately becoming a competitive advantage for you. More productive staff will also feel more accomplished at the end of the day.
14. Stronger brand
When you focus on developing and showing purpose, you create memorable experiences and develop a much stronger brand. Creating experiences and demonstrating their purpose (empowering extreme sports people and athletes) is what’s enabled Red Bull to build the global brand that they have today.
15. Creates more positives reviews
People like to help people who help them. By creating a purposeful business and helping your customers to live their best lives, you’re more likely to create a general sense of positivity around your business. This means you’ll be more likely to gain followers, to earn positive reviews and to pick up business through referrals.
Now that you know just fifteen of the benefits of putting purpose first when it comes to the way you’re doing business, it’s time for you to rethink your approach to doing business. Becoming a purpose-driven business will give you the benefits we’ve talked about in this article, but there’s one other benefit that we haven’t talked about: it’s the right thing to do.