What Is the Purpose of Your Business?

Here's a question we've all heard many times:  "What is the purpose of a business? Your business? Any business?"

Many years ago, I used the answer I had been taught. After all, I took Marketing, Management and Finance in college. The teacher gave me a gold star for choosing this answer: "The purpose of a business is to generate profits for its stakeholders." That type of thinking makes investors smile.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Unless your purpose includes your customers, you won't have many of them, and you won't have them for long. This answer is much more powerful:

"The purpose of a business is to create an experience and value for its customers."

Here's proof: I have a three-ring binder of letters from happy clients. Each letter describes the same two elements:

  1. The value that came from applying my products and services.
  2. Their positive experience as I performed the implementation.

Your customers don't care about your profitability. They don't care about pleasing your stakeholders. They care about the value you bring to their lives or their businesses. They care about the experience of using your products and services. 

Customer value does not take away from your profitability. In fact, customer value helps your profitability. Show your customers greater value. It justifies higher prices...and greater profits.

So...what is the purpose of your business? Write it down. Make sure your business plan is structure to deliver it.