Or to be more specific, ‘Why do you do what you do’?
When talking about Responsible Business, you’ll see the phrase “triple bottom line” which refers to People, Planet, Profit. The idea is that while your product/service should be good for humanity and shouldn’t destroy the planet, it also needs to make a profit.
Because if you’re not making a profit, you’re not going to make it, and you can’t do any good as a company if you’ve closed…
I start with that to show that having a grand Purpose does not mean that you must sacrifice profit to do it. In fact, the bigger the Purpose, the more profit you will need to generate to achieve that.
Your Purpose (IF done well and incorporated properly into your company culture and brand) should be what motivates your team and your customers.
People often refer to a company’s Purpose as their North Star.
The best Purpose Statements (like business ideas) come from seeing a gap in the market.
Here are two tour companies that have incredibly strong Purpose Statements that guide how they put together their tours (and have gotten them a lot of press):
She Shapes History
To balance out the lack of women seen in the official version of Australian history.
The Mott Street Girls
Celebrating the people, small businesses, and stories of Chinatowns.
Some actual Purpose Statements from larger companies for reference. If you think about it, you can link choices these companies have made and services they offer back to their Purpose:
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete)”
“To bring humanity back to air travel.”
“To create a better everyday life for the many people”