How Your Vision Promotes Your Business Purpose
Every business should have business, financial and lifestyle purposes. Together they equip your business with the vision, means and energy to make real change. This is the first of five posts that look at how your business purpose plays out.
You are a coach, consultant or freelance; just starting out or perhaps an old hand. To be effective you need to know yourself.
It is possible to set out in business without a purpose. I did. I decided to give business a go about 6 years ago and had no idea what I was going to do.
I was made redundant in 2011 and attended a few workshops about self-employment. My background was 30 years as a community development worker and it was hard to see at the time what I could offer.
What attracted me was the lifestyle of self-employment. My priority was to find something I could offer. My first thought was to offer website design to community and voluntary organisations. I found this did not work for me. Website design was no longer viable as a career owing to growth in platforms like WordPress. Also I soon realised the reasons websites don’t work are often nothing to do with the website. Organisations are often behind the failure of websites and other marketing initiatives.
This led me to study marketing and I soon discovered much of it was very familiar, similar to stuff I had done with community groups over 30 years! As I became more familiar with marketing, I could see the same patterns as I saw when I developed community enterprises.
For example, transplanting an idea from one place to another, without appreciating the change in context. Context is everything in community and business development. Many businesses market without self-knowledge and desperately need to deepen their understanding of what they are doing.
What is Your Business Purpose?
Your business purpose is the benefit your business brings to your clients and to the wider world. One concept I used as a development worker was the distinction between outputs and outcomes. An output is an immediate result of an intervention, usually recorded as a quantity. It may be something like the number of people interviewed or attending a training course. An outcome is a more long-term achievement, usually recorded as a quality, a story.
A business coach may find their client’s business becomes more successful financially, while the quality of life for the client also improves. But the same coach also has outcomes. What is their impact on their client’s clients, families or neighbours? If your client becomes a better business owner, the chances are your benefits go way beyond the immediate value to the client.
If you aim to reach people in one industry then your purpose may be to improve the quality of some aspect of that industry. It should reach beyond the immediate benefit to your clients.
You are saying to your clients, I understand your business and I’m committed with you to improve the overall quality of that business. Why? Because this vision will improve your overall profile in the eyes of your market. You show you understand what they are up against, know what works in their field and can provide the means to make the necessary changes. When you can point to real and substantial changes, you can show the impact your vision has had on the world.
Your Vision and Theirs
Your vision should stimulate your target market’s imagination. When you speak, you should be able to capture their attention and hold it. You are inviting them to join you in making your vision a reality.
On its own this is not enough but as you’ll see in later posts, your vision is a necessary foundation for your marketing and indeed delivery of your coaching. Your vision must inform all the decisions you make about your business; its purpose, its finance and even your lifestyle.
So, we shall return to vision in a few posts times when we look in more depth at finance. Next time we shall turn out attention to how you express your business purpose through your offer.
Visit my new website, Market Together to sign up to my list so that you don’t miss any posts and hear about the exciting plans I’m working on to promote an alternative approach to marketing.
Please comment and let me know what you like about this post. What would you like me to write about further?