Business Best Practice – Your Business Purpose!

  • 05 November, 2018
  • Greg Pierlot

At The The 500 Group Group, we learned that one of the most powerful actions a business can take is to clearly define its Business Purpose!

That is, why does the business exist? What is its reason for being?

From the customer perspective, the products or the services a business sells are simply a means to an end. It is within what the product or service does, or the type of experience provided, that your Business Purpose can be found.

Profit is an outcome – not a Business Purpose!

A critical mistake many businesses make is confusing its Business Purpose with the need to generate a profit.

Certainly, businesses need to be profitable – however profit is simply an outcome, or a result of what you do. It is not a Purpose!

In corporate Australia over recent years, we have seen what occurs where the primary focus of the business becomes profit and return on shareholder funds!

It drives the wrong type of behaviour and invariably leads to more of an internal focus rather than a customer focus! Ultimately, a business focused solely on making money, will lose its way and at some point customers will become disillusioned and drift away!

The Business Purpose – Your Compass!

A clearly defined Business Purpose can dramatically change how a business is run as it can influence:

  • The type of customer experience you provide
  • The investment decisions you make
  • Your policies and procedures
  • The type of people you employ
  • Your value proposition
  • And much more…..

Importantly, a clearly defined Business Purpose also gives customers a reason to choose a business over the competition!

Your Business Purpose starts with the customer!

Every business and its Purpose begins with the customer!

Being very clear about your target audience. Deciding who you serve and importantly, who you will not!

Having decided your target audience (This may involve two or three major customer groups) you then need to understand:

  • Their specific needs and preferences
  • Their problems, frustrations and challenges they face
  • Their aspirations, goals and dreams
  • What they believe
  • What their world is like on a daily basis

Understanding the customers world and perspective is a critical first step for any business wanting to define its Business Purpose.

What impact are you looking to achieve?

  • How, through the delivery of your product or service, do you want to change or improve the customers world?
  • How you want them to feel after they engage with your business?
  • How do you want to change or contribute to your local community, country or even the world?
  • What you want to be known for?

What are your values and non-negotiables?

Further questions that will help point you towards your Business Purpose include:

  • What are your business or personal values that you will simply not compromise?
  • What are your “non-negotiables”? – The things essential to delivery of the customer experience you are seeking to provide

Create a short Business Purpose Statement

Having gathered all the above information, the next step is to craft a short Business Purpose Statement.

This can take some work to get just right. At the outset you may capture the essence, but perhaps not the specific words. That is okay!,

Simply highlight the key words or phrases that resonate the most with you from the material you have gathered – if you stay with it, the right words will appear in time!

Examples of Business Purpose Statements

As a guide we have included some business purpose statements below:

  • IAG – To help people manage risk and recover from the hardship of unexpected loss
  • Nike – “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
  • Southwest Airlines – Connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.
  • Disney – To make people happy
  • The 500 Group  – Together creating opportunities and building wealth!

Our Purpose says nothing about finance, but rather how it is used for the benefit of clients.

It is the filter which guides our decision making and shapes how we interact with our clients!

Guiding Principles to bring your Purpose to Life

The next step is to document what you will do with every customer, every time, to live your Purpose!

Creating your “Guiding Principles” is critical to:

  • Ensure your Purpose has real meaning
  • Drive the way you run your business and interact with customers

When creating your Guiding Principles, involve your whole team. This will increase their buy-in and help ensure important elements are not overlooked!


At The 500 Group we have found having clarity around your Business Purpose can fundamentally change how a business is run and the way it engages with its customers.

It helps team members see beyond their daily activities and link what they do – to what is important to the customer!

Identifying your Purpose does take work and it can be challenging, as it involves looking at your business from a different perspective.

From our experience, it is an exercise that is certainly worth undertaking!

If you would like to learn more, don’t hesitate to give me a call on  ‭0400 239 611‬