Recently I was in a discussion about the WHY behind a business, and there was a strong faction saying the reason a business exists is to make money for its shareholders.
In essence, that is true, or at least used to be, at a certain point in time.
In the very early days when businesses started taking in external investors, there was a need to define and have some sort of a governance for the business. That’s where the history comes from around the investors needing a return on their investment.
The business had to deliver profits, deliver more profits, deliver more money back to those who initially funded it. Which is a fair justification.
However times have changed.
Today people are not just interested in the money. Money is important, but they are interested in what the business does.
Imagine if you go out to your customer and tell them ‘All I’m trying to do is make more money’ and how that would affect him or her. Would they be interested in buying your product or service? I doubt it.
The reason and purpose of the business now has to go beyond just making money. In fact making money would just be a happy result of executing whatever the business vision is.
So it’s time to take a step back and look at what your company vision is.
You probably know it because that’s why you started your business. Or that’s why you joined a business. That is what you are working for, or why you continue to work for a business. There is a why.
It takes a few steps, especially if you have been in business, or have been running your own business for a while, to recall why. You possibly miss it because it’s been so hard, pedaling so hard, that you have lost sight of where and why you started it in the first place.
But if you step back, and look at it objectively, it’s probably not the money as the motivation, that made you start the business.
It’s very important, define your company vision. And to revisit it every now and then. Because the purpose of a business is what your customers, your suppliers, and your investors buy into.
If your purpose aligns with them, then your business will make money.