Power Up Your Business By Focusing on ‘Why’

By | 2016-12-01T19:13:48+00:00 September 17th, 2015|Startup Culture|

Focusing on “Why” your company does what it does powers up your passion and your business. Inspirational leaders understand this. Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers all started with why, according to Simon Sinek, an ethnographer and author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Sinek’s TED speech offers specifics around how these leaders did began and how they applied their passionate “why” each step along the way.

Developing and communicating this purpose, or “why” lights the way and guides everything that you do, from building a product or growing a service to hiring employees. A great purpose connects at an emotional level with customers, employees, vendors and shareholders—it galvanizes people and makes them want to be a part of your mission.

Your passionate “why” is also the glue that keeps people together. Your purpose informs your company’s values and culture. Starting with why will help you develop more innovative products, market more effectively, communicate your vision and attract and retain loyal customers and dedicated employees. When employees and vendors are inspired, they are more willing to go the extra mile and stick with you through thick and thin.  

It also turns out that being a purpose-driven company is good for the bottom line. When consumers understand and resonate with your purpose, whether it’s green living, products made in the U.S. or something else, they are willing to pay a premium price for it—and they’ll often return because they believe in what you’re all about. And, if something goes wrong, customers are generally more forgiving.

Even investors benefit through higher stock prices. An investment in the Stengel 50 (no relationship to me)—a list of the world’s 50 highest performing companies that have a strong purpose—over a 10 year period of time would have been 400% more profitable than an investment in the S&P 500. Money is a compelling force to let passion drive your business.

So start by more effectively by communicating “why” you are doing what you do. It will help you lead, build products, develop services and market your work with authenticity and power.

 

Geri Stengel is president of Ventureneer, a marketing research company targeting small business. Geri is a regular Forbes contributor, consultant, Kauffman facilitator and the author of Forget the Glass Ceiling: Building Your Business Without One.