The problem with Most Business Owners
Whenever we come across this sort of question on platforms like social media where people are asked "Why do you start that business or company? Why do you start a career course? Why do you do this or that?" You would probably see many of them often replying that it's basically for profit. But should profit or financial gains be the primary reason people do what they do?
Tragically, many people think money is everything. But even in doing business, money is not everything. Therefore, profit should not be the main reason you choose to start a particular business or a company.
This is why:
When you read about successful men who became prosperous in business, inventions, discoveries, innovation, and entrepreneurship. What you would discover is that their success was all driven by concrete visions, not short-term profit.
A Case Study of Successful Business Owners
Elon Musk established SpaceX to promote human space missions on Mars, interplanetary travels, and possibly, interstellar migration. In the course of this vision, he realized that each time a spacecraft returned from space, it could no longer be used. So, SpaceX invested in a reusable rockets, and today, the company is gaining from it.
Starlink was created to provide internet service to every part of the world and without being told, the purpose is already too profitable in the long run. Tesla follows a similar trend: people thought eco-friendly vehicles would be much better, especially in combating climate change. Musk brought the solution: Tesla EMV, with additional functions, including ultra-advanced automation.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the co-founders of Microsoft were trying to develop software for the Altair 8800, an early personal computer that lacked certain functions. The duo employed BASIC, a computer language that was only available for large computers, to create the new programs. Today, Microsoft is a name that we all know even more popular than the computers by which it was originally inspired. Read about why Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook. It was all for a purpose.
When Profit Should Come in:
While money and profit are vital, especially for the sustainability of a business or a company, PROFIT should be part of the strategy or HOW, not the purpose (WHY).
In other words, when you know why you want to begin that project or start that company, and it sounds great, profit should come from the question "How do I transform this business idea and purpose into money". Failure to follow this step might frustrate your profit-making approaches.
What is more important in starting a business?
Most successful companies were driven by solutions. They found a problem and decided to solve that problem and in the process made money from it. When you identify what is lacking in your environment or a common problem people are facing in your region, you can think about how to bring a solution and that's where a sustainable business can be established.
It is when you provide a solution that more profits come in.
Customers are not after generating money for you, they are after you solving their problems. When you bring a solution that solves a common problem, customers will be forced to come in large numbers thereby helping you generate income.
Sarcastically, pursuing money without this insight is the reason business people in some of our streets sell only garri (swallow) but no one that sells foodstuffs for making soup for the garri, even when the soup is in higher demand. I mean, we have had experiences where most people around us do the same kind of business ( say POS) when there are many other needs and business opportunities in higher demand. The reason is that one person succeeded in that business, and others thought it was a way to cash out too, unfortunately, things don't work out that way.
Why Business Vision is Very Important
Creating a purpose before thinking about how to make money from it will make you withstand storms. Also, it helps you focus on the customers and what they want thereby adjusting to their demands for long-term profitable sustainability.
In SWOT Analysis, your strength is that solution you bring or your uniqueness that makes you stand out from your competitors. Without such strength, your business has no future. And this strength is embedded in your company's purpose or vision.
A company's purpose is what defines it values, strategy, focus and economic potential.
Note: It is important to state your purpose in your vision and mission statement, and even make it public. Also ensure the specificity of your mission statement.
In conclusion, the purpose of your business or company which is WHY you want to start or start that company is the most important thing. It is that which will enable you to effectively make profit by fulfilling customers' expectations through problem-solving. Without purpose, your profit may only be for the short term as it will be hard for you to meet customers' expectations over your competitors.
Note: Money is very important in doing business. It is the core factor in every business process. Profit is not just necessary for the sustainability of the business but also for business expansion, financial security, and reinvestment. Without making money, the capital and the primary investment will be all lost. Nonetheless, the purpose of this article is to emphasize the need for creating a clear company's vision and business purpose. This is the only way to a successful business and effective customer service delivery. Purpose is about the people, solving customers' problems, while the process of making money focuses more on the products and services.