Develop Purpose, and the Profits Will Flow Your business plan may not include a section for passion, but it should.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Entrepreneurs possess a special kind of grit. They reach higher, do more and expect rewards for their efforts. But one colossal blunder many budding entrepreneurs make is initially putting too much emphasis on the profit portion of business.
This narrow focus lacks several essential elements your business needs to be a contender. All business owners must understand the importance of having a purpose. With around 21% of startups failing in the first year and 30% crumbling the second, starting a business venture takes more than luck and a prayer.
Instead of crossing your fingers, know that business success depends on thoroughly developing your purpose. If you complete this first critical step, the profits will come; however, it requires a combination of several factors.
Do it all with passion
Your job should be fun. No one should ever go to all of the trouble and expense of developing a startup if their heart isn't 100% behind the product or service. A business simply cannot be successful and have a clear purpose if the creator isn't all-in.
The most successful businesses are born from passion. Find something you love to do or that you believe in whole-heartedly and make it your life's work. The company you build should be your pride and joy, and you should have the luxury of getting up and doing something you love and believe in every day.
This kind of fire will sustain you to keep making your brand better as time goes on. Likewise, this drive will benefit the popularity of the brand. It's no secret that many businesses fail because that fire dies out or wasn't there in the first place. Making sure your business will be your passion project is essential for success.
People love and respect businesses that are honest, straightforward and have clear, reasonable policies. Therefore, developing an authentic reputation is a crucial factor in ensuring your company becomes a staple for consumers
From the beginning, entrepreneurs must have a mission with a clear sense of values. Know what you believe in, what you will support and defend and what you will not tolerate. Creating this focused business philosophy and sticking with it will go a long way in developing a reputation of excellence.
Changing your purpose and values along your journey for a get-rich-quick opportunity — or for whatever reason — significantly devalues your credibility. Yes, you must seize opportunities, but those opportunities must align with your initial mission and values. Reputation is everything.
Demonstrate social responsibility
To build a business with sustainability, you should also consider having a higher purpose than making money. Remember, the premise of all of this information is that profit with a purpose has longevity. If part of the purpose connects to the community and gives back somehow, your business now has an exponentially larger support system.
People want to support a business that gives back to the community, sets a higher goal and has a deeper purpose. Suppose you are lucky enough to find a community or possibly a global connection for your passion project. In that case, your exposure is greater, your reputation is better, and your profits will eventually come.
Be proactive instead of reactive
True, many successful companies are built due to an existing need in society, meaning you must often be reactive. However, once your business is up and running, you must change your position to be proactive. That means staying ahead of the curve and anticipating the market changes, supply and demand and all of the other factors that influence your business. Merely running on autopilot because things are going well is a grave error that can cost you.
Maintain your focus, project forward, and consider new situations and possibilities dictated by our changing society. Being ready for these inevitable changes can be a lucrative move and make all the difference between you and your competition. The best businesses will put customers' needs first and be continually proactive to keep changing with the times — while maintaining their original purpose and mission.
Making business less risky
No serious business person goes into a venture thinking their startup will fail, yet many of them never see success. To ensure you end up with a resilient, profitable company, you must create a solid business plan by gathering focus and letting your purpose guide you every step of the way.
If that purpose has passion and you remain authentic while becoming established, the public will take notice. And if your business and purpose exude social responsibility and maintain a proactive approach, you and your brand will develop a reputation for customer-centered service.
While profits are lovely and even necessary, starting a business requires much more than a desire to make money. Ultimately, if your company has a purpose built from the elements above, you can be relatively confident the profits will follow.