The True Purpose of Business
What is the true purpose of business? Most business professionals would say it’s “to make a profit.” The truth is, without profit, a business won’t survive.
In short, NO profit, NO business!
The dilemma with saying that out loud is, the idea of making a profit seems offensive to some. Especially offended, are those who have never owned a business, and are ignorant of the need of it! However, a business owner must get past the fact that some folks fail to understand the absolute need for profit.
Excluding of course, “Nonprofit organizations,” which is another topic.
Why is Profit Essential?
To be fair, profit is not the main motivation of many who step onto the less-traveled road of business ownership. Some start a business seeking financial independence, more time for family, hobbies, travel, and ministry, etc.
Nevertheless, without “profit” those dreams remain dreams only.
That said, when a business can sustain profit, an owner’s real purpose for their business is ready for breakthrough. In fact, an owner can even embrace those who fail to understand that “profit” must be the No. 1 priority of business.
Not surprisingly, those claiming to be anti-capitalists, sure enjoy the stuff business affords! For instance, better wages, paid-leaves, health insurance, contributions to local charities, and other community activities. Additionally, a profiting business can provide a cleaner working environment for employees, better quality and service for customers, better maintained or upgraded equipment, and many other amenities.
As you can see, the motivation and purpose of business can more easily fulfill the hopes and dreams of not only the business owner, but also the community at large.
The Bigger Purpose of Business Stalls
Sadly, many startups never achieve profit; therefore, the hopes and dreams of business ownership vanish. Unfortunately, many others, having achieved profit, never realize the dream of expanding the purpose of business beyond “profit making.”
How do I know?
Thankfully, even in our first year of owning a printing business in 1988, we made a small profit. However, the purpose of the business we had envisioned stalled for the first five years. In fact, not only did our business NOT achieve our dreams, it became an operational nightmare, despite making a decent profit.
The simple reason for that — we did not understand that Business Process Management is the KEY to achieving an owner’s true purpose for starting a business.
The Purpose of Business Realized
The good news for us, help came by way of a good friend!
“Business-as-usual” changed for us the day a customer walked through our front door in 1993 and delivered a much-needed, stinging reprimand. Actually, it was a plain old in-your-face rebuke!
Looking around disgustedly, the customer said, “Philip, this place is a mess; you need to clean it up and get organized.” You can bet I was offended and embarrassed. However, after the anger faded and I realized the customer had spoken truthfully, CHANGE became our unwavering next step.
In short, that’s when our mission of fulfilling our true purpose for business began!
In fact, after completing that mission we authored our own book detailing how we did it.
To be sure, had we not learned about and, more importantly, implemented well-thought-out business systems, the true purpose of our business would have remained unfulfilled.
Thank God, we found our higher purpose for business!
Did I mention? Great systems work for the greater good!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.