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The Purpose of a Business
by Peter Searle

What a business does and how it delivers can be described. But the purpose of the business underpins everything about it and drives its reason for being. Can you briefly state the purpose of your business?

The purpose of all businesses is to have customers. By having customers, profit is generated by the business which is an outcome for the business. It is easy to confuse the purpose and outcome but one is the product of the other. By defining the purpose of your business it will help you identify your customers.  The aim should be that those who have a requirement for your product or service should become your customers. In some instances the customer base is large and in other instances the number will be small.

If you find defining the purpose of your business difficult, start by asking yourself “What do you do?” Then ask “what is the benefit of this?” Repeatedly ask the question at least seven times until the purpose of the business surfaces. Using Business Doctors as an example:

What do Business Doctors do?

They help small businesses

What is the benefit of this?

Issues go away for the owners

What is the benefit of this?

The owners can concentrate on being more productive

What is the benefit of this?

Their business grows

What is the benefit of this?

They are able to employ more people

What is the benefit of this?

The owner gets time to plan further ahead

What is the benefit of this?

They spend more time working on the business and less working in it.

What is the benefit of this?

They achieve their vision of more free time

So in summary it can be seen using this technique the purpose of Business Doctors can be surfaced and defined as “help small and medium size business achieve their vision”. So Business Doctors clients are SME owners or directors who are struggling to achieve their business vision – for whatever reason.  

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