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September 8, 2023
Shatoyia Bradley

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from a Purpose-Driven Business Model

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from a Purpose-Driven Business Model

What separates Chick-fil-A from Burger King? Besides one being known for chicken and the other for burgers? If you take some time to research and compare both fast-food restaurants, you'll see that Chick-fil-A has a much clearer mission and purpose. And that's where their competitive advantage lies.

“We should be about more than just selling chicken. We should be a part of our customer's lives and the communities in which we serve.” - Truett Cathy

Chick-fil-a has a consistent reputation of providing their customers with delicious, high-quality meals and “second-mile service” that goes beyond the customer’s expectations.

Their employees are also provided with a unique experience. They are frequently recognized for their hard work and dedication, which further encourages them to deliver that second-mile service. Chick-fil-A values its employees and customers. All of these aspects play into the purpose-driven business model that Chick-fil-A has adopted. The company does not just focus on making money, but it also focuses on creating positive experiences for its customers, employees, and its local communities.

This focus on providing an exceptional customer experience has paid off for the chain, transforming it from a small, regional restaurant into one of the most successful fast-food companies in the world. And it’s not just large corporations that can benefit from having a purpose-driven business model. Small businesses too can reap substantial rewards by focusing on their mission and values.

Having a clear mission and purpose can be incredibly powerful for small businesses, too. A strong business model is essential to success in any industry, but especially one with so much competition. When customers understand what a company stands for, it can create a powerful draw to the brand that resonates with their values.

Here are 7 Ways Your Small Business Can Benefit from a Purpose-Driven Model:

1. Clarity and Focus: Having a clear mission and purpose can help focus your business decisions, helping you to move in the same direction.

Imagine a purpose-driven business model like a lighthouse guiding the ship to port. It can help you stay on track, keep your eyes on the goal, and avoid distractions that could lead your business off course.

If you’re struggling with how to move your business forward, consider reevaluating your mission and purpose.

2. Alignment: Having a purpose-driven business model can help ensure that all the different parts of your business are aligned with one another. Your staff and resources will be working towards a common goal, making it easier to maximize efficiency and productivity.

Have you ever driven a car with tires that were out of alignment? It’s a bumpy ride. The same goes with your business; having everyone on the same page and working as a cohesive unit is essential for success.

3. Inspiration: A powerful purpose can be incredibly inspiring to employees, customers, and stakeholders. Being part of something bigger than yourself can be an incredibly motivating factor, and can lead to increased engagement with your business. Having a mission that speaks to the heart of your customers and employees is essential for success in any industry. The right purpose-driven model will help tap into this potential, sparking enthusiasm in everyone involved.

4. Brand Recognition: Having a clear purpose and mission helps your brand stand out from the competition. It can give customers a reason to choose you over others, as well as attract new customers that share similar values or beliefs.

We can go back to the example of Chick-fil-A & Burger King. How often have you visited or passed by a Chick-fil-A with cars wrapped around the parking lot? What about Burger King?

People are willing to wait in long lines for Chick-fil-A because customers understand and appreciate the company’s consistency. They put action behind their values and people can see it. This is what a powerful purpose-driven business model looks like – they focus on something real, meaningful, and consistent that resonates with their customers.

5. Loyalty: When people understand your purpose and mission, it builds trust with them. Customers will come to view you as an ally and have faith in your brand. They’re more likely to recommend you to friends and family and become repeat customers if they feel there’s an emotional connection between them and your business.

Slutty Vegan is another great example of a purpose-driven business model. Their mission is to make vegan cuisine that appeals to the masses and breaks the stigma surrounding healthy eating habits. They use their platform to spark important conversations about food, nutrition, and sustainability. This mission has been incredibly successful for them, driving thousands of loyal customers through their doors every day.

Founder, Pinky Cole, started Slutty Vegan in 2018. Since then, they’ve opened 20 locations throughout the US and have become a household name. Customers are willing to wait over 4 hours in line just to get a taste of their delicious plant-based burgers.

Cole's mission was to bring vegan options and food awareness to Atlanta’s West End. It was important to her that she opened the conversation on vegan food options for people who have never considered them in Black communities with high numbers of hypertension, cholesterol, obesity, and a host of other food-borne ailments.

Notice how her local vision, mission, and purpose have expanded and grown into something much bigger than she could have ever imagined.

She's able to reach more people and has more of an impact; that's fertile ground for building brand loyalty.

5. Generate word-of-mouth marketing: When customers are passionate about your mission, they’ll start talking. Word-of-mouth marketing can be incredibly powerful, as people trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other type of advertising.

Customers will become evangelists for your brand and spread the word, giving you a great way to reach new audiences without spending a lot of money. This helps you grow your customer base in a very organic and cost-effective way. The success of purpose-driven businesses can’t be denied.

Netflix succeeded early on through word-of-mouth marketing, as they focused on creating a product that people could connect with. Their mission was to provide the best streaming experience and to make it accessible to everyone. They had a clear focus on customer service and innovation, which helped them grow quickly.  When you have a clear purpose and mission, customers will be attracted to your brand. They’ll associate with it on an emotional level, which is more powerful than any other type of marketing.

6. Attract and retain the best employees:  It’s not just customers that are attracted to a purpose-driven business model. Employees want to work for businesses that share their values and beliefs and have a clear purpose. A strong mission will help you attract the best talent since they know they’ll be working in an environment where their abilities and ideas can make a difference.  

Slutty Vegan’s success was greatly helped by the fact that they created a fun and positive work environment that their employees could get behind. They were all passionate about the mission, and it showed in the work they did every day. You can see this in their social media content where employees are often seen dancing and having fun while they work.

It’s this kind of enthusiasm and dedication that helps you retain your best employees, which is hugely beneficial for any business. Having a clear purpose and mission will help you create an environment where employees feel valued and appreciated, which is essential for any business.

It's much easier to build systems and processes that help to train, motivate, and retain employees when you have a clear mission to guide them.

Chick-fil-A's process for training their employees is evident by the consistency of their service and food quality at every one of their locations.

7. Increase profitability: When done right, purpose-driven businesses can be incredibly profitable. They’re able to build long-term relationships with customers and create an engaged and loyal following. When you focus on your mission and values, customers will be more likely to purchase from you. If they know their money is going towards something meaningful, they’ll be more likely to spend it.

IKEA is one of the most profitable furniture companies in the world, and they attribute much of their success to their purpose-driven business model. They focus on creating products that are affordable, sustainable, and stylish. This resonates with people who appreciate good design at an affordable price point.

IKEA has also launched several initiatives aimed at reducing its environmental impact, improving sustainability, and empowering women. These initiatives have helped them to build an incredibly loyal following that has contributed to their success. These are just a few of the benefits of running a purpose-driven business. Customers will be drawn to your mission and values, helping you build relationships with them that can last for years.

They’ll be more likely to purchase from you and recommend your products or services to friends and family, helping you drive more sales. Your profitability will increase as a result of having an engaged customer base that is passionate about your cause.

Here are practical steps that you can take to create a purpose-driven business:

1. Establish an inspiring mission and vision statement that is authentic and will resonate with your target audience

2. Strategize how to make your mission tangible and measurable in terms of outcomes

3. Develop core values that will guide decision-making both internally and externally

4. Establish a purpose-driven culture by setting clear expectations for all employees

5. Create meaningful goals for the company that are aligned with your mission and vision

6. Measure your progress to ensure that you’re staying on track

7. Celebrate successes with employees, customers, and other stakeholders

8. Take time to review progress and adjust your strategy as needed

Purpose-driven businesses can be incredibly successful. They have the power to create real, tangible change while driving profitability and growth. When you create a mission that resonates with customers, employees, and other stakeholders, you’ll be able to build relationships that will last for years.

If you’re looking to create an enduring business with a lasting impact, we would love the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver exceptional service that's guided by meaningful values and goals.

Contact us today to get started.

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