If your purpose is the focal point of your efforts, the natural byproduct will be a solid organizational identity.
“So, what does your organization do?”
It’s a reasonable question to be sure, but for the owner of a small business or nonprofit on the receiving end of the inquiry, a “deer in headlights” scenario can sometimes quickly unfold. We can become so fluent in the day-to-day operations of the organizations we run that it can be suddenly overwhelming to have to articulate what it is that we’re actually doing.
Sole proprietors are more apt to encounter questions such as, “What do you do for a living?”. Casual conversation can usually successfully answer that inquiry, but the discussion becomes much more nuanced when an actual organization is being discussed. Once you begin to bring other people into the structure of what you’ve created, you’ve suddenly crossed the line from proprietor to organization, and understanding what you’re actually doing as a collective becomes a bit more difficult to grasp.
If you’re unable to clearly answer the question of what you do, you not only have little prospect of engaging anyone in a way conducive to them seeking out your services, but you’re also not likely to have your organization on a sure footing for growth. It’s only possible to move forward by having a sober focus on where you are now. The inundating mixture of pressures and obligations that can swirl around a small business startup can become so consuming that you never truly crystalize the essence of what you do. Once the momentum of daily operations has begun to build, the actual nuts and bolts of the organization can so blur what’s taking place that it can become almost impossible to dissect what it’s all about.
If you’re in the process of launching a small business or nonprofit, be as intentional as you can about specifically defining your purpose before you start diving into everything that needs to be done. The underlying reason for starting your business in the first place needs to be much more than a casual afterthought. It needs to be the primary, overarching element that cements together all the individual elements of your organization. Once your purpose has been made the focal point of your efforts, the natural byproduct will be a solid organizational identity.
The next logical step is to create a “snapshot” of your purpose so that it can be presented easily to anyone you interact with. Although it can seem burdensome and formal, encapsulating this into a written format can give you a powerful tool to share your purpose with others. A mission statement – a concise, focused description of why you’re doing what you’re doing – will not only help you to talk about your organization with others, but it can also serve as a permanent reminder to you. When the demands of running a business begin to take their toll, having a definition of your essence can be an extremely beneficial reality check to bring you quickly back on course.
Another area to consider is the vast, ever-changing realm of social media. Beyond the confines of traditional advertising, the wide array of platforms available today can serve as a powerful outlet for spreading the word about your organization. By consistently presenting yourself in a way that clearly defines your purpose, you can begin to lay the groundwork for brand recognition. Being intentional to post about new services, programs, special events, or products you’re offering will always present your organization in a fresh and relevant way, and social media platforms can also help to create an online community of people who are enthusiastic about your purpose.
A visually compelling, user-friendly website is truly the ultimate way to introduce yourself to those who you feel would benefit from your services. Don’t let the potential hurdle of web development be a deterrent to creating a top-tier website. If it’s not within your personal expertise, seek out professional web design services from someone who will not only provide solid technical support to build your site, but who will also work closely with you to disseminate your purpose into a powerful internet presence. Always ensure that your website includes detailed descriptions of all your services and programs, and be anticipatory about what visitors to your site might want to know so that they better understand what you’re all about.
As an organization or business, never neglect the importance of creating a snapshot of you. And remember – if you don’t know what you look like from a business perspective, your potential customers or clients never will either.
ValorExcel can help you define your purpose and develop a strategic plan to help you reach your goals. If you'd like to find out more, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-329-9387.