Why Purpose and Innovation Matter for Small Business Owners, Startup Founders, and Companies of One

Small businesses can leverage purpose and innovation for growth. A clear mission, responsible eco policies, and inspiration can give a competitive edge. Read now to learn how.

Why Purpose and Innovation Matter for Small Business Owners, Startup Founders, and Companies of One
Photo by Darius Bashar / Unsplash

Small business owners, startup founders, and companies of one may believe that purpose and innovation are exclusive to the likes of Apple, Netflix, and Amazon.

However, the reality is that a purposeful mission, conscientious environmental policies, and a touch of inspiration can fuel the growth and success of small businesses.

Keep reading to discover how embracing purpose and innovation can give you a competitive edge.

Making a Difference while Achieving Financial Success

As a leader, entrepreneur and all around 'good egg', it's important to consider not only your financial success but also the impact your company has on society and the environment.

Socially conscious businesses prioritise the well-being of the community and the environment in their decision-making processes, creating a positive impact while achieving financial success.

Such businesses possess a remarkable ability to make a difference in the world, beyond the products and services they sell.

Inspiring Growth through Purpose

One of the key benefits of socially responsible business practices is a better brand image. According to the 2022 Wunderman Thompson Inspiring Growth Report, customers want brands to be inspirational (72%) but only 53% experience brand inspiration.

This "inspiration gap" presents major growth opportunities for brands that can drive demand, command higher prices, and convert customers at the point of purchase. The report reveals that inspiration is a far better predictor of growth than awareness, making it the next stage of marketing evolution.

Incorporating social and environmental responsibility into operations can create a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Companies that prioritise the greater good can attract consumers who are conscious of their purchases' impact, leading to increased brand loyalty and a positive reputation.

For example, Who Gives a Crap donates half of its profits to charity and uses eco-friendly, sustainable materials in their products. In 2021 they raised $41.5 million in investment, a strong signal that even traditional investors see the value in impact startups. Over the past decade, the company has generated over $20 million in profits, with half going to non-profit partners for clean water and sanitation projects.

A brown box of 'Who Gives A Crap' toilet paper is surrounded by six individual rolls of toilet paper wrapped up in brightly coloured paper.

Another example is luxury watch brand Vitae London, founded by William Adoasi. Vitae provides Solar Lights and school uniforms to children throughout Africa for every watch sold. This not only offers a source of light for children in rural areas without electricity but also helps eliminate the need for them to walk for hours to reach a street lamp or burn harmful fuels like kerosene to study at night.

William Adoasi, Founder of Vitae London smiles at the camera. He is in a group picture with nine Ghanaian children who are also smiling. They are holding backpacks and wearing their school uniforms. The picture has been taken in a classroom. Everyone is standing in front of a chalkboard.

Innovation through Proactive Thinking

Small and mighty businesses have a unique and meaningful proposition in the market, setting them apart from traditional businesses. Which is why it's often easier for startups and 'Companies of One' to embrace change and innovation, through new technologies and calculated risks.

You can conduct thorough research and take advantage of emerging trends to make informed decisions that have a lasting impact. For example The Little Soap Company, which produces sustainable, British-made soap and was awarded a Queen's Award for Enterprise and Innovation in 2022.

Established in 2008 by Emma Heathcote James, the company has always been a trailblazer - not only when it comes to its products but also its passion for sustainability.

But, The Little Soap Company has also overcome low low's alongside the highest of highs.  According to its CEO and founder, Emma, they had to sell their home to afford fulfilling orders when their main manufacturer went bankrupt. Yet, despite these setbacks, they have established themselves as a top brand in the soap bar industry.

Emma Heathcote-James, Founder & CEO of the Little Soap Company holds three boxes of Eco Warrior Shampoo Bars.

The Power of Pivoting

Experimentation allows for testing new ideas, products, and processes, and staying ahead of the curve in a changing market.

Take the story of Charlotte Morris, Co-Founder and CEO of Dazzle & Fizz, as an example of pivoting in response to unexpected events. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, she transitioned from an entertainment company to a tech platform providing ad-free content to children. And in 2022, Charlotte won 'Creative Entrepreneur of the Year' at the 2022 Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

By shifting your mindset to a proactive and forward-thinking approach, you can better predict and control your future.

Charlotte Morris, CEO and Founder of Dazzle & Fizz smiles at the camera. The image is announcing the fact she's the winner of Creative Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2022 Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Socially conscious business, embracing innovation and taking calculated risks, are key to success and positive impact.

Don't sleep on your genius

Take inspiration from some of the purposeful brands we mentioned and be ambitious in your purpose to drive societal progress, profit and innovation. Remember to embrace change and adopt a proactive and forward-thinking approach.

Whether you're a small business, startup founder or company of one, you have the power to impact society and the environment in a positive way.

Don't let size hold you back. The world needs you to step into your awesome so you can make your mark and inspire real change.

Rabbit hole: 🕳️ 🐇: If you liked this, explore this next. Learn the story behind Vitae London and why the founder, William Adoasi, believes purpose is the key to profit.