6 Steps to Shaping Every Business Decision for Success and Fulfilment

As a business strategist and coach, I can spot a startup owner who has lost sight of their purpose a mile away. Often, they’re consumed with the pursuit of success over meaningful fulfilment; more frequently, it’s simply that it has all got too much for them.

Rather than being unable to see the wood for the trees, they can’t even understand why they ventured to the forest in the first place.

It’s understandable to obsess over metrics, pore over social media engagement and fret over your bottom line. However, I advocate for a different approach. Here are six steps I use to help clients to find intention within their business strategy - and meaning in their mission.

#1. Define Your North Star

The best place to start is by getting to grips with your business's purpose. What drives you? What problem are you determined to solve? Clarifying your mission statement lays the foundation for every decision, ensuring that each step aligns with your core values and aspirations. If you’re struggling to formulate coherent ideas, don’t worry. As every creative knows, there is nothing worse than looking at a blank page. Start by writing whatever comes into your head and let the ideas evolve naturally. You’re likely to produce a fair amount of disposable thoughts - or even some nonsense may come up too - but trust me, there’ll be gems within there, too.

#2. Focus on Purpose-Driven Product Development

Always design your offerings with your mission at the forefront. Whether you're developing an app, a platform, or a physical product, ask yourself how it serves your purpose. This approach will significantly influence the features you develop, the user experience you provide and the sales and marketing strategies you set out. It will ensure your product embodies your startup's intent.

#3. Live Your Values

People buy from people. It's not enough to merely profess your values; they must permeate throughout every aspect of your business. Whether it's prioritising sustainability in your supply chain, fostering transparent communication with clients, or advocating for fair and ethical practices, let your actions show that your commitment to your customers is authentic and comes from the heart.

#4. Build an Intentional Culture

The difference between a workplace culture that prioritises well-being and one that simply says it does on its ‘Meet the Team’ webpage is palpable as soon as you enter the room. Pretty much all of us want to work somewhere we feel valued, nurtured, seen, and heard, so why not be part of the solution rather than part of the problem? Cultivate an inclusive workplace environment that reflects your business's ethos. Even if you're a solo entrepreneur, how you approach your work and interact with others sets the tone for your venture. As you grow, prioritise collaboration, empathy, and shared purpose, building a culture where everyone feels inspired to contribute meaningfully.

Even during busy times, try to encourage open communication and feedback within your team, creating a safe space for ideas to surface and flourish. Take the time to recognise and celebrate individual contributions and where possible, invest in learning and development opportunities that empower your team members to grow personally and professionally.

#5. Share Your Story

We all love a good story so why not bring your brand to life with a credible, unique and compelling narrative? Your journey is probably far more inspiring than you think. Make sure you choose the platforms where your customers and leads spend time and speak plainly and truthfully. Your audience probably isn’t going to spend hours reading your entire biography so try experimenting with interactive timelines, short journal pieces or videos. Your backstory is important and so are your dreams and plans for the future. Be honest about the challenges you have experienced, how you tackled them and what you have learned along the way. And don’t forget to make it part of a wider conversation on social media.

6. Measure Success Holistically

While financial and engagement metrics are undoubtedly important, your true success (and your purpose) extends far beyond the bottom line. Rather than focusing on sales figures, clicks, likes and so forth, it’s important to gauge the impact of your business holistically. Take the time to read feedback from both satisfied and not-so-satisfied customers and respond to each person, publicly where possible, thereby demonstrating your commitment. You should also monitor the ripple effect of your social or environmental initiatives.

Track metrics such as customer satisfaction scores, retention rates and social media engagement to measure the effectiveness of your initiatives and make adjustments accordingly. Have regular formal and informal catchups with your team to make sure everyone feels valued, challenged (in the right way) and listened to.

Lastly, carve out a few precious moments here and there to reflect on your own sense of fulfilment and personal growth, acknowledging the progress you've made toward living your purpose. And treat yourself to a nice glass or mug of something delicious while you’re at it.