I recently took on a small client. They were expressing concer about certain expenditures and had some doubts as to how they could be relevant or necessary to their organization.
I listened patiently and then I asked, "Could you humor me and tell me the purpose of your organization?" The client told me the purpose of their organization. I told them that that is their mission, or purpose and that any decision that is made needs to answer the question, how does this support or fulfill the mission?
Larger organizations and companies have missions statements or other phrases. For some it's a bunch of words, but it is the foundation and the compass for your business. All businesses were founded with a purpose in mind beyond making profit. I once met a real estate agent who didn't sell houses, they told me that they help families realize the American dream. Car dealers do not sell cars, they sell a means of transportation that reflects the owners status or style and allows a person to earn a living or run a business to support themselves and their family.
No matter how large your organization grows or how many years later it may be, your purpose will be your guiding principle and will help keep your business from going too far from its intended purpose.
Profit will insure that you open the doors to your business tomorrow, purpose will insure that you open the doors to your business years from now.