Let’s talk about profit.
Do you feel uncomfortable already?
How about ‘sales’ or ‘revenue’ – are those easier to deal with instead?
It’s interesting how words can be loaded with a negative association. Too often, the media’s unsavoury portrayal of profit makes it a dirty word, with headlines slanted toward their story angle such as “putting profit before the customer”. With the portrayal of taking something away from someone, the subtle (or not-so-subtle) messaging around ‘profit’ in a shameful or negative context has a powerful impact on our psyche.
For many reasons, the topic of profit has become stigmatised and associated with greed, or attained only at the expense of customer service, quality products, and employee wellness.
Whatever your comfort level is with it, we’re tackling the taboo topic of profit, and why it’s a good thing. Without it, none of us would be in business.
Businesses Need to be Designed for Profit
“I was mentoring some graduate students at a local university recently, and I sensed that profit seems to be a dirty word these days to many aspiring entrepreneurs. I’m certainly not a fan of customer rip-offs, but even non-profits have to be cash-flow positive, or have deep pockets, to help anyone for long. Every business needs to develop a revenue model even before a product.” – Martin Zwilling, Founder and CEO, Startup Professional
The definition of ‘profit’ is a financial gain. That’s it. Not financial gain as a result of the suffering of another. Although that can and does happen, it is only one of many ways to approach getting a profit. As with money, profit in itself is neutral, but the attaining of it and use of it has a higher and lower expression.
At its highest expression, striving for profit fuels the entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, creativity and invention, and produces excellence. It’s not only good to strive for profit; it’s the fundamental driving force for society to progress and move forward.
As a business owner, you take risks and work hard. Therefore you deserve to make money! It’s not about getting filthy rich and walking over people to get there. Rather, the positive attributes of profit should be recognised. It gives you more options for things like:
- Growing the business so you can create more value for customers, and have a positive impact on your community.
- Creating prosperity and opportunity by employing more people and helping them have a better life.
- Contributing to causes you care about.
Ironically, often people who aren’t making profits are driven to unscrupulous actions to save a dime or make a buck. Being constantly stressed because of no profit results in a stressed working environment, and is harder on employees.
“A great merchant delivers both joy and profit. Then profit gets reinvested in more joy.” – Andy Dunn
Businesses and organisations need to profit to exist, create employment, and continue making a difference in the world.
As an entrepreneur, being in business is your opportunity to do something meaningful, provide products or services to customers that value them, and succeed on your terms. The more profit or surplus you can create, the better value you can deliver.
The team at BW Miller Dean can help you design your business for profit by putting processes in place to steer it in the right direction so you can achieve your revenue goals. Contact us today to see how we can help boost its profitability.