Building a Profitable Business is Not a Race to the Finish Line

Great things are not built in one giant leap – it’s built through the power of incremental steps.

You can achieve your dream lifestyle through your business, and that requires making reliable profits. But dreams take time to come to fruition and call for patience, perseverance and resolve. Rushing to the end goal creates the risk of building a business on a foundation made of sand.

Besides, the creative process of the journey to whatever your finish line may be, is part of what fuels your entrepreneurial spirit. Without that, business would be pretty boring.

In our blog Why Making Profit is a Good Thing, we discussed the uncomfortable topic of ‘profit’ and why businesses need to be designed for achieving it. Let’s now consider why it doesn’t have to be, and perhaps shouldn’t be, a race.

The Realistic Formula for Profit

The Tortoise meanwhile kept going slowly but steadily, and, after a time, passed the place where the Hare was sleeping. But the Hare slept on very peacefully; and when at last he did wake up, the Tortoise was near the goal. The Hare now ran his swiftest, but he could not overtake the Tortoise in time. – The Hare & the Tortoise

We live in a time of rapid innovation. We often read stories of entrepreneurs launching their way to instant growth that they could barely keep up with. It’s tempting to get lured into the appeal of quick profit (or what appears to be quick), but is it realistic to demand this of your business? Or to hold that expectation for yourself? If you’re relying on campaigns going viral – only to get caught in a hamster wheel of going from one launch to the next, burned out from exhaustion or disappointment – it’s time to reconsider your approach.

Most often, the formula for building a profitable business comes down to focusing on one or two things (your products and services) and making it great, with the consistent quality your loyal customers can rely on. This is not something that happens overnight.

By properly building your ‘signature’ product or service with steady, incremental steps, supported by consistent and reliable processes, the quality will stand the test of time and changing trends. Your well-earned 5-star customer service ratings, or valued service or product(s) that continue to meet their needs, will stand out from the competitors as solid and reliable.

How to Build a Stable Profit

 Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister

With the combined years of experience our BWMD team has, we understand the journey to building a profitable business, and the pitfalls along the way. Here are tips that we recommend every business owner be familiar with. In addition, we suggest reading our blog Why You Need to Work On Your Business – Not In It.

  • Work smarter, not harder. What does this mean for you? It could be prioritising tasks better, adjusting your strategic plan, restructuring your team, updating processes or upgrading equipment for better efficiency.
  • Learn the art of delegation. Working smarter requires delegating, to free you up for leading, building, and growth. Approach delegating like the success of your business depends on it. It’s that important.
  • Build replicable processes. Like a well-oiled machine, systems and processes are the structure for any business to run well. Be sure to read How to Build an Effective Management System for a deeper dive into this.
  • Seek expertise. Don’t leave your business to chance. A compliant and growing business needs the solid support of accounting and legal professionals and business advisors. Invest in continual learning and self-development to hone your entrepreneur and leadership skills.
  • Be patient. Set short and long-term goals to stay focused. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and tracking your progress with milestones and achievements will keep you inspired, faithful, and persevering.
  • Don’t sacrifice your health and relationships. Pace yourself. Hustling 24/7 is not sustainable, and burning out is not necessary to build a profitable business. Of course, delegation and prioritising play a part in avoiding burnout, and if you’re in need of upgrading some bad habits, check out our blog Ten Tips to Improve Your Habits and Business.

Need Help to the Finish Line?

The team at BW Miller Dean guides business owners to reach it, by providing reliable support and solid expertise. We help business owners like you to design your business in a way you can achieve your profit and revenue goals. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Why Making Profit is a Good Thing

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.

Profiting Unapologetically

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.