Growing a business can be difficult, especially if your business is price sensitive. Many a competitor will try to undercut prices and take a loss in the hopes of winning customers. This “loss leader” strategy works against them in the future as they try to re-coup losses by raising prices anyway. Consumers and clients who play this never ending game are not ones that you want to attract and do business with.
Focusing your attention on maximizing profits based on sustainable relationships is key to enabling moderate and realistic growth well into the future. Top line sales numbers grab attention, but it is profitability that pays the bills and provides cash flow to sustain your operation. I often ask owners and managers what would they rather have, 5 clients and good profitability or 500 clients and breaking even?
We must remember why we got into business in the first place, to make money. If you are working like a dog just to turn a small profit, then your time would be better spent on investing the capital you have in your business. A good rule of thumb is 7-10% profit before tax. The rate of inflation is roughly 2% and the market historically returns 5-7% per year. If you are not making more than the market + inflation then you need to consider changing your focus or staying in business altogether.
The Discipline of Profit needs to be engrained in every relationship and in every process that is present in your operation. Without that discipline, that focus, you are just turning money over and not improving your life and the lives of those that depend on you and your company.
Till next time