Making a profit

April 20, 2006 | 2 comments

If you run a business, do you expect to make a profit?

I’ve heard a number of people complain over the years that they stay very busy in their business but have no profit to show for their effort. They live hand to mouth with nothing left over for saving. I challenge them to question the model they are holding about their activity. Do they expect to generate a profit from their hard work? Or are they satisfied with revenue only? There is a huge difference.

It’s possible to generate large amounts of revenue and have no profit. To prosper, a legitimate business needs to generate income above expenses to better serve customers and to expand its product line. It’s a spiritually right idea to stay solvent and build a solid financial foundation for a worthwhile venture.

When I was a college student, I took a summer job selling organs and pianos on commission at a local mall. I was a whiz-bang on the keyboard and could draw large crowds with my music. I became the most successful salesman in the store, selling as many instruments as all other salesmen combined. But my gross commissions were low. With my inexperience, I believed I had to cut the sales price of the keyboards to entice customers to buy.

The owner of the franchise visited town one day, took me out to lunch, praised my accomplishments, and then instructed me on the importance of valuing my work. He told me I didn’t have to drop prices to sell product. It was not price that sold the instruments, but the joy and good experience customers expected to receive from owning an organ or piano. He told me to quit selling myself short by cutting price and reducing my commissions.

I obeyed.

I stopped offering reduced prices, and to my astonishment, my sales continued to grow. My commissions soared exponentially. What a valuable and rewarding lesson I had learned. I transformed from being a revenue-generator to being a profit-generator, and my customers were just as happy.

“The laborer is worthy of his hire,” Jesus taught. If we are generating revenue with no profit to show, it might be time to revisit our expectations. There is infinite good to go around for everyone, and the honest, needed and worthwhile effort is worthy of an abundant portion.

2 thoughts on “Making a profit”

  1. Yes. Thanks for the focus on profit — and the fact that we don’t have to diminish good to achieve good. It’s a simple equation, isn’t it? Good = good. And great = great!

  2. Thanks so much for this article! I am in a direct selling business with team members and I am going to forward this message along to them, C.S. person on not, I think they can all benefit from this!

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