The Pursuit of Profit

The Pursuit of Profit


If profit isn’t one of your driving goals it needs to quickly move up your list of goals, or you may find it difficult to succeed.

The late Jim Rohn, one of my favourite business mentors whose rags-to-riches story inspired millions, once said that success is a “numbers game,” and nowhere is this more true than in generating a profit.

So whether you’re uncomfortable with the idea of profit or you accept it as your company’s objective, here are three simple guidelines to establish a profit orientation both in your mindset and your operations:

1. Adopt a ‘for profit’ mindset and accept that you need profit to survive

This is easier said than done, but it can be achieved if you’re open to examining your beliefs about money, wealth and profit, and committed to changing your point of view.

Jim Rohn also pointed out that while some religious teachings may promote the idea that it’s hard for a rich person to get into heaven, they don’t say it’s impossible. That’s an important distinction that may help shift your own perspective on wealth.

Also, consider that business lets anyone play regardless of social status, education or age, and can produce substantial personal wealth in ten years or less. Not a bad return if you look at business ownership as one of the best long-term investments you can make in yourself.

2. Aim to buy ever lower and sell ever higher

Years ago, businesses could survive on lower profit margins, especially in retailing. But these days, increased overheads and competition, along with digital offerings that let customers easily compare prices and services, mean you need higher margins and repeat business to survive.

Fortunately, new technologies offer great opportunities to consistently buy or produce something for R10 or less, then turn around and sell it for R100 or more and deliver impeccable customer service.

To make your numbers work, you need to keep a keen eye on costs, including the growing number of hidden expenses such as credit card and other transactions fees, and focus on maintaining consistently high margins and repeat sales.

3. Know your numbers, then work up the vital numbers

‘Knowing your numbers’ means knowing your costs and which numbers will accelerate your bottom-line growth.

Here is a ‘Five Ways’ formula which can work in any business. Very simply, if you focus on the following five things you can multiply your bottom-line results.

  1. Leads
  2. Sales conversion rate
  3. Average rand sale
  4. Average number of transactions
  5. Profit margins

Here’s how the formula works:

Leads x Sales conversion rate = Customers

Customers x Average Rand sale x Average

number of transactions = Revenue

Revenue x Profit margins = Profit

To start getting the greatest benefit from the formula, try boosting your profit margins by at least 10%. Increasing profit margins is easiest and least expensive for most businesses, while generating more leads is generally hardest and most costly.

You can also boost profits by raising prices. Few people will notice a small increase in price, but you will immediately notice the difference in your profits.

Remember, all businesses need profit to survive, thrive and contribute to their owners, customers and community. The quicker you can generate higher and more consistent profits, the closer you’ll be to achieving your own vision of success.

Brad Sugars
Brad Sugars is a startup expert and the writer of 14 business books including “The Business Coach”, “Instant Cashflow”, “Successful Franchising” and “Billionaire in Training”. He is the founder of ActionCOACH, a business coaching franchise.