"You can be far more aggressive when you're making good profits."
--- Stanley Druckenmiller
Business is for generating profits. There might be a little more fluff some put around the definition of business, but in a nutshell, that is why businesses exist. Sure, some will want to say that they started their business to serve the community or because they saw a need and wanted to create a product or service to fill that void, but it all comes down to profits. We wouldn't do what we are doing if we didn't profit from it, at least not for long.
Profits are what keeps the employees paid and able to provide for their families. Profits are also used to pour back into the business to buy better or more equipment and materials and hire more people. It's profits that allow us to give to charities, take vacations, put on company picnics, buy groceries, pay the mortgage, put gas in our trucks and on and on. Profits are good. There is no shame in making a profit. We wouldn't last long in our business if we didn't profit from the service and products we provide.
"In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product, and profits."
--- Lee Iacocca
When we focus on these three things: people, product, and profits, we succeed in business. In fact, it could be argued that if we focus on people and product, (meaning service and quality as well), then profits will follow. It's a simple concept, but in the pursuit of profits, we can sometimes tend to forget our people and the service we should be providing.
"A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large."
--- Henry Ford
First, let's focus on service. I know that we all strive to be the best we can be in providing great service. If we didn't, we wouldn't last very long. But sometimes we may be guilty of cutting corners or trying to take shortcuts in our service department in order to save money or save time. It isn't always an intentional thing either. It is just that in the hustle and bustle of business, we may tend to forget where our priorities should be and in reaching for the next great contract, we "cheat" a little on the current one.
"Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. In turn, they will treat you as a partner, and together you will all perform beyond your wildest expectations."
--- Sam Walton
Next, let's open our communication to everyone in our business. One great way to do this is to let your team members in on the books. A lot of business leaders don't like this idea. They believe they are giving away too much to the employees if they open their books to them. But there are hundreds of case studies that proves openness in this way actually generates more loyalty and increased performance and production from team members.
If it helps, remind yourself that the people you hired have been well vetted. These are people you trust and that are capable and competent, or you wouldn't have hired them. They all went through a thorough screening process, (or should have), with at least two interviews, background checks, the whole works. Sharing information about how the business operates, including how it turns a profit builds trust and improves employee engagement.
"Putting people before profits is how we've tried to operate from the beginning."
--- S. Truett Cathy
Finally, treat your team members better than you do a piece of machinery. You may have a very expensive printer or bucket truck or whatever. That is money well-spent because it helps you to complete a project more efficiently. But your team members are even more valuable. They actually have a brain and can offer suggestions, creative ideas, different approaches, and so much more.
Put your people first, then quality service, then the profits will follow.