“Profits Aren’t Everything, They Are The Only Thing” is the title of the recent business book by George A Cloutier. He is the Founder & CEO of American Management Services, a firm specializing in management turnarounds.  Reading about his thoughts on managing in tough times particularly for the small and medium enterprises, in an article in the New York Times, made me pause to reflect.

Based on my experience, here are a few questions you should ask your selves as entrepreneurs/small business owners:-

  • Do you give too much emphasis on team spirit and togetherness amongst the troops, even at the cost of business results?
  • Do you “trim the sails” when necessary? Adding overhead is the easiest thing to do, getting rid of it the most difficult.
  • Do you frequently meet your customers and understand their issues? Sitting tight while they sink can toss you down the drain with them.
  • Do you spend only what is essential? Costs have a strange way of shooting up and before you know what is happening you have overshot the budget- assuming you had one in the first place.
  • Do you have it in you to give everything to your business even if it means making personal sacrifices?

Coultier’s tough talking advice is sound. It may not be very comforting- but do you want a profitable business or comfort at the end of the day? As he says, you must love your business as much as you love your family!