How to Have a Profitable Business in Any Economy

by Terry Monroe

People start and buy businesses for many different reasons. Some people do it as an extension of their passion for a certain thing such as flowers, woodworking, machinery or serving people. Some people do it for the thrill of winning, but ultimately everyone who goes into business does it to make money.

There are thousands of books that have been written about business telling you what to do and what not to do, but ultimately making money in business is not that difficult. Listed below are five fundamentals of what it takes to have a profitable business.

  • Income – expenses = profit. Income is determined by how much money is generated by the business. Expenses are what is needed to operate the business. Profit is what is left over after deducting the expenses from the income. You can always increase your income, but you can only reduce your expenses so far before you don’t have enough of the basics to keep the business operating.
  • Sales. A lot of people don’t like to hear the word sales, because they don’t want to be in sales or affiliated with sales, but without sales there is no business. Sales is the business. The major goal of every business is to increase sales, because without sales there is no income.
  • Sales combined with income and expenses applies to all industries. It doesn’t matter if you are operating an exercise/yoga clinic or a computer chip manufacturer, the formula is the same. Even churches have a sales department to entice their congregation to give more. Sales is what makes the world go around.
  • The formula shapes your business model. Over time, with the practicing and perfecting of the sales aspect along with the income – expenses = profit formula, you will develop a business model that works. This is called a profitable business.
  • Make the model scalable. To add more profits, hopefully the business model you have created is scalable and you can duplicate the business model either through franchising, dealers representing your business, or the opening of additional facilities using the same model you created and perfected.

What I have explained in five steps is very simplistic on how to have a profitable business anywhere. This formula is applicable in any geographic area and to any business. Anything else beyond the sales and income – expenses = profit model is called an excuse. I was taught early on in my business career that “You can make money or you can make excuses, but you can’t make both.”

Terry Monroe is the president and founder of American Business Brokers & Advisors. The author of four books, he most recently published Hidden Wealth: The Secret to Getting Top Dollar for Your Business, with ForbesBooks. Monroe is a professional intermediary, consultant, and market maker for privately-held companies and has been involved in the sale of more than 800 businesses. In his 35-plus years of service, he has owned and operated more than 40 different businesses. At American Business Brokers & Advisors, he serves as a consultant for business buyers and sellers throughout the nation. As an expert source he has been written about and featured in The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur magazine, CNN Money, USA Today, CEOWORLD, and Forbes.

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