Do You Need Permission to be Profitable?
Is your business a hobby?
It’s a simple question. Is your business making you any money? If the answer is no, and you are beyond a start-up, then it’s currently a hobby.
Is that a bit harsh? Sorry, not sorry.
You either need a plan to bring it into profit or accept that you are enjoying it as a hobby and that it simply brings you and others joy, if you can afford to. I wrote a blog here on what to do if your business is failing. It’s a good read, honest.
What I really want to do is give you permission to succeed and be profitable. I want you to know that not only is it OK that as an ethical business you are successful and profitable, but it’s incredibly important that you are.
Many ethical businesses feel apologetic about making profit and are compelled to be non-profit. I guess there is nothing wrong with that if your organisation is funded some other way, but is that actually sustainable in the long term? When the funding goes, so does the business. Meh.
So what is so bad about being good AND making money? Nothing. It requires a mind-shift that frees your conscience to be ethical, social and profitable. Of course it’s not as fast as becoming profitable through the old business model because compromises are made along the way that balance the needs of stakeholders, suppliers, staff and quality against costs, price and profit (rather than more traditionally the other way around). It’s slower to blossom but ultimately more sustainable in every way.
Good Business is Business That Does Good
For the world to change we need to change the world. That is never going to happen if we do not demonstrate to the quarterly-profits-driven-world-of-commerce that running a company the right way is also the future to financial profits. Be bold about your ambition to be ethical AND profitable. I dare you. In fact I demand it of you!
Balancing people, planet and profit is the ONLY way things will change on a massive level. All of those elements must be in place for good business to be taken seriously. Be the change.
A drive for profits does not need to mean you lose sight of your ethics. As a business owner you get to decide how your business works.