Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Ethical Pursuit of Profit to Grow Your Contractor Business

I make NO apologies for the pursuit of profit.

It’s my belief that maximizing the profits of a small business is a GOOD thing. In fact, it’s my responsibility as an entrepreneur to maximize profits, value and wealth to my shareholders and help grow your contractor business.

Many people mistakenly believe that profit is only achieved through the cheating of others, so they make profit a dirty word. We even have many of our elected “leaders” and the mainstream media bashing the pursuit of profit, and somehow making it a bad thing. So as a result, in recent years many successful business owners even apologize, or are secretly embarrassed for making a profit. Ugh.

But those business owners (and our elected officials and the mainstream media) misunderstand the true nature of profit. One of the best sales books I’ve ever read explains profit as “each individual uses his limited resources in ways aimed at bringing maximum happiness – as he/she understands what will bring him happiness.” This is a very different view of profit. According to the author, profit is simply the increase in happiness by replacing one situation with another. Profit then is nothing more (and nothing less) than a voluntary exchange of something a person values less for something they value more. The more value, the more profit. The more happiness, the more profit.

For example, if I need a new car, I am willing to exchange $XX,XXX dollars to get the car. I value the car… or said another way, the car will bring me more happiness than the money.

The auto dealer has a car that he wants to exchange for $XX,XXX. He values the money more than the car.

So, in this case, if my happiness (profit) is great enough, and if the dealer’s happiness (profit) is great enough, then we will make an exchange that profits BOTH OF US; otherwise, no exchange will be made.
Think about yourself. A customer comes to you with a problem. Their bathroom is falling apart, their windows are old and ugly, and they’re ready to update their home. The solution to this problem will bring them happiness.

They value the solution to their problem more than their money. So they are willing to part with their money in order to make an effort to solve their problem (so they can be happy).

You have the ability to help the customer solve their problem; you are willing to exchange your resources (time, expertise, products, systems you have developed, staff, etc.) for their money, because you value the money more than these resources.

If you can focus on how the solution to this problem will bring them happiness, you have a greater chance of earning the profit to grow your contractor business.

The point to keep in mind is that your profits don’t come at the “expense” of your customers but as a by-product of helping them. An ethical pursuit of profit is always the result of a voluntary exchange, where BOTH parties profit. The better you help your customers, deliver them value, and understand what will bring them greater happiness, the more they profit and the more you profit. The more you should profit.

How do you view profit in your business and your life?

  • Are you giving them their due?
  • Is your pursuit of profit an ethical one?
  • Do you ever feeling embarrassed about earning a profit?
  • Are you focused on increasing your customer’s happiness?
  • Are you delivering enough value to your customers that they’ll choose to gain the happiness they seek with your products instead of your competitors?