It’s All About the Money

by Jimmy L. Smith, Jim Smith Quality

A friend of mine is fond of saying, “It’s all about the money.” I’m not sure if he realizes just how deeply embedded this goes.

Whether you realize it or not, everyone’s job boils down to one thing: helping your company make money! Regardless of what you do in your company, organization or business, it’s your responsibility to help generate revenues so it can succeed.

This seems to be a very simple concept, yet it’s amazing how few people seem to understand that the entire organization must have financial resources in order to exist. Unless you have the power to legally print money, all of your efforts and commitment to the business with which you are associated must be focused on getting the money.

Moment of Truth
Several months ago, my friend and I were having dinner at a restaurant well known for their food quality and exceptional service. The food was served buffet-style, which is important to the story. The restaurant stops serving at 9:00, but at 9:02—as likely happens often, because a busy highway runs through this small town—a couple entered the building. The young waiter, failing in her moment-of-truth opportunity, refused them service. Noticing food remaining on the buffet and people still eating in the dining room, they were quite unhappy to be turned away simply because it was a couple minutes past serving time.

We were somewhat amazed, but not totally surprised, at the whole scenario. Of course, my friend said, “Don’t they understand it’s all about the money?” We agreed that this restaurant, even with its fine food and good service, would eventually go out of business, because either management hadn’t trained their staff very well, or the staff had little realization about how and why they stay employed. No company can remain open if they are prohibiting people from giving you their business and their money.

You might wonder what a person could possibly be thinking to turn away business. The truth of the matter is, it’s what they were not thinking that is the problem!

In this instance, the restaurant lost revenue because its staff did not understand the correlation between their job and the sales that generate income, now and in the future. In such situations, giving people a poor experience has a domino effect. In this case, it’s a sure bet the unhappy couple told at least 10 people about their bad experience, which significantly adds to the loss. The statistics say that of the 96 percent of unhappy customers who just go quietly away like this couple, 91 percent never come back—and they often influence others to look elsewhere when spending their hard-earned money.

Don’t Lose Focus
Even if you’re in business for yourself, you must generate income to remain profitable! My father used to say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” and unless you’re working in a way that produces income, it won’t be long until you are no longer in business. You must continually generate—and support ways to generate—money through the sale of products, goods and/or services.

Think back a few years… It’s a safe bet you can make a list of companies that are no longer in business. Think about all the employees who were disadvantaged by losing jobs and income. It’s shocking, but about half of all business establishments survive only five years, and about one third survive only 10 years. Why? They couldn’t generate the money to pay their bills. When the money dries up, the game is over and everyone loses. People in these establishments forgot that “it’s all about the money.”

It’s easy for someone to say, “If I got paid more, or if I could make more money, I would work harder!” But if you don’t work hard, every day, to produce at your optimum level, I can assure you that the money may not be there in the future… and you won’t have a job at all.

Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, don’t lose focus on the money and the people who are willing to honor your company by purchasing your goods and services. Many years ago, I attended a conference where Hilary “Zig” Ziglar, the late author and motivational speaker, said, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen.” If you don’t think money isn’t important, try living without it and see how that works!

There is no doubt that succeeding in business requires great products, good people and effective processes. It’s certainly management’s responsibility to provide those things, along with a positive work environment; however, everyone must be focused on generating income as the primary aspect of the business. That means everyone in the company—from the corner office down to the person performing the work—must continually do their best, effectively and efficiently, at all times. If you and everyone you are associated with does that, your world will be better off for it. iBi