Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing by George Cloutier
The full title of this book by George Cloutier with Samantha Marshall is "Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing: No-Nonsense Rules from the Ultimate Contrarian and Small Business Guru".
I loved it, even if I didn't agree with everything.
I consider it as essential reading for all small business owners and entrepreneurs who are finding business a struggle.
I give it the full five star review rating.
The Basic Message Of Profits Aren't Everything
The basis message for business owners is "to grow a pair, man up and take control of the profitability of your business."
If you don't do it, no one else will.
The 15 Profit Rules
The book is written around 15 rules for profit which I'm planning to share on my Business Coaching Blog.
George Cloutier is a turnaround professional and the founder and CEO of American Management Services (http://www.amserv.com/).
This is what the website says...
"Founded in 1986, American Management Services has worked with over 7000 small businesses in 400 industries. American Management's mission is to increase profits and cash flow to small and mid-sized companies.
Having just celebrated its 25th year American Management employs over 120 full-time professionals, all seasoned executives, working in turnaround management, profit management, cash management services and strategic management throughout the nation."
I'd never heard of the firm before I bought the book but being based in the UK, I'm not well up on American turnaround businesses.
The size of the business indicates that George Cloutier knows exactly what he's talking about and his tough approach to management is effective.
Where I Disagreed
I didn't like the focus on micro-management by the owner. While responsibility can't be delegated and accountability has to be maintained, I like employees who are motivated enough to think for themselves.
Don't rule your employees by fear.
I don't believe you need to or should work until you drop. In my experience, there are an optimum number of hours and going beyond that point can be counter-productive.
I also don't like the idea of screwing your vendors for all the credit time you can get. I believe it turns round and bites you.
My advice is to read the book and be encouraged to take full control and responsibility for your business. Pick and choose the bits that you follow.
You don't need to be liked but I bet you want to enjoy your work and make money.
That means being true to your own values. If you don't want to be a tyrant boss, don't be.
But do push hard and command respect.
I've always been in the "tough but fair" school of management myself.
You pay the wages and salaries so it's up to you to expect and demand good performance.
Those employees who can't live with it should leave as soon as possible.
Let someone else be the sucker who employs them (see Are You Part Of The Cargo Or The Crew?)
I learnt many years ago that the biggest employment mistake you can make is to lower your performance expectations to fit the employee. Some people are perennial under-achievers and whatever if you expect, they'll do less. Eventually I made him redundant and then discovered that he's been stealing from petty cash and making up the work he said he'd done.
Read This Book
Buy the book, read it all the way through.
In fact, I suggest you read it regularly when you need a pep talk.
You won't like "Profits Aren't Everything".
In fact I think you will hate some of it but you probably need to hear what George Cloutier has to say about turning around an under-performing business.
Decide what you want and what you're prepared to do and be to make money.
I think you need to make good money while having a great work life balance (see Your Primary Aim and Strategic Objective from The E Myth Revisited). That will help you get your business into more of a healthy perspective.