Why all that matters in Business is Fun
Focus on profit and all you’ll build is McDonald’s
Read any business book or listen to any of the business gurus and they’ll tell you that business must maximise shareholder value and that the only meaningful way to know if a business is great or not is in how much value is created for it’s shareholders.
In other words, the purpose of business is to make money, the more the better.
That’s the oft repeated mantra of the business world. Create value for shareholders and as long as you do that, everything is hunky dory.
But in small business at least I believe we totally miss the boat by making Profit and Cash our ultimate aim and the ultimate measure of our success. Profit can not be the point of business, any more than that breathing air is the point of being alive. We need to breath air, good clean abundant air, but it’s not what we’re here for. It’s the same with business, we need to make profit but it’s not the reason our business exists. And worst of all, focusing on profit as the ultimate success measure, makes for impoverished life.
Do you want ribbons with that bunch?
For example, nobody can deny that if you are going to sell food, McDonald's has created a pretty slick and efficient way to do so. As a matter of fact, I’d hazard a guess that if you wanted to make money from selling food, there is no more efficient way to do so than to build a McDonald's. And similarly if you wanted to make money from plumbing, from pet care or from floristry, you could take the McDonald's playbook, apply it to your floristry business and make lots of money. But I think we’d all agree that it would be sad world in which all restaurants were built on a McDonald’s model and equally I’d hate to live in a world in which all florists were staffed by school students who were trained to ask me if I wanted to supersize my bunch or if I wanted ribbons with that bunch.
The problem with making profit the highest measure of our success is that everything else we might consider to be important in life has to become a second order consideration: We might like to provide a healthy work environment for our staff, as long as it doesn’t coast us any money. Or we might like to ensure that we don’t have a negative impact on our environment, as long as it doesn’t cost us any money. Or we might be passionate about the quality of our product, as long as it doesn’t cost us any money.
Building businesses is one of the most creative thing that humans can ever do, second only to the creativity of bringing a baby into the world and helping it become a well-adjusted happy adult. But just like the joy of having and bringing up children is not in how much money you earn from it, nor is the joy of building a business in the profit it generates.
Money is the enabler
Business, like humans have a Purpose far beyond making money. Money is one of the enablers to making good on that Purpose, but so are many other factors.
Let me introduce you to the concept of Fun in Business. I will be writing about Fun in Business on these pages in the coming months. I have also written a book called “The Ten Truths for Making Business Fun” and you can download it for free here
Business is Fun when:
- It’s making money
- It’s staff are engaged and motivated and efficient
- It’s customers are Raving Fans
- It has a positive impact on the community and environment it operates in
- You are proud of the products or services it provides
- It affords you the kind of balance and life style that is important to you.
These are the pillars that the platform of Fun in Business rests on. When the pillars are strong the Business will be Fun, and when the pillars are wobbly, the platform might fall, and Business may not be Fun.
As you can see, money is just one of the pillars in this equation and so by making Fun in Business your ultimate measure of success, you will build a much different business, a business that sustains you and everyone it touches for years to come.
In the coming months I will explore the various pillars that make up Fun in Business and I will show you how you can measure the concept of Fun in Business and engage your staff with the process as well.
One thing’s for sure though: If you start to focus on Making Business Fun, instead of making more money, your business and your life will never be the same again… I promise you.
Roland Hanekroot is a business coach, mentor, author and speaker who works with small business owners to Make Business Fun again and to build businesses that sustain them for years to come. More information at http://www.newperspectives.com.au