Don’t Get Caught Swimming Naked

Incoming business feels great. Having people who want to buy from you does, too. But when our profits surge, do we keep our measurements in check?

I am struck more than ever by the old line, “Volume covers up a lot of sins.” Certainly, you can substitute the word volume for profit, but either covers up a lot of sins. This is a practice I’m seeing more and more. 

I was just having breakfast with a gentleman, and we were talking about the state of the economy, and how it is coming back fast. However, this growth creates a lot of sloppy habits.

Lessons from My Past

I learned this years ago when I used to manage McDonald’s restaurants. At one time, I managed the second-highest volume McDonald’s in the world. Actually, it was in Fairbanks, Alaska. We were practically printing money. It was unbelievable. Nevertheless, our controls were out of control.

A year or so later, I was managing a much lower volume McDonald’s in another part of the country, and it was much more difficult. I had to stay on top of every control possible to make sure that I was delivering profit. 

Even at my very young age, I quickly learned how volume covers up a lot of sins, and that is what’s happening right now.

As the economy takes off, it’s easy for us to think, “Hey, we’re good. We are so good. Business is incredible.” But really, all we’re doing is reaping a lot of incoming business. We’re the benefactor of a lot of people who want to do business with us. 


Expect the Best, Plan for the Worst

Stop and ask yourself this question, “In the haste to grow the business, are we losing control of the measurements?”

Because here’s what always happens: eventually, business turns. It always does. And when it turns, suddenly we’re thinking, “Whoa, what happened to our business? Or more importantly, “What happened to our profits?

Keeping control of your measurements in good times as well as bad is not going to hurt you in terms of growing your profits. Furthermore,  it will certainly help you maintain your profits when the tide goes out. 

That’s an old line Warren Buffet used to say. “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” That’s exactly what’s happening. A rising tide lifts all boats. We’re seeing it right now. 

Be careful, watch your measurements, stay in control. Don’t let volume cover a lot of sins. 

Take care.

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Copyright 2021, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog.  Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.

 


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