“Ya gots to make a profit!”

Just before I opened my first record store, my dad and I took a trip east to visit his family in Baltimore. He was one of 12 brothers and sisters so we were quite a large family. We gathered Sunday afternoon at one of my uncle’s houses to catch up on the latest news and gossip. Since I was living in California I didn’t get a chance to see Dad’s family often and they were all eager to hear how and what I was doing.

When I told everyone that I was about to launch my first business – a retail record store – they were excited to contribute their two cents. Several of my relatives had their own businesses and of course they all wanted to impress me with fabulous advice. But to this day, I only remember one piece of advice from all their talking. It was the shortest and simplest of all the feedback I received that day. My uncle Aaron owned and operated an industrial laundry. In his distinctive Baltimore accent he said “Just remember one thing – “Ya gots to make a profit”.

It took me many years to fully understand what my uncle meant. Profit is one of those concepts in business that mean different things to different people. For some it is a dirty word and represents greed. To others it’s the ‘holy grail’ and the only motivation for working.

In a well-run business, making a profit is an absolute necessity. Your initial investment allows you to open your doors, but your profit allows those doors to stay open. Remember, if you don’t have money to invest for tomorrow, your business probably doesn’t have much of a future. My uncle’s advice seems so obvious to me today. The bottom line is if you want a future, you have to focus on profit.

–Barney

President, Business 360 Northwest


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