Over the past few years, the word ‘profit’ seems to have been dragged through the mud a little bit.

This is down to two things. The first is due to the appalling behaviour of the banks in this country. Their reckless spending and greed brought the financial sector and this country to it’s knees. The general public had to bail them out. But now when the very same banks are reporting huge profits again, so soon after potential meltdown, it seems highly distasteful that these huge profits aren’t being used to pay back the people who were so kind as to bail them out in the first place.

The second reason is the recession. As companies cut their prices to win new business, it was their margins that suffered. But now it seems customers have got used to this scenario. A perfect example occurred yesterday. We were quoting for a roofline price for a customer whose next door neighbour had gone ahead with us a week previously. He was pushing us on price so I made sure I did my best, and made sure it was cheaper than next doors. There was less materials involved so that was do-able. Realistically our profit margin was lower than it should have been, and so was the commission. Once I got back to the customer with the price all they could say was that they couldn’t understand why it was so much (even though their neighbour told them how much they paid), and that we seemed to be making a lot of profit it out of the job. I explained to them that scaffolding and their black materials made up a lot of the cost, as well as labour. We didn’t put much profit down and I was earning very little out of the job. They seemed offended that we wanted to make profit out of the job in the first place.

From what I read and hear, customers don’t want companies to be making profits right now. But do they not understand that businesses are here to make money, and that profits mean their ten year guarantees are honoured. If companies don’t make any profit and go bust, than that catching door which would normally be sorted out FOC under the terms of the guarantee would cost to be put right!

Profit IS NOT a dirty word. It is something every business should be striving to achieve, on every single job, not matter how big or small. People are in business for a reason, to make money. I suggest that those in business who don’t like profits, or to those people who don’t like businesses to make money, go work for/buy from non-profit organisations. Don’t waste the time of those people who want to build something for themselves.