‘The Bottom Line’ is a phrase often heard in business.
For many people in business for themselves, or even working for a bigger corporate, everything is geared to improving ‘The Bottom Line’ and so a great deal of effort goes into streamlining the processes, making efficiencies, maximising productivity, minimising waste…all in deference to The Bottom Line.
So transfixed are we by The Bottom Line that we are sometimes in danger of forgetting what we’re in business for.
I worked for many years with a big multi-national; a household name. I was tasked with making their Customer Marketing team better communicators and better presenters.
While working with this fairly large team something became very apparent to me: they were all focused on their customers and were all driven by the need to improve the (you guessed it) Bottom Line.
Nothing wrong with that, I can hear you say. The customer is always right!
Well…in this instance, the customers were effectively distributors. The business is a brewery, and the customers to whom the team were marketing were landlords, club and pub owners, venue managers…that sort of thing.
Now certainly these were customers; they paid for beer and the brewery sold it to them. Without them The Bottom Line would suffer.
But here’s the thing: the customers – all those landlords and so on – also had customers, and it was these people who were the really vital component in ensuring the Bottom Line stayed healthy.
For a brewery, the end-user is the person who puts money on the bar, drinks the beer, then goes to the toilet.
Without that person there is no business; not for the landlord, not for the distributor, not for the brewery. And that doesn’t just mean a smaller ‘Bottom Line’, that means no bottom line at all…and no jobs!
And if your business is a smaller concern, you still need to recognise that the bottom line is at the mercy of the end-user, and it’s that end user who holds the key to your success.
So do yourself a favour: take a moment to focus on who your end user is. Ask yourself what they need. Establish beyond any doubt that you recognise that need and that you can do something about it, then set yourself the goal of delivering.
Then, and only then, should you be thinking about your bottom line!
Steve Thomson – Profile Training
Steve’s background is as a presenter and producer of high profile sports events, and through this work he has expanded his interests; initially into the field of training groups and individuals in presentation skills, but subsequently into other areas of communication skills, leadership and management.
Working alongside organisations such as Eumetsat, Cognizant, British Red Cross, International Study Group, Ipsos Mori, Racing UK and many other organisations large and small, Steve has a wealth of experience and understanding of the difference great communication skills can make to a company, and to the people within it.
Valued as a personal development coach and mentor, as well as for his training programmes, Steve works with clients around the world; however, he’s keen to bring his unique skills to his new home in West Sussex, and to work with people who want to be the success stories of tomorrow.
Many thanks to Steve for guest blogging this week… Please feel free to comment, like and share. If you would like to guest blog here, please do drop me a line and lets see if we can include you here too. Ian Dickson