TECH TALK: Good Books: The Art of Profitability

It is every entrepreneurs dream to build a company like Wal-mart, Microsoft, Starbucks, eBay, Intel, Dell or Google. Business plans are strewn with references to these companies every entrepreneur wants the business to become the Microsoft of .. And yet few manage to do it.

Making a business profitable and then growing the profits is one of the greatest challenges of business. Losses and profits are both habit-forming. I have gone through both scenarios in my entrepreneurial career. Running up monthly losses can be quite depressing. It saps energy and morale, besides the obvious cash. At times, it is much easier starting small, and making and keeping a business profitable than taking a loss-making business and turning it around. Once a business is profitable, the task then is to look at how to grow the bottomline and topline. It is like a game of chess combining strategy with execution on the ground, and little margin for error against smart opponents (competitors).

Adrian Slywotzkys The Art of Profitability is a concise, little book that focuses on how to grow profits. Adrian comes with 23 business models. Narrated in the form of a conversation between an extraordinary teacher (David Zhao) and a senior executive (Steve, from a company called Delmore), the book is an easy read but packs a lot of thought into its chapters. There is also reading material for each chapter. The authors recommendation is to read one chapter a month, and then play with the ideas discussed.

From the books description: What do Barbie dolls, Nokia phones, and American Express credit cards have in common? They all represent a powerful business model called pyramid profit. How about Intel, Microsoft, and Stephen King? They all exploit another model called value chain position profit. THE ART OF PROFITABILITY reveals the invisible but important governing principles that can mean the difference between business failure and success. Writing with wit and provocative insight, bestselling author Adrian Slywotzy tells the story of eccentric strategy teacher David Zhao and his young student. Each of the book’s twenty-three chapters presents a lesson from the exuberant and always challenging master-and a profit paradigm that will open your mind to the many ways to make profit happen. You’ll understand-from a different perspective-how your company and your competitors generate profit…which business models can be best applied to your profit-making strategy…what specific actions your organization can take in the next ninety days to improve its bottom line…and more. With scores of examples from today’s global marketplace, a weekly assignment, and an eclectic business reading list ranging from Obvious Adams to Einstein’s Dreams, THE ART OF PROFITABILITY invites anyone in business to engage in the lively exchange between mentor and protege. Enter the classroom. Discover the art. And learn which form of profitability will help your company succeed today and grow tomorrow.

Losses or a lack of growth can enervate even the strongest of companies. Stagnation can cause a downward spiral from which it is hard to recover from. That is where one needs to look creatively at what we can do to build and grow profits at the companies where we work. This is where The Art of Profitability comes in. [You can read the prologue of the book here.]

Tomorrow: The Art of Profitability (continued)

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.