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What is the Real Goal for Our Management and Company?

By: Dave Berkus


What is the Real Goal

Often, we joke together as managers of companies or of people that our goal is “world domination” or “to crush the competition.” But no matter how stated, the primary goal of an enterprise is to make money.

The three measures of progress

How do you measure progress toward such an undefined goal? We measure it by profit or revenue in dollars. But that is a number in a vacuum without at least two other measures: return on investment (ROI) and percentage of net profit to revenue.

Comparing ourselves to the giants

Microsoft, Google, Amazon and other great firms generate billions of revenues and profits and even have a high ROI and high net profit percentage. But some of our own small businesses have even higher percentages of return on investment and percentage of net to gross. So, the amount of money made is a number in a vacuum without the rest of the tools to tell the story.

How about companies formed to profit and give to charity?

Many entrepreneurs begin their venture with the lofty goal that some portion of their eventual profits will be given to a sponsored foundation or directly to charity. Some form “B” corporations to codify their vision into the articles of incorporation. This certainly seems a satisfactory way to “do well by doing good” or serving the needs of others. Investors often have a problem with this though and are put off by the altruistic split of profit and attention by those founders.

And who do we serve with our profits?

It is common and certainly appropriate to tell the world that our profits and success serves not just our shareholders but our stakeholders, which include employees, suppliers and customers in that mix. A strong, secure company pays its bills on time, follows through on promises to its customers, and pays its employees a fair base and incentive compensation. Companies living on the edge or losing money often cannot make those vital promises, affecting its reputation, security and equity value.

An easy response to “world domination”

The next time someone tells you that their goal is world domination, you might politely smile and remind them that a more modest goal might better serve the stakeholders over time and that it might be a bit easier to accomplish.

Published: February 4, 2020

Source: Berkonomics

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Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus is a noted speaker, author and early stage private equity investor. He is acknowledged as one of the most active angel investors in the country, having made and actively participated in over 87 technology investments during the past decade. He currently manages two angel VC funds (Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC and Kodiak Ventures, L.P.) Dave is past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States. Dave is author of “Basic Berkonomics,” “Berkonomics,” “Advanced Berkonomics,” “Extending the Runway,” and the Small Business Success Collection. Find out more at Berkus.com or contact Dave at dberkus@berkus.com

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