Businesses exist to produce profits. More importantly, businesses exist to generate cash flow. Without cash flow, businesses fail. When businesses fail, people lose their jobs and the company obviously has no ability to create new jobs. I’m not sure why more leaders don’t communicate and teach the importance of cash flow.
Do You Have a Growth Mindset?
As a company we have been extremely fortunate to grow at a tremendous pace year over year. Since we started in 1998, PFSbrands has experienced well over double digit growth each year. Those of you that are in the business world realize that sustained growth like this is challenging to manage.
In the early days of managing our company, I was not really aware of the fact that everyone has a different mindset. I guess you could say I had blinders on and simply didn’t realize that not everyone had, or would share, the same mentality. Through the years I’ve definitely come to realize that not everyone has a growth mindset…
General Aviation and PFSbrands:
Unless you’ve experienced the advantages of corporate aviation first hand, it’s hard to truly understand the benefits. However, organizations such as the National Business Aviation Association and their members undoubtedly “get it”.
In 2006, our foodservice company PFSbrands started growing well beyond the Missouri state line. Prior to that year we did business in MO, western IL, and eastern KS. I was getting stretched for time as was our top-producing salesperson.
Our company began to grow significantly in Oklahoma and requests from various other states were beginning to trickle in. While this company growth was great, it placed significant demands on my time–the demands I didn’t mind, but the time I didn’t have.
Supermarket and convenience stores face greater challenges when it comes to operating successful foodservice operations. The challenges revolve primarily around the fact that these operators have so many areas that demand their attention.
They are also consistently being challenged with new government regulations and mandates. This combined with the fact that these industries are volume driven and produce razor-thin bottom line margins, makes it difficult to dedicate time to study the necessary foodservice best practices.
Are Entitlements Holding You Back?
One of the great things about leading a fast-paced, high growth company is the ability to see people work hard and be rewarded with career advancement. At Pro Food Systems (PFSbrands) our mission statement starts with:
“We exist to empower our employees and allow them the opportunity to build their futures…”
This has always been an area of business that has really intrigued me. After completely opening up our books nearly five years ago, I thought I would share some more insights on my thoughts and experiences.
Let me start by saying that as a business owner, I have always shared a lot of information with my employees. While I did not always share the complete financials of the company, I was mostly open with the sales figures.
With that being said, the profitability of our company has improved drastically since developing an open book management approach in late 2011. The percentage going to our bottom line has improved EVERY year since 2011.