A key result of any business plan should be higher sales and profit, together with the cash flow to pay the bills. Couple this with getting customers and a good product or service and you have all the ingredients for a successful business. The first rule of business is that you have to make a profit. Not just Money, but Profit. Not sales, not the best quality product, not the best-tasting donuts in town, but profit. It cannot be emphasized enough. You have to earn more than you spend. This is not to say that you have to be mean and miserly and think of nothing else. You merely have to spend less than you earn. It’s a simple business reality. Without profit you cannot stay in business very long. Imagine this. Every customer likes you. Every customer thinks you provide the best value for money. Every customer thinks your service is superb. Every product you sell costs your more than the price. Being liked, having the best product and service does not guarantee success. Now imagine this: Your profit margin is high. You product is the best. Your service is superb. If only the market knew about this, but it doesn’t so you have no customer, and hence no sales. By focusing only on profit or only on customers you could fool yourself into believing everything is going well. Getting these two goals of high profit and many customers is the real challenge. If you make a good profit it is usually an indication that you are doing everything well enough. The purpose is therefore not to become an expert in every business topic, but to gain enough competence and understanding to implement those aspects that will increase your business’ profits, set the stage for growth, and provide more time for you, your family and friends. Of course there is more to life than money, but in business profit is king. You should challenge yourself to think and reflect deeply how your customers will help you achieve a profit. There is no secret formula which, if applied, will make you inordinately rich, deliver more free time than you have hours in a day, and take only five minutes of your time. Success requires that we formulate a clear purpose (vision, goals etc.), develop effective strategies (in other words strategies that will result in your attaining your goals), take action to implement our strategies, focus on the results we are achieving, and persist until we succeed. You are welcome to get more help on how to write a business plan and for a free business plan template just click these links. To conclude, above all focus on delivering value to customers with distinction and excellence to keep you on the road to success. You won’t make profit without customers but you won’t be able to serve your customers if you go out of business due to a lack of profit. Two peas in a pod – one cannot exist without the other.