Chapter Four

Grow the Bottom Line—Period

When I talk about growing a business, I always talk about the bottom line. Don’t talk about the head count; don’t talk about sales. It’s always about after-tax profit.

—Noel Watson, Former CEO and Current Chairman of the Board, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.

Entrepreneurs, by and large, are idea people, devising new concepts and next-generation ventures, and creating potential markets. With such an intent focus on what could be, however, they may not pay enough attention to what is —meaning, the hard measures of current performance. Although many start-ups are not profitable initially, for such is the nature of the beast, profitability is the difference between an idea and a viable, sustainable business. ...

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