In my opinion: There has to be some fairness when balancing the books
During the latest party political conference, I see that the national daily press makes much of David Cameron's assertion that profit is no longer a dirty word.
Whilst in principal I might agree with him, as any company not making a profit cannot be sustainable, I would argue that it depends on the premise under which that profit is made.
This applies not just to businesses, but equally to central government and local communities, where profit is not the issue, but balancing the books is. I believe there has to be an element of fairness and equity in how this is done.
As I attend the latest round of budget meetings, setting the budget becomes ever harder in the face of the severe cuts we've all been suffering under, to try to reverse the effects of the recession. Individuals as well as portfolio holders will of course be fighting for their share of what little there is available; as one would expect. There has to be general acceptance though that things have got to change, and that services that are no longer considered essential may well have to be provided at an additional cost, or not at all. To kick start the economy, profit making by businesses, both large and small, must only happen when those at the sharp end can be confident that they are getting value for money; that those they do business with are not raking in the profits at their expense. As a sales trainer I spend my time concentrating on value for money and matching customers' needs cost effectively, not creating wealth at the expense of those that use the services provided. In the coming weeks and months we would all benefit from taking a long hard look at what we're getting for our money, every time we spend it. Remember that every time a supermarket has a special offer, it is the supplier that is suffering, not the likes of Tesco, I believe, driving a hard bargain to ensure profits are maintained. At local government level I do believe that for taxpayers, given the circumstances, there is real effort to make sure that money is spent wisely. I wish I could say the same for many of the companies I do business with, where prices continue to rise, lining the pockets of their greedy shareholders, whilst I, as the customer, seem to get less and less for my money. Time to shop elsewhere I think.
And on the subject of supermarkets and shopping, a quick word about bread. I wouldn't have much more idea than David Cameron about the price of a loaf of bread, as I rarely buy it, but I'd be damned if I'd use a posh bread maker to make it.
Making bread is one of the simplest cooking skills, practically fool-proof, taking only minutes to throw together, and costing a lot less. Child's play, really.