Every small business owner has done it, logging on one last time before turning in for the night. Unfortunately for Larry tonight was NOT business as usual.
His profits were gone. Completely totally destroyed.
Larry was stunned, angry, and scared.
Would the profit killer be back? Why him? Who could have done this? And most importantly, could he stop them?
Don’t panic Larry told himself. Deep breaths. Think! C’mon Larry think.
As Larry’s heartbeat slowed, his thoughts cleared. A few months back Jay and Jasmine had a problem like this. They called… who was it? Whoever they called solved the problem and caught the profit thieves in the act.
Fluffy the Finance Feline and his sidekick Maxine! That’s who helped them. Larry did a quick Google search and found the website for Fluffy. A large notice at the top said, “Click here if this is an emergency.”
Well, if there was ever an emergency for Larry’s business, this was it. He clicked the button and…
Beach Read Whodunnit: Fluffy and Maxine Catch Larry’s Profit Killer
This is part of Bring Your Biz to the Beach, a free tour of tips and tools by small biz experts to help YOU to find your freedom, join in the summer fun, and grow your bottom line. #Biz2Beach
Larry clicked the button for emergency help and a calm professional asked for his contact details, including his business address. She reassured him that yes, complete profit destruction was an emergency. She would contact Fluffy & Maxine. They could meet him at the office in one hour.
Fluffy and Maxine Arrive at the Scene of the Crime
By the time Fluffy and Maxine had arrived Larry’s stress levels had shot back up. “You’re here!” Larry exclaimed and rushed over to them.
“We need to act NOW! All my profits – destroyed. It’s a disaster. Quick!” Larry cried.
“We understand how terrible this is for you.” began Fluffy. “Please understand that we must be methodical in our approach to apprehend the killer. We also need to discover how this happened so you can protect your business in the future.”
“Ok, give me a minute..” Larry responded. He took a few deep breaths while looking around his office. Where to start? It was kind of a mess. That pile of receipts was getting pretty high, when was the last time he recorded those? As if his thoughts directed Maxine, she walked over and sniffed that big pile.
To Catch a Profit Killer: Clue #1
“These receipts smell old. Really old. How long have they sat here?” Maxine asked.
“Hmm, let me think.” Larry responded. “Probably since before the last holiday season. Say six or seven months.”
Fluffy shook his head. “That’s not good. Unrecorded expenses are a prime target of SPK, Serial Profit Killer. His preferred method is Death by 1,000 Cuts. All those expenses add up to one very big hit to your business.”
“I had no idea.” Exclaimed Larry. “But most of those are small. Five, maybe ten dollars. Surely that couldn’t cause such a huge problem?”
“In ancient times Death by 1,000 Cuts was an actual method of killing people. Eventually all those little cuts do lead to death in the end. Same thing with your unrecorded expenses.” Fluffy countered.
To Catch a Profit Killer: Clue #2
While Fluffy and Larry had been discussing receipts, Maxine had been examining a board with prices posted on it.
“Larry” Maxine asked, “Have your prices stayed the same for the last three years?”
“Well sure, why not? I mean everyone knows what to expect. It saves me time and effort. Plus no retraining of my team.”
“Have your expenses changed in the last few years? Raw materials? Overhead? Have you given any of your employees a raise?” Maxine countered.
“Isn’t everything more expensive these days?” Aggrieved, Larry moved over to the board. “And why wouldn’t I give raises to people who work hard and make this business possible?”
“I agree you should reward hard work. However if your expenses are going up, and your revenue is the same, then the only place to give is your profit. ” Maxine pointed out.
Stunned Larry opened his mouth but nothing came out. Once Maxine pointed it out, it sure made sense.
Fluffy chimed in, “That might be the work of the Number Muncher. His favorite weapon is inflation and sneaky numbers. We do have one more possibility over here.”
To Catch a Profit Killer: Clue #3
“Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.” Fluffy pointed to all the different ideas, projects, 200 social media ids (!), and a pile of half finished marketing campaigns.
“What do you mean Bright Shiny Object Syndrome? It’s important to stay up to date. Social media is all the rage. New campaigns keep people excited. And of course I’ve got to have some new products and services – have you heard about how lemon flavored widgets are sweeping the country?” Larry waved an article from a reputable small business magazine in the air.
“Larry that’s exactly what Debbie the Distractor wants you to think. Yes social media is important, but 200 ids? Who has time for that? Yes new products and campaigns are critical to your business, but how many have you finished? And lemon flavored widgets? If you can see the bandwagon you’re NOT a leader.” Maxine nodded in agreement as Fluffy laid out the problems.
Larry shook his head morosely. “What am I going to do? It could be any of them. Heck it could be ALL of them!”
“We can help you.” Fluffy stated as Maxine patted Larry’s shoulder. “I know who did it, how to catch them and how to stop all these bad guys from getting at your business again.”
“You do? You can? Well then who? How?” Larry exclaimed.
The real profit killer will be revealed at the #Biz2Beach Virtual Luau on August 1st. Plus some tips on how to avoid Larry’s misfortune. The Luau is invite only. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Sign up below for your FREE ticket to the Luau.
Think you know who killed Larry’s profits? Is there another possible villain Fluffy & Maxine didn’t identify? Share your best guess in the comments.