Making Money from Death and Hamburgers

making money systems

Would you like roses with that funeral?

purpose and making money from death

Build a beautiful business of purpose, that also makes money

Purpose, passion and making money: McDonalds offers the prime example of creating a business model to make lots of money from selling food in a restaurant setting.

I think we’d all agree with that statement.

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Does that mean I’m a fan of McDonalds? No, not much, I am an admirer of the model and I make use of McDonalds from time to time, but I’m really really glad there are many other types of restaurants out there, besides McDonalds, even if they don’t make as much money or are as efficient. It would be a poor world if all restaurants were running a business model based on that of McDonalds. But if your aim in life is to make as much money as you possibly can from selling food, you can do a lot worse than read everything you can about the history and business philosphy of Ray Kroc and  The Golden Arches.

And the same goes for any other type of business you can think of, from funeral parlors to medical practices and everything in between. Ray Kroc, was a genius, there is no doubt about that and Michael Gerber and many other business gurus since have analysed the McDonalds model and explained how to apply it to every other Small Business out there.

Purpose and making money from death

If you own a funeral parlour and you want to absolutely make more money than anyone has ever made from burying people, read “The E-Myth” and apply every word Michael Gerber wrote about the lessons from McDonalds to your business with single minded focus and you’ll never look back … guaranteed.

But if you believe there are other things in life that are important to you besides making money from selling mince meat patties… Read on my friend.

Just like I would be sad (and we would all be very unhealthy) to live in a world where the only restaurants we can eat at are McDonalds, likewise I’d hate to live in a world where all the funeral parlours were run by 18 yr olds who were trained to ask me: “Do you want roses with that?”

The disconnect lies in the misunderstanding most business owners have about the Purpose of Business. Most business owners, business analysts, gurus and advisers will repeat the manta that the purpose of business is to “Maximise Shareholder Value”, to make lots of money in other words.

But if, like me, you believe that making money is a sad and short sighted reason to be in business, all kinds of things become possible instead of McDonalds.

Passion and breaking the law

Don’t get me wrong, a business must make money. There are many things a business must do in order to survive however. It must operate within the law for example, but we would never maintain that the Mission of our business is to not break the law.

Similarly the notion of making money, the business must make money so that it’s able to do what it is meant to do. In other words, a business that delivers on it’s promise has a reason for existing far beyond “Maximising Shareholder Value”.

In the restaurant industry it may be that the reason for the existence of your business is that you are passionate about unexpected cuisine combinations, French with an Australian twist, for example, or maybe you’re passionate about the sustainability of food, or maybe your passion is about educating disadvantaged youth in the hospitality industry.

There can be many reasons you have started your restaurant. As long as the business makes enough money to be sustainable in the long run, it doesn’t mean you have to turn it into a McDonalds for it to be a great business. Your business is a great business, when it delivers you what you want from it, month in month out, year in year out.

Anchovies and chocolate

So please do yourself (and my stomach) a favour: don’t listen to others’ judgements about your business, and ignore the little voice on your shoulder that tells you to build a McDonalds, because I’d much rather come and eat your pig trotter rolls with anchovy and chocolate sauce than be forced to eat another Big Mac.

Here is the Big question (with a capital “B”) I’d like you to think about: Why does your business exist, what’s it on this earth for, and why would anybody care about that?

Answer that question, decisively, in one bold sentence, and your business and your life will never be the same… I promise you.

Purpose, Profit and the 7 Big Questions of Small Business

Business owners frequently ask 7 Big Questions about how to Build a Beautiful Business and Life.

The of the 7 Big Questions is: How do I grow my business? And the second of the 7 Big Questions is: How do I make more money in my business?

To answer the first question I have identified the 11 most important strategies to create Business Growth. And to answer the second question, I have identified 7 Rules for making more Profit in business.

The first of the 11 growth strategies is Grow your business with Purpose. And the first of the 7 rules states that Profit is not the Purpose of business. This is one of many more articles on this site that explain how Purpose, Profit and Growth hang together, in some depth.

4 comments on “Making Money from Death and Hamburgers

  1. I’m glad you said that about the E-myth as I couldn’t get into it at all. Didn’t like it one bit.

    • The Em-Myth is like the bible for building a particular kind of business model, but there’s thousands, if not millions of different business models possible… We get hung up on the McDonalds model as “The Way”… but it’s just one of the ways.
      Glad you enjoyed my post Madeleine, cheers roland

  2. When I was younger and before I decided to be a business mentor I always thought running a funeral home would be a business that would never go out of fashion. But I really didn’t want such a depressing career

    • I hear you Cris, but I have had two clients with funeral businesses… both of them love their work and are passionate about how they help people have some of the most special experiences of their lives… and the margins are amazing!!

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