Top line, bottom line and profits

In these difficult economic times, everyone around the world seems to be scrambling for more money.
Traditionally, there have been two ways that most people think of when they want more money. People either want more top-line, or gross, business, or they want to create more bottom-line, or net, income.
The top line can be increased by generating sales, volume or margin.
During a recession, conventional thinking defines the top line as difficult to grow.
Do not immediately accept this. Many organizations have gone out of business or cut back on sales and marketing efforts; therefore, there may be more business potential laying out there than you think.
People generally think of increasing the bottom line as trimming overhead. As we hover around double-digit unemployment, it is apparent that many organizations have cut staff. Statistics also show businesses have cut inventories, equipment purchases and future expansion plans.
Justifying overhead is always a worthwhile exercise. It’s more important to focus on this during good economic times because that is when organizations tend to take on unnecessary expenses. Cutting staff and trimming overhead, however, seems to become a priority during bad economic times.
It is never good to cut back on marketing efforts or quality personnel. If you are thinking you will replace these when the economy turns around, you may be disappointed.
Sales and marketing efforts have a significant lead time. If you wait until you need new business to begin such efforts, you might fall victim to the natural delay between cause and effect.
You can’t wait until you’re thirsty to start digging the well.
When you have reevaluated both the top and bottom lines, there is one more fertile place to look for additional revenue: the area of productivity. Adding to the top line is like putting more fuel in the tank. Cutting expenses and adding to the bottom line is like throwing cargo overboard or shortening your trip. Increasing productivity is like tuning up your engine to get more out of the fuel you currently have while taking the same trip or even traveling farther.
Productivity may simply be a matter of thinking differently, acting differently, or performing more effectively. Sometimes, being more productive is simply a matter of eliminating less productive activities so you can focus on the tasks that really make a difference.
You can take a free productivity profile that will give you an individualized assessment of how you can be most productive through motivation, communication and implementation at
As you go through your day, look at your time, effort and energy as precious fuel and become committed through productivity to get the best mileage possible.
Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books, including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 S. Memorial Drive, Suite 312 in Tulsa or by e-mail at  

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