Innovation

From the editor: Management by fortune cookie

Written by Ian Portsmouth

From an entrepreneur’s perspective, that’s sage advice — especially considering that I found it in a fortune cookie. And, in essence, it’s the founding principle of PROFIT, which launched 26 years ago as Canada’s only magazine for owner-managers.

Unlike business publications that target the masses (i.e., most of them), PROFIT does not obsess over stock prices, scandal or strange but true lines of “small” business. Instead, our objective is to produce insights that can help you generate higher revenue, greater profit and myriad benefits for your employees, customers and communities. How better to fulfill that mission than by analyzing the experiences and documenting the prescriptions of people who’ve built their own businesses par excellence?

Our close connection with successful entrepreneurs is what makes PROFIT such a valuable repository of proven business strategies and expert advice. Jim Balsillie and Clive Beddoe? Rebecca MacDonald and Michael Lee-Chin? Those entrepreneurial greats, and others, have imparted their management wisdom through Ask the Legends, our innovative Q&A in which you get to ask the questions.

Our columnists, too, are self-made successes charged with sharing their expertise with you. One is Jeff Dennis, a serial entrepreneur, co-founder of the Toronto chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the chairman of SonnenEnergy, a budding solar-power producer and systems integrator that’s listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. There’s also Brian Scudamore, the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, one of Canada’s fastest-growing and best-managed companies, and the world’s largest junk-removal service with more than 300 franchisees. Brian took this issue off, but we have recruited a worthy substitute: Roger Hardy of Coastal Contacts, the online retailer of contact lenses and eyeglasses Hardy launched in 2000 that has grown to annual sales of more than $100 million.

Greig Clark — strategic advisor, venture capitalist and founder of College Pro Painters — offers his counsel to the companies we profile in our Startup Scan department. Recently, Greig also penned a four-part series on why every entrepreneur should have an advisory board and how to create a great one. He should know: Greig currently sits on seven advisory boards, and credits his board at College Pro for turning that business into a household name.

And then there are the entrepreneurs we write about in every issue, because they have experience and insights you can put to work in your own business. Next issue, we’ll be delivering bonus business intelligence derived from the leaders of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, the PROFIT 100. (And we’ll be doing it for the 20th consecutive year.)

As I recently discovered during another round of Chinese takeout: “Finding exotic uses for what others ignore will make your special fortune.” To that point, Greig, Jeff and Brian would add that too many entrepreneurs deprive themselves of market-beating knowledge simply by not seeking it. So, make an effort to exploit all the experience at your disposal, in these pages or in person. It’s one thing to believe in fortune-cookie wisdom; it’s another thing to gobble it up.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com