You remember being a kid! Crash, bang, ouch! Getting hurt was pretty normal. Mom was always to the rescue and if you had a cut, here came the band-aids! The creator of the band-aid knew something that all sustainably profitable businesses know.

Symptoms are profitable, cures are not

The creator of Band-Aids knew creating a solution to the symptom, and not the problem, was the best business plan. So long as the real problem (people getting cuts and scrapes) continued to exist, there would be perpetual symptoms and therefore an ongoing need for his product. In short, the creator didn’t try to keep humans from getting hurt, he gave them a product to help them heal instead. Perhaps you never looked at Band-Aids this way before. (this could apply to curing cancer, giving starving families in third world countries the resources to address starvation, etc.)

The moral of the story

Solving problems is the core drive of business. In one form or another every business seeks to create a solution of some kind to a problem or a perceived problem of another person or business. Businesses who permanently solve a problem (or have long cycles between customer visits) often struggle for sustainability and long term profits as they have to dedicate more resources to either finding more clients (going horizontal) or creating more services to offer their existing clientele (going vertical).

The secret to sustainable profit

While it may seem uncouth (only because some companies are push the boundaries of ethics and morals), it is wise for a company to either manufacture into it’s products or for a company to design into their services a life cycle and the law shorten this cycle as much as possible. Curing the problem is not good for business. What products / services do you sell? What is the average return cycle for your customer? Are you solving their problem or simply addressing the symptoms?

Look carefully at the model of the healthcare, technology and charity industries. Cure nothing, simply offer temporary symptom relief and unlock the key to sustainable profits. Be sure to engineer failure or delivery control (doctors) into your system. How to protect IP (intellectual property) and tangibles (patents, trademarks, copyrights) is a topic for another post!

Hope you enjoyed this article. Leave us comments below and let’s start a conversation around this subject.

Cheers to success!