Are Multiple Locations Driving or Draining Your Profitability?


You probably know a few family owned businesses that are headquartered in the northern half of the United States that have a second office in Florida or Arizona.  If your company has viable prospects and/or customers in Florida or Arizona, the second location pays off in two ways. Real business growth can be accomplished plus the second office can help the founder of the business spend winter months in a warmer climate, ease into retirement, and deduct at least some of the costs associated with the second location.

But, recently, I was brought in to help a 4 location family owned business with its strategic thinking and implementation planning. During a speech, they had heard me say that “one secret to achieving accelerated growth with sustained profitability™ is to reverse the phrase.” So, they were not surprised when I started our discussion with questions about what drives their profitability.

It didn’t take long to discover what has been draining their profitability.  The four locations!

The Colorado location was selected because one son enjoys skiing. The Florida location was selected because the father enjoys golf. The Manhattan location fed the daughter’s Broadway show and retail therapy habit. The youngest son enjoyed surfing, so you probably have already guessed that their fourth location is in California.  Hey…it could have been Hawaii!

Not to be harsh…but let’s ask the honest question about the real purpose of this family business.  Apparently, the business serves as a mechanism to fund/support preferred lifestyles for members of the immediate family. But once that self serving goal has been met, can the business ever really grow?  It wasn’t surprising to learn that profitability and limited cash flow were chronic recurring problems for them.  Imagine how de-motivating this pattern would be for their employees.  I wondered if this family actually believed that their customers hadn’t picked up on their real motives.

It would take a little while to add more customer-centric thinking to this family owned business, but it is possible.

It is one thing to make sure your family business rewards the hard work of relatives who increase the value of the enterprise on a daily basis. It’s another to make business decisions with little consideration of customers and employees.

Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST™. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions.  Her midsized BtoB service, technology, and distribution clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. All of her own service businesses (strategic planning, executive advisory, growth financing, radio show, speaking, search) help privately held midsized companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability.™ Ambler is in her 7th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer on line radio program at and that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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Aldonna and her team showed us the way to success on many levels.

Susan W. Fell
Formerly of Wyckoff Publishing

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