John Bulman discusses Profitability Thinking

Rob Bannon had a chance to catch up with business consultant John Bulman to get to know a little about his firm, him personally as a business owner, and to find out what makes a good business consultant.

John Bulman of Profitability Thinking is a business consultant who has made a name for himself in his industry.  Bulman’s certifications include a Master of Business Administration (MBA), which he says is a great degree to have as a business consultant. He also has a management background in operations, marketing, finance, sales, and management.

When asked to describe his job, Bulman said, “I am a consultant for small, closely-held businesses with roughly 1 million to 10 million dollars in revenue. These are businesses that do not have the skills they need to run a business effectively.” Bulman is not only a business consultant for small businesses in need of his help to get them where they need to be; he is also the author of Profitability Thinking.

Because his business and his way of doing things have led to results, he decided to write a book so he could share his thoughts and secrets to running an effective business with others.

According to Bulman, the book is basically about, “how to run a business in a way that anyone can understand and read within 5 to 6 hours.” He has included helpful exercises in the book that are optional, and are created to give readers a way to exercise what they have learned from the book.

Before his book was published, Bulman says he was feeling a little crazy about writing it, so he brought it to a close friend to show him what he wrote. His friend’s response surprised him, as his friend told him he wished he had written the book sooner because he has several family members who could have used and applied the advice given in the book, and it possibly could have helped save their businesses that just recently went under.

This reaction proved to Bulman that writing this book could possibly be the best thing he had ever done. He says the book is a pretty simple concept, providing people with the skills that are needed to run an effective business, make rational decisions throughout their business process, and to avoid making decisions that will lead to negative results, without thinking of the possible consequences, or as Bulman says, “Help them avoid shooting from the hip”.

Bulman believes many people in his industry are just sales people with a franchise, but he is different because he is tailor’s unique solutions for all of his clients. Bulman tells us, “I will meet you where you are, and create something for you that is unique to you, based on your individual situation.” He says there is nothing left up in the air when he is consulting someone; for example, if the person he is working with does marketing, he wants to know exactly how many hours they will get out of this, what the return on investment is going to be, and then they will track those things. The tools he provides are very quantitative, and he guarantees to provide those in need with the skills they must have to run their business.

Bulman believes if he has not taught you how to run a business effectively by the time he has completed his work, then he has failed at his job. As opposed to others in his field, the process at Profitability Thinking is very customized and skill based and is set on giving clients solutions to their problems.

He says that small businesses do not necessarily need life coaches, but they do need the point of view, perspective, and skills to run their business correctly. Bulman says he is a, “Business coach and consultant who actually knows something about business!” When asked his opinion on where the business industry is headed in 2014, he said, “I see a bifurcation of the business happening. There will be coaches and consultants, and over time I suspect that is where it will start to bifurcate. The problem is, people can get a certified coaching credential from a coaching school, yet know nothing about business. I believe those who have business skills will start calling themselves consultants, while others will call themselves coaches.”

While Bulman is not necessarily saying one of them is better than the other, he is making a point that they are two different professions. He believes that his position as a certified business consultant brings small-businesses in need of counseling the information and skills they need to be effective and successful businesses.

You can view his website at