The E-Myth is a book written by Michael Gerber more than 25 years ago, but it’s revelations are so profound that it seems it was written just yesterday. The E-Myth or Entrepreneurial Myth is the belief that you can run a business just because you are good with particular skills such as baking, auto mechanics, computer programming, app development, designing or a myriad of other skills. It is true that you must have a strong desire to share your skills with your customers, but running a successful business is a lot more than just possessing a marketable skill.
The Essence of Gerber’s Revelations
- Most small business owners work in their business rather than on their business. They primarily think about getting more produce or services and earning more money.
- People who are exceptionally good in business are so because of their insatiable need to know more. They understand the continuous learning is really the key to their success.
- “Understanding the technical work of a business does not mean you understand a business that does [or provides] that technical work.” (Samuel Thomas Davies) Growing a business to provide a product or service to more and more customers is a full and distinct set of skills.
Business research has revealed that many small businesses fail because of situations occurring in the business itself, not outside forces. Who controls the activities inside the business? The owner and the affiliates. A further analysis shows that the perspective of the owner, as you control the operation, is hindering business development. Your focus is on the technical skills you bring to the enterprise. For example, you may be an expert accountant, baker, computer scientist, plumber, or carpenter experiencing great success with your skill. However, as the demands of the business increase, various functions are not attended to, such as planning and projecting resources for hiring competent workers and serving more customers. This also includes the negligence of critically important administrative functions. When this much is left undone, the business fails. Critical functions must be managed and performed for fortifying and sustaining a business which makes basic Management Skills extremely important for serious business Founders.The key is changing your perspective. mindset and skills.
The Perspective of a Major Business Founder
“Considering the business environment for my discipline, I think I’ll create a niche that’s different.” How should my business work in today’s environment? This perspective takes into account the changing environment of the business and research is carried out to help design how the business will work today and in the future.
“I’ve checked my major competitors and I see they are not offering what I want to offer. I’ll be different.” What are my competitors doing that I should know about? A careful analysis of existing successful, related businesses is performed to determine the state of the art in the chosen discipline. Internet searches make this task easily accomplished.
“People really need my product/service. It’s not as available as it should be. I want to make a difference.” What meaning can we bring to the marketplace? The contributions to society the business will make is taken into consideration and held as guiding principles in the business.
“I’m projecting 5 to 10 years down the road. I see my business making a significant contribution to my discipline in the years to come.” What should my business look like in the future? A Vision of the future is carefully described and used as business targets.
“I’m using my planning time to document the process for getting to the targets according to my timelines.” What strategy should I adopt to get to that Vision? An analysis of where you are in the business building process, what targets you wish to reach and how you are going to reach those targets is thought through, designed and documented. This is your strategy.
“Standardized Systems will help me offer excellent quality to my customers on a consistent basis.”What systems should be in place to ensure consistent results that satisfy customers and create the best results? These will be routine ways of running the business that can be easily repeated in all important operations. Examples would be a product/service delivery system, marketing system, a financial system or a customer service system that works the same every time unless changes are needed to stay ahead of the game.
Four Practical Advantages of Business Management Tools
Maintain a Managers Perspective
You enjoy the hands on effort required to contribute the product or service you provide. After all, that’s why you started the business anyway. If you continue to work with your head down(on your service, product, or day to day details) and never take time to look at and construct the Big Picture, it can be fatal to your enterprise. “Big picture thinking” is your greatest responsibility and you’ll need to find regular time for it. It’s a different perspective because you will not only work in the business, you will also work on sustaining, fortifying and growing your business.
“The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.” Albert Einstein
“The gift if fantasy” or “Big Picture Thinking” is an essential tool for your growing business because it directs you to the personal and business success you desire. Strategic Management is one of those exercises that will bring you to the realization of your dream or fantasized future. As the business owner, you must take time out of your busy schedule to be the “Captain of the Ship” and the captain must have a map to help maintain the course or the ship will end up anywhere or no where! The only way you can have a map is to take time to draw one up. A Business Blueprint would be ideal! This requires regular times of contemplation. Determine your best thinking time and put it in your schedule. This will help you have essential documentation including a strategic plan ( collaborated if possible). Remain open minded with a learning attitude and pay attention to your emotions. What could they be telling you?
Daniel Goldman, in his book, “Emotional Intelligence”, has pointed to the importance of emotions; concluding that the Emotional Quotient is more important than the Intelligence Quotient. He believes that “our deepest feelings, our passions and longings, are essential guides, and that our species owes much of it’s existence to their power in human affairs”. Feelings, passions and longings are useful for our success. Read the book for an interesting insight. Practice patience to immerse your enterprise in the great Vision that you have for the future then persevere in the face of the many obstacles that you will inevitably face.
The Ability to Develop and Manage Systems
Small businesses that succeed develop Systems of operation for almost every function performed. Business Systems are activities performed in a consistent manner to achieve the organization’s goals. They are performed in several steps and the successful manager documents these steps for easy replication. To many, this will be boring and tedious but once the documents are completed, this will give you, the manager, time to do what you enjoy doing and enable you to sustain and enlarge the enterprise. This is one of the great secrets of successful business that many small business owners don’t know about or avoid. Creating Systems simply starts with documenting what you do and how you do it. It could be called an operations manual or a Systems manual or some unique name that might come to you; but the object is to document the successful operations that you want to make routine. Imagine these standardized Systems being replicated to build a business10,000 times its original size!
The Ability to Manage Strategically
Here, you’re required to always hold a mental model of how your operations work together. This model, when documented, will be a framework for your Strategic Management plan. There’s a lot of discussion about the value of strategic plans. Some say they aren’t needed, others say that they inhibit growth and iteration and some say they don’t work. Any way you look at it, some type of planning is essential. You must be able to see and project how you’re going to get to your Vision and this plan should be available and clear to all who share the responsibility of getting there. This plan will guide your business through it’s various stages of development. You will have the ability to design the operations and standards that will guide your business to targets you have set for growth and scaling. Strategic Management will answer the questions: Where are we now in relation to our Vision? What are our eventual targets? How will we get to these targets? Strategic management is an exercise that will bring you to the realization of your dream.
The Essential Ability to Hire the Right Talent.
The Gallup Organization conducted a large study of managers in approximately 400 companies. Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman described how the study pointed to the need to select employees by testing their talent. They further concluded that”…every role, performed at excellence, requires talent.” They found that the managers defined talent as” a recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied”. In other words, these are the behaviors that people do often, such as, the ability to remember names, not just faces or the ability to make friends easily. Buckingham and Coffman concluded that every role performed excellently required talent. This talent is our unique way of thinking, feeling and behaving. We all have filters that tells us what we should think, feel or do.
You can look for new employees that share and demonstrate your Core Business Values. These are elements of his or her talent, “the recurring patterns, thought, feeling and behavior.” If you can hire people with the natural talent you need in your business; it will, more than likely, lead to long term success. So this is an area worth studying. It worked for 400 successful managers, so it should work for you. Look for habits. Habits are talents; they are enduring characteristics and prominent attitudes that are revealed in conversations and actions. Choose people with beliefs, Values and habits that fit your business beliefs, Values and habits.
If you want to build a sustainable business that you can replicate by a factor of 10,000, Management skills are essential. The primary act is to acquire a Manager’s Perspective. You will not only work as the technical expert, you will also work as the CEO with a global perspective of your business. You will see the importance of making regular time for “Big Picture thinking”. You will be able to understand the importance of designing Systems of operation for each business function; and you will apply Strategic Management to these Systems to achieve your business Vision. Finally, you will understand the importance of only adding workers to your business who fit the business Culture, Vision, Values and goals. There are other Management skills required, but the ones described above are fundamental to good Management practice and business success. If you design your Business Architecture before you begin any part of your business, you will be armed with state-of-the-art tools to handle many aspects of business development.The key is changing your perspective and mindset plus being prepared with a Business Blueprint to follow as you build.
All of the tools you will need to build a major business are readily available. Check out my website www.geniuscoretraining.com to see what the possibilities are. We can storm the marketplace with state-of-the-art business management and leadership skills. Let’s do this!