Since this is the very first week of our “Smart-n Up” series of post, I thought it appropriate to talk about one of the most important books for small business owners to read and to understand. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber is an updated version of his original book “The E-Myth” (now out of print). This should be required reading for every small business owner out there.
I rarely (if ever), go to a conference that discusses small business issues where the principles outlined in the E-Myth are not discussed in some fashion. Michael Gerber dismisses the common Myths about owning your own business and helps owners easily distinguish whether they want a “business” or a “job.” Unfortunately, most small business owners more closely resemble someone in a “job” than someone who owns a business.
Gerber, who has been a long-time consultant for small business success, makes it clear that most businesses fail; however, the ones that succeed do not do so because of luck. They succeed because they are organized properly. They are organized much the way that many franchises are organized – so that an ordinary “Joe” can walk in off the street and operate the business. This is done through business systems/processes. Why do you think that a McDonald’s in Japan operates exactly the same as a McDonald’s here in the Charlotte area?
It isn’t because of luck. It is because of systems. As Gerber puts it “Your business is not your life.” Your business should be a means to the life you want, but it should not consume you. Getting the proper systems in place does several things for your business – most importantly, it allows you to step back from the day-to-day grind of keeping your business operating and allows you to concentrate your efforts on growing your business.
That brings us to another great reason for the systems – scalability. Let’s face it, a plumber can physically only fix so many toilets by himself, but if he has functional systems in place, there is no limit to the amount of toilets his business can service. It’s all about systems. Do you have all of the systems in place in your business?
I have glossed over the points that Gerber talks about in detail through the book. I can’t even begin to give his work justice – much less so in a short blog post. Again, this is a book that every small business owner needs to read. After you read it the first time, you will probably want to read it again.
Where you can get The E-Myth Revisited: