In my recent blogs I’ve given a useful summary of Michael E Gerber’s ‘The E-Myth’, covering different business owner personality types, the three business phases and the franchise prototype.
Michael E Gerber’s E-Myth books contain many highly valuable, good, common sense business pointers. Hopefully these blogs will help you apply Gerber’s recommendations to your business for some amazing results.
Every business needs good foundations, vision, systems and processes. To help you achieve this, you need to work out the following seven points.
- Your primary aim
In business this means moving beyond your comfort zone, to find your true purpose and stop those limiting beliefs! What kind of life do you want to lead?
- Your strategic objective
This isn’t a business plan, but more of a life plan. A statement of what the business has to do for you.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What revenues do you want to achieve over the next 10 years?
- What do you want your gross and net profits to be?
- How much income do you need from the business?
- How much do you want to sell your business for, and when?
- Is your business an opportunity worth pursuing? Can your business fulfil your primary aim – remember this means your true purpose. Can it give you the revenues you need?
- What sort of experience do you give your customers? How do they feel about doing business with you? Behaviour, emotions and feelings are key to a successful business.
- And how are you going to deliver your product or service to achieve the revenues you need? What’s your location, what’s your brand, and what’s your image? How robust are your processes and systems? What about staffing? Do you attract and retain quality staff members?
- Your organisational strategy
Never organise your procedures around personalities!
Your staff members have to do things the ‘company’ way to achieve success, otherwise your business is heading for chaos. Each team member must have his or her own responsibilities. All procedures must be documented and followed. Otherwise things will get missed; people won’t accept responsibility and your business with suffer.
Create job descriptions and contracts for all roles, and make sure you have an organisational chart. You’ll probably find that your name may take up a few roles to start with for example MD, bookkeeper and marketing director but that’s fine. As you take on more staff, you can update the chart.
Next write the procedures, processes and systems for each role, taking into account what you want the customer and staff experience to be.
Apprentices often work well as they come with no preconceived ideas and you can shape them in a way that suits your business.
- Your management strategy
The little things count! You must take notice of your customers. What do they need and want? What would help them?
Have a system that can capture information about your customers.
Remember that the customer is not always right, but you must make them feel like they’re right!
Your procedures and systems should have checklists so standards are maintained.
These should be signed off by staff members to say they have followed the procedures and have made sure that each check has been completed.
If they don’t follow processes, then a disciplinary may be necessary, as they aren’t following your instructions and could jeopardise your business.
- Your people strategy
Create an environment that doing your best and doing things well is the norm. You expect all your staff to work to the best of their ability. If they won’t, or can’t, you must replace them.
When hiring new staff, take your time to explain the role in great detail. Inform them of their responsibilities and why the procedures are important and must be followed at all times. Communicate your ideas, your vision, your mission and standards clearly to your staff.
- Your marketing strategy
We may think that we are making a rational decision, based on detailed information, when we buy. However, in most cases people decide to buy at a subconscious level, and emotions play a key role. We’ll have expectations and if these are met then we will want to buy, even if it’s not rational!
Perceived needs are important. What do your customers really think they want, not what they actually need. That’s what you should be selling.
If you can deliver a promise to your customers, at a profit, which is better than your competitors, and you can communicate that clearly, you will succeed.
- Your systems strategy
There are three kinds of systems – hard, soft and information systems:
- Hard systems include offices, white boards, PCs, telephones and mail.
- Soft systems are living things, for example ideas and people. You should have scripts or benchmarks for your sales people. Sales will depend on what you say, how you say it, how you are, and what you wear.
- Information systems are cash flow forecasts, accounting and reporting systems. Information is the glue to hold your system strategy together. For example you might measure the number of sales calls, prospects reached, appointments, and the value of each sale. This measures the interaction between soft and hard systems.
- To approach any part of your business as separate is madness. Every part of your business affects everything else. It’s all interrelated.
Learn from Gerber’s ‘The E-Myth’. Put clearly defined systems, processes and procedures in place. If you would like your company to run without you, but the way you want it to be run, let me help you.
Many business owners I ‘ve helped have faced overwhelming difficulties. I’ve worked with them to turn their businesses around, and to have the business they’ve dreamt of, allowing them to enjoy their life at work, at home… and on the golf course!
Please get in touch if you’d like our support in developing your business