Lessons from the E-Myth - The keys to building a successful small business
A group of us at Inertia Beverage recently finished reading the E-Myth revisited by Michael Gerber. This is one of my favorite books on building a successful small business. We chose this book to read, because we understand that the majority of our clients are just that, small businesses. We in the wine industry tend to place so much romance around wine, the process of growing the grapes, making the wine, etc., that we forget that this is still a business.
Gerber has three central themes in his book;
- The typical small business spends all their time working in the business, not working on it.
- To build a successful business, the business has to have a repeatable process that could succeed without the owner being part of it. Gerber calls this the franchise model.
- There are three personalities working in any business, the Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician. The personalities can reside in the same person or in different individuals.
How would I summarize the conclusions of the E-Myth? First, as the owner/founder of a business, you need to take time to take a step back, get away from the day to day demands of making the business work, and look at the bigger picture. Where is my enterprise headed, where do I want it to go, and how do I get it there?
Second, how much is this business dependent on the owner. Does all knowledge reside in the owner’s head? If the business was sold, and the current owner left, would the business fail? If the owner to these questions is yes, than the owner needs to build a set of processes that are a roadmap for running the business.
Lastly, what personality is dominating the decision making in the business. It needs to be the Entrepreneur, but very frequently it is the other two.
Certainly it is not possible to do this 120 page book justice in three or four paragraphs, but I highly recommend you read it. If you are an IBG client, ask your CDM what he/she thought of the book. We all enjoyed it, and hopefully learned some things that we can use in helping our clients grow.