Blog by Jim Bernthal
As you look at starting your business, you’re probably thinking about the work you will be doing every day. You’ll be thinking about how you will grow it and what kind of money it could be making for you. What you might not be thinking about is selling your business.
I would suggest that you do. I would suggest that you stop and think about years down the line when you are ready to retire or move on to your next opportunity.
If you look at your business as your new job you may be missing the point of what a business is. Your new business isn’t your job. It may provide you a job but that job is not the business. That job is a role someone in the business has to fulfill.
Rather than looking at your new business as a job, look at it as a product. Look at is as a product that you are going to sell somewhere down the line. If you do this it will put you in the proper frame of mind. It will put you in the frame of mind of a successful entrepreneur and business owner.
That frame of mind is this; Your business isn’t what it produces or even the problems it solves. Your business is a product that produces profits. Most importantly it is a product that can produce that profit without your involvement.
When you’re starting up and you’re doing the lion’s share of the work that needs to be done, this perspective may be difficult to embrace. After all, at this point, it is all about you. It’s your baby and it’s your talents that are getting it all started.
So here is a word of caution young entrepreneur; if you allow it to be all about you very soon you will be anxious, stressed out hump of a human being and you’ll be wondering how the hell you put yourself in this situation.
On the other hand, if you look at your business as a product, with the end in mind, you will have a perspective that will allow you to build something that can be extremely rewarding to all involved.
So how do you look at your business as a product? To start with recognizing that the purpose of a business is to make a profit. The more profit your business produces the greater the value of that product. The more consistently your business can deliver that profit the greater the value of your business. The more you can reduce risk the greater value of the business.
So how do you get there? How do you not just work in your business but work on building a business that generates strong consistent profits?
Let me start by offering a couple of suggestions. There are a ton of books that provide advice on how to run a successful business. Read as many as you can. Become a student of running a successful business. Immerse yourself in the art and science of running a successful business. After all, that is your new profession.
With that said, there are two books in particular that I would recommend you read.
The first is The E Myth by Michael Gerber
The second is Traction by Gino Wickman
Both of these books speak volumes to the importance of documenting processes and procedures.
The E Myth is the lighter read. It’s not quite as sophisticated as Traction but it is a great story that makes an important point.
For a business to be successful it must be able to consistently deliver on its brand promise. Whether that brand promise is a tasty burger in 2 minutes or less or the luxury home of your dreams your business needs documented processes and procedures that are followed by all.
Without documented processes and procedures what you deliver will be inconsistent. It will depend upon who is doing the work on any given day. The problem with that is one of the things customers value the most is consistency.
When you don’t deliver consistently you will frustrate customers and harm your brand. You will lose customers as well as team members. At the same time, the reverse is true. If you have documented processes and procedures followed by all your customers will enjoy a consistent experience with your brand. They will become loyal to your brand. Your team members will flourish because they will have confidence in how to deliver for the company and be proud to be associated with your brand.
The book “Traction” takes things a bit further. It provides a complete framework for running your business. The framework is called The Entrepreneurial Operating System© (EOS©). It goes into detail about how to start by laying a foundation from which to operate your business. It speaks to defining your vision, your core values and core focus.
It talks about defining the roles and responsibilities of each position in your company. It also speaks to the importance of documenting all of your processes and procedures and defining the way your company does business.
Your processes and procedures not only cover how you build your product but also how you deliver it to the market. As you begin your journey, I would recommend you consider just how important that aspect of your business is. In many cases how you deliver your product may be the only characteristic that distinguishes you from your competition. That is why it is important to document the processes and procedures that are essential to consistently producing and delivering your product or service every time.
By acquainting yourself with the basics of running a business you will be much better equipped to succeed. By forcing yourself to begin your business with the end in mind you will be forcing yourself to look at your business as a product you are in the process of building versus a job.
The difference can be dramatic and as a budding entrepreneur, I’d like to encourage you to take that perspective to heart.
Founder/CEO of Top Floor Tech
Jim Bernthal is the Founder and CEO of Top Floor Tech. Top Floor continues to evolve with the market. Digital marketing is fascinating. It never stops evolving which means you can never rest on your laurels. Keeping up with these changes is a challenge. However, the biggest challenge he works at every day is creating an organization whose culture facilitates success for clients and team members.