Entrepreneurs? Technicians? Or Mad People?

stress toon

Thinking of my history in working for others and my own business, I have been re-reading the E-myth books by Michael Gerber recently and to be honest I was the ‘Technician’. Working crazy hours doing all the work myself, not getting the rewards and the time with my family which was desperately needed. Working for a maniac – Myself! I have now re-structured my business, giving myself more time for my family and still getting the same if not more money. I am also now enjoying what I do in my business instead of dreading and hating turning up every day treating it like a job.

I have helped over 50 business start ups, which majority are still going, and makes me proud that they are following a few guidelines I put in place for them. Talking to to these businesses I always try and ask them to make goals and targets. What is the point of going into business if you don’t have a goal, if you just want regular income or work then get a job!

I enjoy working with clients who want to improve and really take their business forward, I enjoy going that extra mile for clients to ensure that they actually achieve their goals or they on a path in the right direction. Building a team around them that gives them excellent support also gives me a great satisfaction.

It’s amazing when I tell a client ‘I don’t want your year end accounts’, their jaw drops!. I also say that If you happy and trust your accountant then stick with them. I let them know I am happy to work with their accountant and I want their business to succeed, most of the time their accountant has not got the time or experience to give them the business growth and improvement plan they desire. Don’t get me wrong, if a client wants year end accounts with tax planning doing then I will support that and will give them a full package, but lately the clients I have been signing up still retain their current accountant.

My apologies, I have detracted from my original blog about businesses I have come across.

There are too many ‘technicians’ out there and every business that I have supported starting out have the same thing in common; they used to work for someone and they have thought they could do it better on their own. But doing the same job as your previous ‘boss’ does not mean you can do it better. Many times I have heard a business owner state to me ‘I have to be in the business because it wouldn’t work without me, and its my JOB!’ and many times I have responded asking them to look at what they have just told me and more importantly the last word. Business owners who are ‘Technicians’ have the worst boss in the world, they are stubborn, maniacs and want everything doing instantly – ‘themselves’!

I bleat to clients and contacts about ‘systems’ and putting these in place to make your business work which usually falls on deaf ears, but now I am seeing and working with businesses being successful because of these ‘systems’.

These ‘systems’ establish order in the business, makes it a viable sell-able product and can also assist in any growth. They can range from very simple instructions to a massive detailed system manual, but they will all do the same job; they tell someone how your business runs.

A small example of  this; a manufacturing company, been trading over 2 years, with a £250k turnover when I signed them up, we agreed to put in a few small systems and meet on a regular basis. I asked for their targets and in normal response ‘we are not sure’ I suggest what they would feel like if they hit a turnover of £1 Million and response was ‘ we’ll never hit that’. A challenge! I suggested they could hit that amount and make more profits within 2 years……..at month 11 of year 2, they achieved £1.02 million turnover with a net pre-tax profit of over £100k. That was just implementing a few small systems with regular monthly reviews.

With the government encouraging entrepreneurship and telling people to go self-employed, without the right support, guidance and tools the majority of them will fail. They will be great workers, but not business minded. I am not slagging the governments idea of small business is good but they need the skilled consultants to help them, and some (not all) of the consultants employed by these ‘agencies’ have not got a clue of how to run a SME, let alone give advice to potential entrepreneurs.

I don’t profess to know everything about business (I don’t – but I am enjoying learning more and more everyday) and I tell all my clients this, but I know a lot of people who are specialists in their fields and industry and that is what we should be building to when we give support to the future business of the UK.

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