You are amazing at what you do. We work with service-based businesses who want to grow and find easier ways to operate so they can reclaim their time. Many business owners don’t necessarily start because they want to run a business. They start their own business because they are exceptional at the technical side of the business and want to strike out on their own. But, that technical knowledge and knowing how to run a business are two different things. We talk about The E-Myth Revisited, a well-known and commonly recommended business book, and concepts that can help technicians find that entrepreneurial perspective.
What we cover in this episode:
- 1:33 – Why does this gap in business knowledge exist?
- 4:28 – Finding ways to delegate
- 5:10 – The E-Myth Revisited and phases of business growth
- 11:16 – How to continue doing what you love
- 14:22 – Working on the business
- 20:30 – Keeping stress at bay
Why does this gap in business knowledge exist?
In working primarily with service-based businesses in industries such as legal, dental, IT, healthcare, and construction, we see that this gap in business knowledge is not uncommon. It takes skilled technicians to be involved in performing the actual service in any of the aforementioned industries. Because of that circumstance, business owners are usually very skilled technicians, but aren’t familiar with the details involved in running a business.
In The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, which we discuss in further detail later on, Gerber talks about an assumption made by all technicians who go into business for themselves. That is “If you understand the technical work of the business, you understand the business that does that technical work.” He explains that it is a fatal assumption that isn’t true and is the root cause of most business failures.
Schooling is focused on the technical aspects of performing the tasks involved in each profession, which is how you excel and provide amazing services in your field. There may be some minor business training along the way, but your focus and expertise will, and should, be in your field.As a business owner, you have to look at the business in a different way as the business grows, stepping away from that technician who is performing the actual work itself.
Finding ways to delegate
Delegation is key when it comes to transitioning from a technician, providing all services yourself, to any growth that expands beyond your capacity. Outsourcing can be a good option to get this work off your plate without the costs associated with hiring someone in-house. Consider finding an advisor or mentor who can help with the structure and processes as you experience growth.
The E-Myth Revisited and phases of business growth
The E-myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber is based on the myth that businesses are started only by entrepreneurs and people who want to run their own business. More typically, a technician branches off on their own because they enjoy what they do and want the autonomy to do it on their own. He walks through the phases of business growth, which are important to understand as you go through each transition and the distinction between working on your business and working in your business.
The three phases of business growth are infancy, adolescence and maturity. Regardless of the business, every business goes through these phases. There are certain characteristics of each phase that determine where your business falls in the business lifecycle.
Infancy – This is the technician phase. As the owner of the business, you are the primary person providing the services. Because there are only a handful of clients, you are able to do all of the work on your own.
Adolescence – This is the management phase. You realize the business has grown beyond your capacity and that, in order to handle the volume, you have to expand your team and hire. This requires becoming a manager and acquiring a new mindset. Some people have experience doing this and others don’t, so it can be a struggle for some. This phase is often very busy and you’re faced with trying to keep all the balls in the air. It is also marked with new challenges in delegation, trust, establishing processes, getting others involved, and overseeing the work.
Maturity – This phase comes as you gain an entrepreneurial perspective. This phase pushes you to go beyond your comfort zone to ensure the business continues to grow. At this point, your main focus becomes driving the business forward, not necessarily doing all of the work.
When we talk about taking the entrepreneurial perspective, what exactly does that mean? It means looking at the business as a business, not as performing services. The entrepreneurial perspective forces you to look at the business structure and processes you need to reach a future vision. That is what’s going to drive the business forward and help you reach your ultimate goal.
How to continue doing what you love
As your business grows, you want to make sure you feel fulfilled and you’re not getting mired in tasks you hate. There are ways to delegate and still be involved in things you love on the technical side. You can’t spend the majority of your time in technical work and expect to run a successful, growing business. You have to start working much more ON your business than IN your business if your ultimate goal is to continue growing.
The way you build your infrastructure and team is integral if you really enjoy doing the technical work. For example, if you do not enjoy performing administrative work, you don’t have to be sitting there making all payments for bills every week. You have the ultimate responsibility as the business owner so you want to keep your finger on it, but if it is something you hate, find someone to delegate to. You can build a great team so you can look at those things high level rather than spending the majority of your time performing those time-consuming tasks yourself.
Working on the business
Working on your business means building great processes and procedures, documenting, building training systems, etc. You must consider what your infrastructure needs to look like and build your futuristic, ideal organizational chart. Then, as you hire, make sure the people you’re bringing onto your team are operating in similar capacities to lay the right foundation, ensuring customers, patients, clients, etc. are getting the same level of service and care they’re used to receiving. When it comes to processes and procedures, it is important to establish those on the technical side, as well as on the administrative side when it comes to paying bills, payroll, reporting back to management, owners, etc.
As we touched on briefly above, there are outsourced options if you don’t have the budget to hire someone in-house. Making the investment both in time and money to do these things right up front is a smart move, but don’t recreate the wheel. Finding an advisor or mentor who has experience can save you some big headaches and potentially quite a bit of money and time as well. As the business owner, it is much more efficient for you to push the business forward and bring in more revenue if you aren’t focused on the nitty gritty. It does take time to find the right people. Remember that entrepreneur mindset and ask yourself, “How do I build the business?”, “How do I do it the right way?”, and “How do I get there faster?”
As advisors and in this podcast, we want to help make lives better, lessen stress in business. Keeping your why in place and in check and where you are in relation to this. Find balance, more fulfillment
Keeping stress at bay
After getting into our 16th episode of this podcast and covering this material weekly, we felt it would be good to address the fact that information overload can negatively impact us as we strive to continue learning. With the internet and endless books about business, leadership, management, it can lead to emotions of overwhelm and not feeling that you’re enough.
Try to listen and read these resources from a different perspective. We don’t have to do everything it says in each book, podcast, or webinar. Consider what fits into your life and your way of doing things. This is easier said than done at times, but we shouldn’t be playing the comparison game. It’s beneficial to gain new perspective and find potential ways to implement new ideas, but try not to look at all of the things you’re not doing because it is easy to feel like a failure with an endless list of to-dos.
Many service-based business owners are amazing at what they do! There is a difference in technical knowledge of performing a task and running a business.
We see owners in industries like legal, dental, IT, and construction who believe that because they understand the technical work, they should be able to run that business, but they are two very different things. According to Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited, “Most businesses are not started by entrepreneurs.” We cover some of the ideas in this book, like the phases of business growth and entrepreneurial perspective.
We also discuss how to continue doing what you love as your business grows, the importance of delegation and differentiating working on your business vs. working in your business. Lastly, we cover information overload and ways you can keep stress manageable as you strive to learn more about business growth.