Michael Gerber takes the reader through a complete journey of understanding, taking us back to the reasons that we first decided to go into business right through to providing the details of the systems that he uses in his own business – and the businesses of many clients – to ensure they are setup for success.
In most cases the decision to set up in business for ourselves follows a period of time (often many years) making use of and developing core technical skills whilst working for someone else. Then, at some point, we realise the value of our expertise and feel the confidence and desire to take those skills and offer them through our own business. Gerber refers to this moment as “Entrepreneurial Seizure”. The feeling is all consuming and exciting. We can’t wait to get started, become our own boss, and do things the way we want – with the freedom to make all the choices for ourselves. Unfortunately this is exactly the time when danger strikes. In most cases the next steps are taken on a very unstable foundation as we forge forward on a very inaccurate assumption that being skilled in our area of work means that we will know how to create and run a business in that field. In actual fact the cold hard truth is that “The technical work of a business and a business that does technical work are two different things!”
Michael Gerber helps the reader to understand that there are in fact three distinct roles required in running a business – the technician who does the work, the manager who monitors and organises the work, and the entrepreneur who, led by vision, builds the business. He also explains that while it is possible for one person to fulfil all three in the perfect balance, it is highly unlikely.
We are not left hanging there, though. This is a solutions focused read. Having been given the insights into why we should not head out and do what we thought would be right, Gerber provides the details of how it can and should be done to ensure a successful outcome.
I do not want to do this book any injustice by attempting to provide the details of the solutions here – I want you to make sure you read this book for yourself! The details that follow, however, are based on a very simple and yet fundamental principle that all new businesses should understand and apply – “Build Systems”! Whether you are thinking far enough ahead to that time in the future when you may want to sell or replicate your business – or not – the basis of a successful business is strong systems, processes, policies and procedures that mean your business runs like clockwork – with or without you.
Aside from the requirements of getting the business right, Gerber also covers the importance of our personal and human needs. Chapter 12 “Your Primary Aim” helps us to reconnect with ourselves – what our life is really about – and how we will use it. Chapter 13 “Your Strategic Objective” then goes on to make the connection between your primary aim and the part your business has to play in.
I have read this book over and over, I recommend my clients read it, and I openly encourage any and every small business owner to go and grab a copy, shut themselves away for a day or so and really absorb all that this book has to offer.
Trudy Spikesman MD of Crazy Days Ltd