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Do You Have A Business or a Job?

Mar 1, 2008
Every entrepreneur knows that setting goals is crucial to business success.If you don't know where you're going, how will you know when you've arrived? Or, more importantly, when you're heading in completely the wrong direction?

If you're the owner of a small business, what is your goal? Yes, it will be to make enough money at the end of the month, to cover the payroll, to take a vacation for the first time in five years.

Every small business owner should have the same goal - sooner or later, to become independent of the business. Small businesses turn into big businesses only when they are able to operate smoothly without the owner being present. When you can stay away for a week, or a month, or a year, and return to find the business running better than before you left, you have the opportunity to do whatever you like-sell the business and start a new one, retire, buy a yacht and sail around the world.

True financial independence is the ability to live your life doing what YOU want to do. Do you really want to show up for work an hour early every day, leave late at night and never take a vacation, for the rest of your life? I don't think so.

That is the description of a job... and a really lousy one at that.

Unfortunately, it's also exactly, what most small business owners, especially franchisees and mom and pop shops have. In fact, it's so common place that it is often referred to as "buying a job".

So, what is the key to being able to walk away?

It's simple. You need systems in place so that everyone in your business knows exactly what's expected of them. And you have to spend the time working on your business not just in it, to insure that those systems get built.

When you take on a new employee, how do they learn what they're expected to do? Does an existing employee take them in charge, explaining how things work? How can you be sure that the new employee is learning what you want them to know?

As the owner of the business, it's your job to ensure that systems are put in place as the business grows. The systems will ensure that everyone knows what they need to know to do their job effectively.

How do you think companies like McDonald's are able to manage thousands of restaurants across the planet? McDonald's Head Office doesn't sell hamburgers. They sell franchises, and their customers are the franchisees.

The most valuable asset they have is their system. It regulates what employees wear, the words they say to customers, how many seconds a patty is left on the grill, to variables within their business, every contingency is dictated by the system.

Your systems need to include employee training, product development and testing, inventory, accounting procedures, customer service, hiring and promotions, marketing, facility management and so on. Every aspect of your business needs to have basic systems in place to insure that it runs smoothly in your absence.

A great book to help you in creating these systems is called the E-Myth by Michael Gerber. It's a really good read and enormously helpful in building your understanding in how systems help grow your business.
About the Author
Ranju assistant to Pam Hamilton,having honed her skills as an experienced attorney, successful entrepreneur, her company, TAX helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create and grow their business to build wealth, minimize taxes and protect their assets
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