An Epiphany of Business Excellence
As an owner, struggling to keep order with a small business during the early 1990’s, an epiphany of business excellence came to me, unexpectedly. A concerned friend handed me a business book, explaining “why most small businesses don’t work.”
Undoubtedly, it was evident to my friend and others that my small business was a stark picture of chaotic mediocrity.
All that to say, my business was a mess! Still, my pride balked at my friends “rude” suggestion.
After two weeks of letting that book collect dust on my nightstand, I finally picked it up and started reading. Amazingly, after reading only two chapters, an epiphany of business excellence exploded in my head.
With that stunning revelation, I actually shouted, “I know what to do, I know how to fix this thing!” Suddenly, I was able to totally envision how to organize my business to run without me being there.
In fact, convinced that integrated systems were the solution for FIXING my business, the mission to build those systems began with great excitement the very next day.
It was the answer that changed my business and my life!
Without the book my friend gave me, to aid my vision for how ALL businesses should operate, it may have taken years before gaining control of our business. As a matter of fact, around ten years later, we were able to write our own book on business systems to help owners and managers.
Some Have Won the Battle
Most people assume a small business is one having only five to fifteen employees. However, the SBA (Small Business Administration) considers a small business as having FIVE HUNDRED employees or less.
Interestingly, NO MATTER THE SIZE of a small business, or type of industry, they ALL have similar frustrations. As a matter of fact, many front office operations are identical.
Now, with many years experience, we’ve learned that many small business owners don’t have a clue where to start in the battle against chaotic mediocrity.
However, there are those who have WON that battle!
For the benefit of others, a few rare birds who have defeated the “enemy of order,” have shared with the world HOW they did it!
Considering this fact, if small business owners who don’t know WHERE TO START would research just a little, they would save years of disappointments and frustrations. Not to mention costly wasted time and money.
To be sure, there are many excellent books and resources to aid owners and managers troubled with dysfunctional business systems. So, there’s no reason to start from scratch.
Starting from Scratch Syndrome
Prideful personalities, like my old self, want to just do things themselves, their way. To our disadvantage, sometimes we are too proud to ask other business friends for help.
Consequently, many small businesses waste time “reinventing the wheel.” In other words, business owners/entrepreneurs tend to START FROM SCRATCH when a light bulb goes off in their head about how to fix a problem.
However, to save time, money and years of frustration, you can be sure someone has a ready-to-go solution to solve business problems, quickly. In some cases, for FREE!
First Things, First
We encourage small business owners to first sit down and COUNT THE COST for systemizing their business. In short, they need to be sure they have the determination to go the distance before starting the journey.
The truth is, without a firm decision and commitment to fixing a business using proven methods, most return to their OLD WAYS of operating, when opposition occurs. And it will occur!
Then, needing an excuse for their own failure, some make pitiful statements like the following:
- Systemization doesn’t work
- Our business has too many variables
- That only works for large businesses
- Our employees won’t buy-in
- I don’t have time to work on my business
- I’m not a good organizer
- I have no business education
Many small business owners have the belief that chaos in business is "normal.” They falsely assume it’s all part of owning a business. Unfortunately, dissuading owners from that viewpoint is often futile.
With that mindset, most small business owners remain bogged down in day-to-day operations. As a result, they are stuck at the office, or reachable by their “not-so-Smart phone” at all hours, day or night, ad nauseam.
Sad to say, this is the “normal” method to keep the wheels of operations turning in most small businesses. It’s the prime reason for why small businesses STAY small.
But, there’s a better way. A little research and willingness to CHANGE for the sake of business excellence will make all the difference.
Did I mention, great systems are the answer for those who dare!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.