How to Build a Perpetual Motion Business
A perpetual motion machine operates in a continual repetitive motion, indefinitely; without someone providing an energy source. Considering this concept, imagine a business operating with little to no energy from the owner.
Honestly, a perpetual motion machine without an energy source is not possible. On the other hand, a perpetual motion business from the owner’s perspective IS possible.
To explain further, the perpetual motion business described here does utilize employee energy. But, again, with little to NO energy from the owner!
Many small business owners work long hours, expending vast amounts of energy, in order to keep operations in continual forward motion.
Surprisingly, most owners never consider the ROOT CAUSE of business interruptions and slowdowns. Consequently, they never stop long enough to LEARN THE SECRET OF SYSTEMATIZATION for perpetual motion operations. Much less, implement it.
In fact, many small business owners assume their business CAN'T operate without them being right there. Therefore, believing they must be ever-present to answer employee’s many questions to keep the business running.
The truth is, owners CAN'T be everywhere!
So mistakes, employee miscommunications, poor equipment maintenance, loss of customers, and countess other business frustrations persist unimpeded indefinitely! That is something you don’t want perpetually!
Ironically, those costly frustrations require NO energy to continually recur.
Managers, Managers, Managers
In our book System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business, there’s a chapter titled, “Managers, Managers, Managers.” In it, we detail WHY growing businesses keep adding more and more managers, hoping to keep the wheels of production and service running. We also share the reasons WHY unsystemized business operations demand a constant input of energy from business owners and managers.
Consider this reality. Without systems, the information for the way most small businesses operate is locked up in the heads of owners/managers. Consequently, for employees and others to access that information, their only option is to persistently interrupt owners or managers.
A Perpetual Motion Operation
When I first grasped the concept that a business should be able to operate without the owner’s presence, or even reaching them by phone, it was life-changing. Actually, it was a sudden, instinctive perception of a reality I had never considered!
The possibility of owning a systemized, perpetual motion business was mind blowing!
After installing systems, I was able to leave our business facility for three months, as I purchased and prepared a new location for our growing operations.
Additionally, being able to take off another three months to restore my new, 100-year-old home was a dream come true.
Main Tool Needed for Perpetual Operations
THIS FIRST STEP for an owner is to download, out of their head, the vision for how their business SHOULD operate. This includes step-by-step procedures for daily operation, from opening to closing. Therefore, building a comprehensive Operations Manual, complete with policies and procedures, this information can easily be accessed by all employees.
NEXT, owners must consider ALL their own job duties. List all the HATS they wear to keep the business operating. The list will no doubt be extensive.
Now, consider which of those duties could be delegated to others. And, DON'T take the attitude that, “No one can do it like I do it!” That mindset keeps owners bogged down in the SAME OL' rut.
Excitingly, as owners continually add to their Operations Manual and give access to employees, they will receive less and less questions from employees. Therefore, they’ll have more time for themselves, and working ON the business!
To be sure, any business owner can do this.
Like W. Edward Deming said, “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, then you don’t know what you are doing!”
To be sure, you business owners know what you are doing, because you do it every day!
So, sit down and write out what you do. You will be amazed how easy it is. It’s the first step in the exciting journey to systemization.
Did I mention? Great systems work!
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.