This is another of my favourite books, one I wish I had read back in 1992 when I set up my first small business as a Naturopath. I was passionate about health and helping people, but I knew absolutely nothing about running a business.
Many of us know that there is a high failure rate for small business; Michael Gerber explains why that is.
This very popular book is always on the best business books list, and for good reason. It is full of excellent information when it comes to building a business.
As Gerber tells it, most business owners go into business because they are passionate about what they do and they usually do it well. They’re great ‘Technicians’ which is important, but it’s not enough to build a sustainable business. A business owner also needs the organisational skills of a ‘Manager’ and the vision and strategic thinking of an ‘Entrepreneur’. So let’s have a closer look at what that means.
Being really good at or passionate about something is usually what drives us to start our own business. We excel at something, maybe repairing computers, teaching others or making clothes; we have technical expertise.
The manager knows how to plan and organise the business. They make sure the systems and procedures are in place to maintain the smooth running of the business no matter who is doing the job.
The biggest message of this book is that being technically great at what you do is not enough if you want your business to survive. As a small business owner you need to be able to shift between the three mindsets according to your business needs, stepping back from the day to day activity so as to “Work ON your business not IN it.”
Gerber believes that as business owners we should be able to glide comfortably from technician to manager to entrepreneur as the occasion arises.
I tend to agree with him!