Customer Review

57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you run a small business you MUST read this!, 13 Mar. 2005
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This review is from: The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It (Paperback)
Anyone who runs a small business, or knows someone who does, will recognise Gerber's initial description of what it's like. He summarises his observations, commenting "Exhaustion was common, exhilaration rare."
Typically, all the reasons a new entrepreneur had for going into business evaporate in a whirlwind of longer hours, more stress, cashflow struggles, even longer hours, even more stress, etc etc. Gerber offers a solution to this.
His concept is sound: develop "turn-key" systems to allow others to replicate your business model, instead of you doing everything yourself. His methods are one way of doing it, but not the only way.
Drawing on McDonalds as an example, Gerber's blueprint seems an ideal model for any business that works on a transactional basis, doing the same thing over and over again. The anecdote that unfolds following each chapter is about someone who bakes pies and sells them in a shop. However, if you're not in retail, don't be put off by this. As a business coach I have recommended this book to a number of B2B technology and consulting clients (who have to tailor their offer to individual customers) and its principles work for them too.
Gerber's central theme is "The Fatal Assumption" made by most people who decide to start their own business: "If you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does technical work." Being an expert at 'doing the work' of the business does not mean you can automatically run it well.
Gerber goes on to make a compelling case for ensuring three key roles are covered in your business: the technician (doer), the entrepreneur (visionary) and the manager (organiser). You probably already know where your strength lies. Now you need to develop the other two roles in yourself, or find someone else to cover them.
This concept, followed by some very sound advice on performance management and business strategy leads to an easily digestible book that should be required reading for anyone running, or thinking of running, their own business.
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