Dreams do come true! What you put your attention on does become a reality – the dream of a business created by you is no exception.
The dream of owning one’s own business subtly grows within until a person finds a way to let it sprout into fruition. As you look up and down any business street, or on the internet, you can see the truth of this. Few, if any, of these businesses were there forty years ago. Someone’s dreams came true.
Unfortunately, not all of these businesses are as fulfilling as the original dream. While working long hours for someone else as a technician, for an hourly wage, and possibly few benefits or holidays, people often think, “Boy, someday I’ll have a business of my own, and I won’t have to do this.” Then by some means they do acquire their own business and, without some careful guidance, they find they are now working even longer hours and making less money and have less vacations. They have developed into being their own technician.
There is no one to relieve them of the consequences of their decisions and obligations now that they are the boss.
How can one avoid this dilemma? By building a business that functions as efficiently as a franchise. By creating a model business that someone else could duplicate, which means putting each step of each process in writing. By building a prototype. The product itself takes second place to the process of how the business itself functions. The process rules the business, not the product.
Key elements of creating this type of business are: (1) quantifying everything! How many of this, how many of that, tracking in writing exactly what is going on (examples are how many customers call or come in during each hour of the day, which are the peak hours, how many customers turn right after walking in the door and how many turn left), (2) creating an organizational chart based on what needs to be done, not on who does it (building a company around personalities severely limits progress, even if it is ‘your’ personality), (3) be consistent (the same color scheme on everything – the web page, the letterhead – the vehicles – the uniforms – the paint on the walls – the chairs).
Build an image that stays in the customer’s mind. McDonald’s stands out as the prime example of the above. The image is consistent: they know exactly how many ounces of each item can be sold in one day, and which hours are the most productive. The turnover of employees boggles the mind yet the service is identical. And, from a McDonald’s in London, to one in China to one in Brazil, the customer expects exactly the same product.
The new entrepreneurial business with only one or two employees can be developed with the same precision. If it isn’t, the person playing the combined role of owner/boss/janitor will probably remain a technician with a shattered dream.