This book changed my life14th April 2021
Around 20 years ago, I read a book which changed my life.
It was called The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E Gerber.
This was the most significant business book I had ever read and I thought: How does this author know me and my business so well? He’s described us to a T.
Gerber’s thesis was that people build their business around their own skills or experience.
Then all too often, you end up doing the same kind of work you used to do as employees - running around serving their clients...
...Even though that’s no longer your job.
As business owner, you should be building the systems and processes that will allow your company to scale. (And I would add that first and foremost, this means your financial infrastructure - because everything in your business depends on the money!)
When you get “stuck” doing client work instead, your company never becomes professionally run. And there’s a limit to how big your company can grow.
As a business owner, this resonated with me immediately. My own company was built around my skill, which is financial management. At that point, I was still working closely with all our clients, often supervising their accounts myself.
I knew I should be working on our marketing... Creating new processes so our team could work even more efficiently (even if I’m not there)... Thinking more strategically about how to develop my company.
But again and again, I was drawn back to the work I knew and loved - the accounting side of the business.
And I was anxious to provide an outstanding service to our existing clients. Somehow, there was always an “urgent” piece of work for clients that came first.
After reading E-Myth, I was able to break out of this pattern. I gave my team the tools they need to handle the day-to-day work perfectly, whilst I (mostly) focused on all the “bigger picture” issues.
As soon as I did, we experienced exponential growth.
But the truth is that it took years. The siren call of client work is sometimes just too strong.
So why am I telling you this now?
Because during COVID, the pressures on business owners to deliver client work have increased enormously.
It might be because you’re growing.
Suddenly you have a lot of new clients to onboard and serve... The work is exciting, you’re anxious to keep your new clients happy, and you know that you can do that better than anyone on your team.
Or maybe it’s the opposite.
Times are tougher than usual and you’re worried about losing clients. You might even still have team members on furlough. You feel you have no choice but to do a lot of the work yourself.
Either way, the result is the same.
You - the business owner - spend most of your day dealing with little tasks which seem important at the time, but which will never ‘move the needle’ for your company.
You’re busier than ever, but you’re not building value for the future.
I’m seeing this happen even to business owners who had previously extricated themselves from the day-to-day work and “graduated” to the senior role. COVID conditions are in some cases causing a regression.
One of the consequences is that financial issues get neglected.
During this extraordinary period, nothing is more important for your company than financial planning. Whether you’re growing or things still feel shaky, managing your cash carefully is always critical.
But when you’re operating in a very unpredictable economy, it can literally be the difference between your company surviving or crashing.
As business owner, making sure that your company is financially healthy is your most important job.
But that’s really difficult to do when you’re busy fixing the work of your new junior member of staff... managing a difficult supplier... or writing a report for a longstanding client yourself (because it’s quicker than asking someone else to do it).
If any of those scenarios resonate, something is going wrong.
Your company needs you to be CEO, not account manager.
And the first and most important step you can take towards filling that role is to prioritise your company’s financial management.
I know that can feel intimidating (most company owners don’t like dealing with numbers). But we’re here to make it easy for you.
Our Outsourced Finance Department implements all the financial systems, processes and infrastructure that a grown-up, well-run company needs and that corporates take for granted.
And we work with you, hand-in-hand, to make sure you understand your financial position, and can make the very best financial decisions for your company’s future.
That’s how the CEOs of the most successful companies operate.
Ready to join them?
Call me today on 01279 647 447 or email me, and let’s discuss how you can take your company’s financial management in hand.
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