One of the best small business books I’ve read is The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber*. It’s straightforward, easy to read and packed with good advice that can actually be applied in the real world.
There’s a passage in chapter 9 which stood out for me more than many others:
“What you do in your model is not nearly as important as doing what you do the same way, each and every time.” **
In this case the ‘model’ is the experience a customer has when they interact with a business.
The surrounding pages explain in detail and provide examples, but the essence is this:
It’s not enough to provide a great customer experience. The experience has to be delivered consistently. What’s more, intermittent excellence is likely to reduce repeat business compared to consistent mediocrity.
Now, none of us really want to accept mediocrity in our business, but the concept to take on board is: it’s better to strive for consistency and then improve.
The book then talks about implementing processes to ensure consistency, but it was first published in 1995 ***, so it predates many of the technological advances of the last 20 years.
Today, rather than drafting an extensive operations manual and relying on individuals to follow it, we can build the process of a company into software.
This Business Management Software, tailored to the nuances of each company, guides the team through their defined processes, checks their input and ensures that the customer experience is delivered consistently.
As a company innovates and moves towards excellence, the changes can be put in place by altering the Business Management Software. This minimises the need for retraining, and guarantees the process (as defined by the top level of management) is uniformly
There are also huge possibilities when it comes to measuring performance and providing real-time reports on the business. That’s a topic for another time though…
* ISBN 978-0887307287
** The E-Myth Revisited: Chapter 9, Page 107
*** A revised version was published in 2001
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