After 16 Years New Tips For What Works for Small Businesses

A few months ago I attended an all day conference with other women entrepreneurs from Savor The Success. The Rock The World event brought women from all over and there were many special guests and scheduled speakers.

Michael Gerber, author of The E Myth Revisited was one of the speakers. He made me realize the things I had been doing right, as well as the things I was doing wrong. As a small businesses owner since 1994, I’ve come a long way in how I conduct business, (that’s the Manager and perhaps the Entrepreneur talking).

In reading his book and understanding how a small business succeeds as well as fails, I tried applying the model to my own business. He uses a fictitious story about helping a woman transform her small pie baking business and explains how to organize, manage and operate a small business. One of his examples was how successful the McDonald’s franchise became because of a simple idea and goal. The owner was able to see that it was replicated it over and over and the customers knew just what to expect and were always satisfied.

Michael Gerber speaking at Savor The Success's Rock The World event in NYC.

I started thinking, but I’m a creative person I don’t want to replicate things over and over. What I do want is for my clients to be satisfied, the outcome to be the same, every time, and for each new project that comes along to be interesting and challenging, so I get to be the dreamer as well as the manager. So in this way the projects even though different produce the same end result and I am replicating over and over.

I’ve always had the mindset that what I don’t know, I’ll either learn or if I don’t want to learn it, I’ll outsource it. (American only of course!) It all came from my many years on-staff as an art director. I was fortunate to learn how marvelous work can be when you’ve got the best illustrators, photographers, designers, all working at once to produce awesome creations.

These past 16 years, I’ve worked the same way in my own business. I hire copywriters, technical programmers, illustrators, photographers, whatever it takes to accomplish what my client needs or what I feel is needed.

It is hard sometimes running a business, anyone who’s done it knows what I mean. So many tasks other than the actual work, but I find if you change up your day, so that you’re playing all three roles, entrepreneur, manager and technician, each of them has a good day.

Spend part of your day talking or meeting people so you’re always promoting your company. Connect with new people online or at social events, friends of friends are the best way to get new clients or customers. Learn how to outsource but to someone who wants to learn just how or what you want done. Make a list of all the little things someone might be able to help with and hire someone to do them, which will save you a lot of time and you can focus on the bigger picture.

Some of my new goals are:
• Learn more about SEO than I already know so I can help my companies as well as my clients.
• Spend some more time each week looking at new prospects and friends of friends or clients (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) to see if there is a need and then ask my friend/client for an introduction or just be bold and write or call!
• Try to spend a bit more time each week looking at some of the email blasts I get, instead of just skipping them. (You never know what you’re missing if you don’t read them!)
• Fill up that social calendar with events so you’re always meeting new people.

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