A few months ago, I picked up The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It and quickly realized that there were areas within Super Cheap Signs that I could apply the E-Myth principles.
The gist of the book is this:
“Work ON your business, not IN your business.”The E in E-myth stands for Entrepreneur, not E-commerce or E-mail or anything online or computer related. Most people who start a business (Entrepreneurs) are usually widget makers within a company who think that they can make a better widget, or provide better widget service, or sell more widgets, etc.

And what usually happens is this: The widget maker starts a new business and makes the widgets himself, unconcerned (or unaware) that a business has to concern itself with more than just widget making. This includes marketing (sales & customer service), finance (collecting and spending money, and asking “Are we making money?”), and, last but not least, operations (everything between sales and delivery). An established business of any size must address these concerns daily.

The first mistake the new business owner usually makes is that he keeps making widgets himself and hires someone else to do the other stuff.  The widget maker is still working IN his business.

Working ON the business means (1) deciding how to make a better widget, (2) contracting with others to implement your plans, and (3) making sure that all jobs are being attended to.

The end result is that the entrepreneur (no longer the widget maker!) has what is needed to create the company’ operations manual a fundamental component of a well-run business. The operations manual serves many purposes, from being a reference for employees to an instructional guide for potential franchisees and new owners.

The beauty of working ON your business and not IN your business is that you do not have to be there to handle day to day operations. You can take a vacation without widget production coming to a screeching halt.

That doesn’t mean you have to give everything up at once. I work ON my business as CEO, making sure that everybody does what they’re supposed to, but I like the marketing aspect so much that I do that, too.  Maybe someday I’ll have to give that job to someone else when I do, the transition plan is in the manual.

I love working ON my business and not IN my business and E-myth is a great read if you enjoy that also.