The turnkey solution
When you buy a new car, you don’t expect to have to open the bonnet and fiddle around with the bits under the hood. You should be able to just turn the key and start driving. That’s what ‘turnkey’ means. In business, it’s a system so perfectly crafted that it requires no debugging or fiddling with, or any sense that things won’t work from the outset; just turn the key, and start making money.
If your business is starting to feel more like a rut than a business, it is time to take a turnkey approach – that is, any method or procedure that simplifies or automates part of the business, making it easier for ordinary people to operate.
This is the essence of what author Michael Gerber calls the “prototype”. Gerber is an entrepreneur guru and author of ‘The E-Myth’. He often talks about how 80% of businesses fail in the first five years. Most people become sick of working for their idiot bosses, as they call them, so they decide to start their own business, and end up becoming the idiot boss. Instead of working five days per week for a guaranteed pay cheque; they work six to seven days per week, often for no cheque at all. You may be able to relate to these sad statistics.
In his book, Gerber walks you through the steps of a business life cycle – from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective and guiding light of all businesses that succeed –showing how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business at any level. Most importantly, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked, distinction between working ON your business and working IN your business. This is also core to our work in this book, which is ultimately about freedom, not servitude to business!
A true business is a profitable enterprise that will work ideally without you. Most people do not really have a business; they just have another job that creates a lot more stress. The idea of a real business, as Robert Kiyosaki describes in the ‘Cash flow Quadrant’ is becoming the owner of an organisation or business that will work without you having to be there. In other words, if you wanted to go away for six months, you could; it would still bring in a passive income. Most people do not know how to set up a business like that.
Just as McDonald’s stores have been replicated tens of thousands of times all around the world, any business can be run on a turnkey basis, if it has the right systems and procedures in place.
This ‘systems’ approach allows a small business owner the means to integrate his activities via a set of systems and procedures. For a manager, this approach provides the order and predictability that is so important to the running of his or her business. For a proficient technical specialist or business owner-operator, it allows you to have the systems and procedures attended to by other people, so you can be free to do the ‘technical’ or the strategic work that you love. From The 7 Biggest “Costly” Mistakes Business Owners Make (And How to Survive & Thrive) by Richard Cooper – Continued in Part 3………