The E-Myth Revisited - Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

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In this first new and totally revised edition of the 150,000-copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth , Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of runn...
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In this first new and totally revised edition of the 150,000-copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. He walks you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed. He then shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited should be required listening for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that fateful step. The title refers to the author's belief that entrepreneurs--typically brimming with good but distracting ideas--make poor businesspeople. He establishes an incredibly organized and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the entrepreneur's mind to build the long-term success or failure of the business. You don't need an M.B.A. to understand or follow its directives; Gerber takes time to explain buzzwords and complex theories. Read in a clear and well-paced manner, listening toThe-E Myth is like receiving advice from an old friend. --Sharon Griggins --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
 

From Library Journal

Indicating that 40 percent of small businesses fail within their first year, Gerber, a small business expert, talks about how to be successful. In this revision of his 1986 book, he describes the "E-Myth," which basically states that a person with technical but few management skills can do well in business. Gerber describes developing a precise business system that produces consistent results because it has been tested and refined. He says that businesses thrive because of innovation, quantification, and orchestration. Visualize what is true success to you as a person, Gerber advises, and work from the ideal to the specific. While the author is a consumate salesman who reads his material in soothing tones, he offers too many abstract ideas and too few concrete plans. There is little useful content here. Not recommended.
Mark Guyer, Stark Cty. Dist. Lib., Canton, Ohio
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

825 of 847 people found the following review helpfulBy Erika Mitchell TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a guide to success for small business owners. Gerber is the founder of a consulting company for small businesses. In the beginning of the book, Gerber cites the well-known failure-rate statistics for small business: 40% fail in 1 year. Of those who survive 1year, 80% fail in 5 years, and of those who survive 5 years, another 80% fail. Over the years, Gerber has observed that the small business owners who fail often share a number of characteristics, while those who succeed do so not by luck, brains, or perseverance, but by taking a different approach. This book explains the approach that is necessary for a business to survive and thrive.

One of Gerber's most striking observations is that most small businesses are started by "technicians", that is people who are skilled at something and who enjoy doing that thing. (A technician can be anything from a computer programmer to plumber to a dog groomer to a musician or lawyer.) When these technicians strike out on their own, they tend to continue doing the work they are skilled at, and ignore the overarching aspects of business. Without clear goals and quantification benchmarks, they soon find themselves overworked, understaffed, and eventually broke. Worst of all, they may come to hate the work they do. Rather than owning a business, they own a job, and they find themselves working for managers who are completely clueless about how to run a business- -themselves.

The solution, Gerber argues, is for every business owner, especially the technician-owners, to balance their business personalities. According to Gerber, every business owner needs to simultaneously be an entrepreneur and a manager as well as a technician. The technician is the worker-bee, the one who produces the product. The manager makes sure operations and finances run smoothly and consistently. The entrepreneur formulates the goals, and steers the business in the direction needed to reach those goals. Of these three personalities, the entrepreneur is key- -without it, the technician will work himself or herself to death or bankruptcy. As the business grows, the business owner will need to draw away from the technician work and manager work and delegate this work, rather than abdicate this, to others.

For turning businesses around, or getting them off the right foot, Gerber suggests looking at franchises as a model. In comparison to the dismal rate of ordinary small-business start-ups, 75% of franchises succeed at 5 years. The reason they succeed is that they are set up so that any unskilled person off the street could walk in, buy a franchise, run all operations in the franchise, and have a fairly good chance of success. The product of franchise companies is a business model, not food, hotel rooms, etc. In order to meet this level of success, franchise companies have clear operations manuals, procedures, consistent sales approaches- -every detail of running the business is specified down to dress codes and wall paper.

By asking us to consider the franchise approach, Gerber is not saying to go out and buy a franchise license. Instead, he says to imagine that you want to sell your business as a successful franchise within a finite period of time. If so, what will you need to do regarding your business plan and management in order to meet this goal? That is, if you were going to make your business fool-proof so that any unskilled person could take over as owner after a few years and succeed with it, what will you need to do?

Overall, I found the ideas in this book extremely profound and incredibly useful for my own small-business venture. The writing style can be a bit wordy and choppy at times, which is the only reason why I did not give this book full marks. If you're a small business owner whose business is out of control, stagnant, or worse, or if you're thinking of going into business yourself, this book can be of immeasurable value.

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