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The Small Business Accelerator™
Cruise Control White Paper
How to Work ON not IN your Small Business… Learn how to put your Small Business on Cruise Control.
Dave Westfall, MBA, © 2009 DewPointe Ventures LLC All rights reserved. 8/28/2009
How to Put your Business on Cruise Control
Are you working harder and harder on your business putting in a lot of hours, but not making the kind of money you should be and having the time to enough the fruits of your efforts? You are not alone! I understand how you feel, I've felt that way myself and I've found from designing and implementing Cruise Control strategies in my own business that the most successful ones were implemented as an Action Plan supporting a Conscious Strategy to Work ON not IN your business during an overall Annual Planning process or Five Year Business Plan. So, you need to learn how to work "smarter" and not "harder" to put it in their proper perspective and put your business on Cruise Control. The concept of working “on your business, not in it” belongs to Michael Gerber, who wrote about it in his best-selling book The E-Myth Revisited. Please read this book - you’ll never look at your business the same again! Four (of the many) questions Gerber asks in his book are: 1. 2. 3. 4. How can I get my business to work, but without me? How can I get my people to work, but without my interference? How can I own my business, but still be free of it? How can I spend my time doing the work I love to do, rather than the work I have to do?
As a Business Owner please ask yourself these two questions: When was the last time that you sat in your office with your feet up on your desk, and thought about the “big picture” rather than putting out fires? When was the last time you went on a two week vacation without worrying or calling the office? If you are not able to do these things than you are working IN your business, not ON it! You have a job… I’ve learned that: If you’re in a reality that you don’t want to be in; the only one who can change it is you! I think it’s time to stop talking and reading and do something about it! So, you can start working on How to work ON not IN your Business by answering Michael Gerber’s 4 questions from above plus a few more questions, including: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. How to get your business to the point where it is NOT dependent on you? How to have your employees take care of the day-to-day tasks so you don’t have to? How to build the necessary infrastructure, systems and procedures so it runs itself? How to make the transition from entrepreneurial to professional management? How to build a successful business model that ensures that someone wants to buy it?
As you've observed recently on the national media, simply slashing costs and staff positions does not necessarily result in a profit improvement and accomplish the goal of putting your small business on Cruise Control. A properly implemented transition to a mature business on Cruise Control must balance the strategic goals and objectives of the organization and stakeholders and take into consideration what stage of maturity the Company is at. Although there are different labels and descriptions, it is generally agreed that there are Seven Stages of a Business Life: 1. Seed (Idea) 2. Start-up (Pioneering) 3. Growth 4. Established (Stability) 5. Expansion (Replication or Maturity) 6. Decline (Renewal) 7. Exit The tactics, strategies and options available vary depending on what stage the business is at. I've learned that the earlier the stage, the fewer the options that are available. It is generally agreed that there are Eight Strategies that you should be aware of as alternatives options for your business, including but not limited to: 1. Selling- your business outright to an Independent 3rd Party (as shown above) 2. Inheriting-Passing the Business on to another family member (aka Succession Planning) 3.Transferring- the business to employees via an ESOP or LBO or another purchase transaction ESOP= Employee Stock Ownership Plan LBO= Leveraged Buy Out (usually but not always by other Executives or Key Managers) 4. Carrying - Entering into an Owner Carry, Seller is financing the sale and becoming a passive owner 5. Merging- Being acquired by or merging with another company and taking a passive Investor role 6. Going Public- Thru an Initial Public Offering (IPO), or Merger, or Acquisition with a Public Shell Corporation 7. Partnering - Transferring ownership to Co-Owners (e.g. shotgun clause or change of control clauses) 8. Liquidating- Winding the business down voluntarily or involuntarily (e.g. bankruptcy). To me, It's sad to see otherwise healthy viable businesses run into the grown due to poor health, divorce, owner disagreements or other life changing reasons.
But recently I've added a Ninth Strategy: 9. Maturing- consciously morfing or transforming your business model to run itself, so that you don't have to by allowing you to work ON not IN your business. This Cruise Control strategy may also let you retire early and enjoy the fruits of your labors. I've learned that most Companies never achieve this level of maturity because they don't consciously decide to build a Mature Business. Cruise Control is an interim strategy at best and in the long run probably only buys time before you and or your heirs have to select one of the other 8 Exit Strategies or lose it all to the Tax Man (e.g. Inheritance Taxes). I don't want to sugar coat it, building a mature business and putting it on Cruise Control requires a lot of work and won't happen by itself. So, it's important for you to understand that if you decide to put your business on Cruise Control you are looking at a lot of hard work, making decisions in the short term that won't generate short term profits and most Small Business Owners need help to pull it off. But if you decide to put your business on Cruise Control then one of the best things that you can do is to form a Board of Advisors. If you don't already have one, I strongly recommend that you built an external Board of Advisors for your Company consisting of the following members: 1. Attorney 2. CPA or Tax Accountant 3. Business Coach 4. Financial Advisor 5. Insurance Agent 6. Banker or Lender I could write on for hours about putting your Business on Cruise Control since it is one my passions and I'm actively working to put my own business on Cruise Control. But as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said to his staff when instructing them on how to give a good speech: "Be Sincere, Be Brief and Be Seated!!" So, I'll resist the temptation. But please feel free to ask me any questions. Please let me know if you have any questions?
I'd like to end this Cruise Control White Paper by providing you with some guiding principles that I have been carrying around on a laminated card in my wallet since 1996 - The 7 C's to SUCCESS by Tom Morris. To be a success you need: 1. A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined. 2. A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain the goal. 3. A focused CONCENTRATION on what it takes to reach the goal. 4. A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing our vision. 5. An emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what we are doing. 6. A good CHARACTER to guide us and keep us on a proper course. 7. A CAPACITY to enjoy the process along the way. So, in closing, I hope that you've enjoyed this Small Business Cruise Control White Paper and found some "golden nuggets" or "pearls of wisdom". What are the Next Steps? 1. Again, I want to offer you a FREE review of your Mission, Vision or Unique Selling Proposition (USP) statements to help you turnaround and grow your business. 2. I'm also offering a FREE Breakthrough Business Coaching ($297 Value) to the readers of this Whitepaper. 3. Please visit the Questions page on my www.dewpointe.com/Questions website anytime to ask a Small Business question. Please feel free to comment or ask any questions that you may have by sending an email to Dave at: email@example.com Dave Westfall is a Small Business Coach and eBusiness Consultant providing solid advice and proven solutions that work to help you turnaround and grow your business. For more information or to follow Dave or connect with him please visit Dave online . To your success, Dave Westfall, MBA Please visit our "DewPointe Ventures LLC" websites at: Dave Westfall Coaching or www.dewpointe.com © 2009 Dewpointe Ventures LLC. All rights reserved.
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