Let’s End Our Love Affair With Small Business

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As a community of business people, it’s time we come to grips with the truth about small business.

We’ve been so enamored with the idea of it and with the promise of it, that we haven’t put the concept of “small business” in its proper place.

We’re in love with the notion that anyone can become an “entrepreneur” and start his or her own company.

We’re even more in love with the statistics that tell us that small businesses create the majority of new jobs.

So small business is a win-win, right?

Great for individuals and great for the economy.

The problem is that we’ve been so stuck on the idea of “small business” – emphasis on the “small” – that we’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.

In my 2010 book, The Most Successful Small Business in the World, I posited the following principle: A small business, built rightly, can grow 10,000 times its current size.

My latest book, which I’m currently in the process of writing, is titled, Beyond the E-Myth: The Evolution of an Enterprise, From a Company of One to a Company of 1,000.

So my point becomes obvious.

The purpose of a small business is to GROW.

The fact of the matter is that most businesses, no matter what their age, remain adamantly small.

Note that roughly 70 percent of all companies and 100 percent of home businesses are sole proprietorships. One or two or three people own and operate the business. And that’s it.

These businesses are populated by owners working for a living – working at a job and nothing more.

But, of course, that’s all they ever wanted to do.

All they ever wanted to do was create a place where they could control the work they do, the time they spend, and the income they make, without having to kowtow to “a boss.”

In short, they wanted to be self-employed.

But no matter what the tax code tells us, or what the entrepreneurial magazines tell us, or what the motivational speakers tell us, being self-employed is not the same as being an entrepreneur, and it is most certainly not the same as creating and building a business that works.

And that’s why most small businesses fail.

Because they aren’t businesses at all!

And because the people who start them aren’t entrepreneurs, but are, as I’ve described them for 40 years, “technicians suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure.”

In order for a business to make sense as a business, and not just a job for its owner, it must possess the unique ability to grow and thrive.

It must be built upon a foundation of integrated, turnkey systems that produce consistent, replicable results.

And it is these systems that allow you to scale your business, which means grow it 2 times bigger, then 3 times bigger, and then bigger and even bigger.

From a company of 1 person to a company of 1,000 people.

Or 5,000 people.

Or 10,000 people.

To a number that’s the opposite of small.

From the moment you set out to start your small business, you must think of it as anything but small.

You must start it with the strategic mindset and the systems mindset that will give your business the unique ability to grow…

From small…

To bigger…

To a mind-blowing, unimaginably awesome, great growing company!

And that’s what entrepreneurs do.

That’s what they’re determined to do.

That’s what buzzes their buzz and whizzes their whisk.

That’s what creating is all about, after all — not creating a job, but creating an enterprise with the power to deliver a stunningly transformative outcome.