Hey Entrepreneurs! – Are You Building a Business or just Working for Yourself?

consulting 2

With the holidays looming, I can only dream about the great food to be experienced. From the un-real sweet-potato pie from my uncle’s family, to the 3 inch deep pecan pie from my mom’s side of the family or the decadent German chocolate cake my grandmother would make, the food items found around our family table seem better than any restaurant meal.

Having been in the restaurant business a few years back, I remember the difference between cooking food for my family and preparing food in a corporate business.

The family dinner is comfortable, familiar and easy. We cook, we talk, and we drink good wine and enjoy the moment of creating a meal together.

However, the corporate experience is a bit different. While the taste and quality of food was very important, that really was not always the driving factor in our daily experience. More times than not, our primary daily motivations were Food Costs, Labor Costs, Bar Costs and Facility Costs. Does that make you feel all comfy and cozy thinking about managing Labor and Facilities costs? – Probably not.

No? And why; because creating a family meal and running a food business are really no way comparable. While you find similar elements such as chicken, flour, salt, pepper, masala mushrooms and other items, the application is very different – or at least it should be.

Some restaurants are run on a smaller, local and more intimate level. I personally choose to patronize these types of food establishments. I prefer the “un-corporate” feel. But we all know, if one of these owners wanted to go state–wide or national, what is he/she going to have to do? Corporatize…

And what is Corporatization? Simply, it is the process of Standardizing processes to create Repeatability. Recipes will go from taste-good and feel-good experiences to a “documented policy”. Employees do not vary from policy or there are problems. Quality can become an issue. Food Costs, Labor Costs and Facility Costs can all be negatively affected if someone tries to “add-lib” on a recipe.

Through Standardization and Repeatability you get the next great result, Predictability. With this, a restaurant can now project earnings, project margins and profits and potential investors are indeed happy.

So, how do you run your document management business? Are You Building a Business or just Working for Yourself?

You may be a person who has been running your business for many years – and somewhat successfully. Your “recipes” are very well known by you. But, are you growing? Do you have a growing business or have you created a nice job for yourself?

When you try to on-board on a new sales person, does the new salesperson “get your recipes” or does this new salesperson “burn the biscuits”?

Possibly, even though you are a master chef with your own recipes, your model is relegated only to your kitchen. When trying to expand your sales and marketing staff, this only results in frustration, failure and more costs.

I would like to suggest an exercise in “Corporatization” for your business. Business size isn’t necessarily any barrier to entry. An open mind can be more valuable than deep pockets at times.

Try to engage knowledgeable and passionate vendors experienced with Standardization and Repeatability in areas such as Pricing, Proposals and Project Management.

Who knows, maybe next year you will be “feeding the world”.

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