Also See These Articles Related to "Opening a Small Business":

1. Your Small Business Plan - Strategy
2. Small Business Success

Whether you’re opening a small business now, or just learning how to start a business, you’re taking a courageous step.

Opening a Small Business

Of course for you, it may not be a matter of choice. You may be that special breed of entrepreneur who is always looking for the next, best small business opportunity.

Or you may be tired of working for others and are ready to work for yourself, but aren’t sure how to start a business.

Additional income, an itch to try a new idea, a change in personal circumstances, any of these can be reasons for opening a small business.

Whatever your reason, you’ll want to create the best small business opportunity for yourself right from the start; therefore, it’s most important to be clear about the structure of your business. Business experts refer to the structure of your business as the business model, and the decisions you make about it now, will impact the future of your business, and your life in it, for years to come (see the article: Your Small Business Plan for helpful information).

Perhaps the best known, traditional business model is owner centered. It features the owner as manager and boss, usually in a 'brick-and-mortar' storefront business, and often in a hands on capacity.

He or she works full time (and more). The objective is growth, with the owner accepting the financial risk, in return for rewards during (and especially at the end of) years of hard work. Variations of this business model can include a business with no storefront (a consultant, or artist, for example).

In each case, the business is owner centered. Often, the owner serves many functions including chief decision maker, manager, technical team, customer service representative, administrative staff, and more.

This is a perfectly acceptable business model. It is a time honored structure for opening a small business.
However, in his book: "The E-Myth Revisited," author Michael E. Gerber looks at how to start a business using another, newer business model that many entrepreneurs prefer. This model suggests that owners should design businesses that can function without them, if not immediately, soon. And if not soon, that the growth that occurs in the interim is specifically created for the purpose of making the business self-sustaining without the owner’s direct involvement; thereby freeing up the owner to work on the business, rather than in the business.

The key to this model is self-functioning, self-checking systems. For example, on the internet there are many thriving businesses based on this model. Some business owners invest time up front, setting up an e-store, for instance. Once functioning, the store can continue to run with only a few hours of maintenance a week by the owner. (Pearson Education)
A surprising example of Gerber’s systems-based model is McDonalds. The secret to McDonalds phenomenal growth, says Gerber, was founder
Ray Kroc’s understanding that the only way to open multiple locations as quickly as he did was to build in repeatable systems that could function even if he removed himself from the operations of the business. In other words, Ray Kroc did not build his empire by making hamburgers; he built his empire by creating repeatable, self-sustaining systems.

To learn more about this type of business model, you can read Gerber’s book. There are also many other books about setting up the right business model, as well as other articles on this website about opening a small business.

Whatever structure you decided to build your empire on, congratulations and best of luck!

-by Andrew Sokol
Andrew Sokol is a Business and Marketing Strategist.
He is also the publisher of this website.
Andrew is available for private consulting and public speaking.
He can be reached by clicking

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