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

Feet and book on desk - The E-Myth Revisited Review by Real Marketing near Edinburgh

This blog is based on “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It”
(by Michael E. Gerber)

I read this classic book, “The E-Myth Revisited”, and these are just some of the valuable strategic themes I’ve picked out of it.

The reason many small businesses stay very small and don’t fulfil their potential is that they are set up and run by a “Technician”. The Technician knows how to do the technical work but gives little thought to the equally important roles of the “Entrepreneur” and the “Manager”. These can be different people in your team or elements of our personalities. To successfully run a small business, all three roles must be present.

“You were a bookkeeper or a poodle clipper; a drafts-person or a hairdresser; a barber or a computer programmer; a doctor or a technical writer; a graphic artist or an accountant; an interior designer or a plumber or a salesperson. But whatever you were, you were doing technical work.” (Michael Gerber)

The blend of the Entrepreneur’s vision and The Manager’s pragmatism, together with the Technician’s technical skills are needed to build a successful small business.
Michael Gerber says that the Entrepreneurial Myth, which he calls the E-Myth, is that most founders of businesses may think of themselves as entrepreneurs but very often they are merely technicians.

“A mature company operates on a broad perspective, an entrepreneurial perspective, a more intelligent point of view, so that it works not because of you but without you. A business has to be able to survive and grow without you,” says the author.

The Entrepreneurial Model suggests that a new business must start with a focus on the customer, not with a picture of the business to be created: ”It understands that without a clear picture of that customer, no business can succeed.” This is what marketing is all about, placing the customer at the centre of everything.

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Do You Have an East Lothian Business? Need Free Professional Marketing Support?

Black Swans on Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Free Marketing Consultancy for East Lothian Small Businesses

Real Marketing Specialists has been appointed by East Lothian Business Gateway to deliver Free Expert Help Marketing Consultancy for local small businesses (SMEs).

Do you have a business based in East Lothian and want some practical free support with marketing strategy and planning (including social media and websites) to grow your business?

This fully funded consultancy for East Lothian SMEs covers 1 to 3 days of practical marketing help. At the end of it you will have a working marketing strategy and a clear calendar of marketing activities.

More than 10 marketing consultancy projects have already been completed and the SMEs have found it really worthwhile. Here is some of the feedback from clients:

“Really great service that was completely tailored to my business and own personal needs.”

“Christopher really flagged areas that I could improve on that I’d not been very aware of. This was so incredibly useful and gives me another way to really improve on my marketing and ultimately my sales. Hugely beneficial resource for small businesses.”  (Elspeth Fawcett, Yummikeys)

“We felt that Christopher listened to us and took account of our understanding and capabilities when it comes to marketing… We learnt about elements of marketing which we’d previously not considered such as building a YouTube channel for videos. There was also very detailed evaluation of our website which included aspects we had never before considered… It is very valuable to see the calendar with very clear targets…” (Louise & Peter McNaught, Hurly Burly Brewery)

“It was so useful to have a fresh pair of expert eyes look at our marketing. We got loads of great ideas from it and a clear action plan to carry them out.” (Mona Hashem, The Premium Bakery)

If you face some of these marketing challenges, you may find this marketing support very useful:

  • Do you have a clear marketing strategy?
  • Do you have a clear unique selling proposition (USP)?
  • Do you know whether you are spending your marketing budget in the right areas?
  • Are your website, SEO and social media achieving your objectives?
  • Are you generating then converting enough quality leads?
  • Are you building a brand?
  • Are you finding enough time for marketing?

Is your business a really special ‘black swan’ but not realising its full potential?

Then, please complete the Free Marketing Consultancy Form for this really valuable free marketing support, or contact Christopher Lamotte at Real Marketing on 07957 870071 or c.lamotte@real-m.com. (Please ensure that you complete page 7 of the form in full).

Expert Help is also available for HR, Branding, Product Packaging, SALSA, IT Security…

*The photo shows black swans on Lake Taupo in New Zealand (late December 2018)!

Why All Ambitious Small Businesses Should Build a Brand

Edinburgh Fireworks - building brands and branding

“A brand should be at the core of every ambitious small and medium sized enterprise (SME). If it isn’t, you are missing out on the value and advantages of building a brand and should review your marketing strategy,”  says Christopher Lamotte at Real Marketing.

“You don’t need to build a global brand like Google, Apple or Nike; you can build a local or niche brand, and be highly successful in your region or focused market.

“Most markets are very competitive and standing out can be hard, particularly with limited resources, but building a brand can make your business unique, helping you be distinctive.”

Many SMEs are missing out

Unfortunately, a lot of SMEs are not good at building brands. This can reflect a weak, short-term approach to marketing without enough thinking invested in developing that all-important long term marketing strategy.

The advantages of building a brand

The many advantages are that it can:

  • Differentiate your business, provide a source of competitive advantage.
  • Give a clear market position compared to competitors.
  • Give your company and products a distinct personality.
  • Give your business a clear focus.
  • Create positive attitudes and warm feelings from your target audience.
  • Appeal emotionally to your customers, which is critical when many buying decisions are more emotional than rational, in B2B not just B2C markets.
  • Reduce overall marketing costs and shorten customer journeys to buying your products by encouraging purchasers to make faster decisions.
  • Give customers a perception of superior quality, supporting higher margins.
  • Enjoy additional purchases and higher life time values as a result of brand loyalty.
  • Builds brand equity, increasing the sale value of your business for your eventual exit.

But there’s a lot of confusion about how to build a brand, so let’s start by explaining the important difference between your brand and your branding.

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Beat the Budget: Request a Free Marketing Budget Review

Poorboy number plate - marketing budgets

Have you spent more than £10,000 on marketing over the last year?

You’d be surprised by how many small and medium sized enterprises regularly spend over £10,000 each year but do not know what they spent it on because they don’t have a clear marketing budget.

The financial year is coming to an end for many businesses, so now is a good time to see how you can get your marketing budget to work much harder.

Ask me for a free Real Marketing Budget Review and increase the return from your marketing budget.

Too often marketing spend is ad hoc and unplanned. If that’s the case, there’s a real risk that you’re wasting valuable funds on the wrong communications channels and marketing techniques.

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Beat Your Competitors with a Clear Marketing Strategy

Thinking man statue - Real Marketing Specialists

Businesses are terrible at strategy! Executives don’t understand it. They think it is some type of witchcraft or mental endowment with which one proves one’s manhood or womanhood…

Dr Chuck Bamford (The Strategy Mindset) 3rd November 2016

Many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have a marketing strategy. This means that companies that do have a clear direction for their marketing, with a strategy and plan, can get far ahead of their competitors. It’s all about having an approach based on long term thinking.

Too often business owners and CEOs work in the business, not on the business; daily operational work consumes them so they don’t spend enough time standing back and ensuring that the business is following a clear long term direction.

You need to have a good understanding of your perfect customers, key competitors and what their competitive advantage (or USP – unique selling proposition) is.

As Dr Chuck Bamford says:

“…Strategy is … probably more like 35 percent science and 65 percent art, but there is a science. There is a process that works. If done with some rigor, applying the science of strategy will separate your company from all your competitors and allow you to earn extraordinary returns.”

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How to Execute your Marketing Plan for Maximum ROI

Key to successful marketing plan is execution

Strategic planning is essential but rigorous, creative execution of marketing plans is fundamental for real success.

Unfortunately, many good plans and campaigns are spoilt by poor execution. Lots of small businesses:

  • Don’t spend enough time executing their plans, and miss deadlines because marketing is not given sufficient importance.
  • Execute their plan in a hurry and only in part.
  • Implement plans without consistent creativity and without attention to detail or discipline.

Your marketing plan must include a working action plan – a calendar of activities – with agreed owners and deadlines for each activity. It should also have a defined marketing budget and KPIs in place to measure progress.

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Is Your Business Built on Solid Foundations? If Not, Put the Strategy Back into Your Marketing

Cockenzie Power Station Being Blown Up

We need to put long term thinking back into marketing to ensure our businesses are built on solid foundations. If not, it could all blow up and come crashing down.

‘Strategy’ is all about knowing where you’re driving your business and having a clear, cohesive sense of direction; knowing where you are going means that your resources are focused and not spread too thinly.

Marketing has become too short term, tactical and dumbed down, particularly amongst small and medium sized businesses. Research shows, for example, that many small business leaders are so busy working ‘in the business’ that they spend less than an hour each month on strategy.

According to Smart Insights, 46% of businesses are doing digital marketing but do not have a defined strategy for their online marketing. A further 32% only have a maximum of annual plans, and only 12% plan more than 2 years ahead.

As managers, we often prefer action to thinking, with time pressures making us tick off the to-do list without knowing whether we are doing the right things that take the business in one direction.

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu 1st October 2015

Marketing experts say that we can blame some of this damaging lack of strategic thinking on a potent mix of lack of time, reduced marketing budgets and the proliferation of new digital communication channels like social media. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are free to use and accessible to anyone, but can encourage short term, tactical thinking. (They are also time consuming so not really ‘free’).

Marketing strategy defined

The CIM defines marketing strategy as: “A written plan that identifies the organisation’s marketing goals and explains how they can be achieved within a stated timeframe.”

I agree and encourage my clients to capture their strategy in a short, flexible, working plan, but it is even more important to ‘think strategically’ in your decisions and actions.

Developing a marketing strategy is about deciding how best to allocate your marketing budget, your people and other finite resources to achieve the marketing objectives.

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