August 7: The difference between being a baker and owning a bakery

On August 7, 2018, Larry Jennings of Capsure Studios and Shennice Cleckley of My Dessert Bar anchored the show. Here are the show notes:

Start Something, Columbia! is brought to you by the Women’s Business Center of South Carolina at Columbia College

Theme for the day:

We’re starting a new book this month, The E Myth Revisited, and today’s topic is “The Difference between being a baker and owning a bakery” — which is one of Michael Gerber’s primary examples of the difference between hobbyists and entrepreneurs.

Agenda review:

  • Hear from the 1MC Presenter for tomorrow
  • Talk about Shennice and My Dessert Bar
  • Talk about The E Myth and this topic
  • Review upcoming events for this week
black boulangerie alsacience food truck
Photo by Tuur Tisseghem on

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Segment 1:

This week at 1 MC — Grayson Marshall of Knockout Collegean online testing platform for college-equivalency tests that enable students to earn credits without sitting through traditional classes.

Let’s talk about the problem Knockout College is solving

How long have you been doing Knockout College?

What’s your target market, audience? And how are you reaching them?

What do you hope to get from your 1MC appearance tomorrow?

About Shennice:

Things are in transition for Shennice. Let’s talk about the future of My Dessert Bar and what’s happened since we saw here here on the air last. Then talk about her becoming a weekly part of the show with Kasie through the Women’s Business Center of SC sponsorship.

Segment 2:

Topic of the week — The difference between being a baker and owning a bakery.

Gerber talks about systems and says: “let systems run the business and people run the systems; people come and go but systems remain constant.”

This article by Dan Kennedy suggests there are three “theories” to building those systems. Those theories are:

  • X Theory: I’m the owner. I built this. Do what I say and don’t ask questions.
  • Y Theory: I built this company. Here’s what I want you to do. Tell me what you think and I’ll tell you if it’s right.
  • Z Theory: I built this company with the best subject matter experts I could find. I trust them to know what to do. I’ll get stakeholders involved in decisions outside of my realm of expertise.

Kennedy calls Z Theory management the best way to handle your business and suggests using it:

  • Whenever you’re working on one of those big issues that will get a better answer when you get the group of stakeholders involved
  • When you have an issue that’s causing conflict or problems in your business
  • When the results of what you decide will significantly affect another group. If what the salespeople are deciding is going to affect the warehouse, you should have at least one stakeholder from each group on the Make-You-Happy Action Team.
  • When someone asks for one. They say “I’ve tried to get this changed, and I can’t get it done. Can we get a group together and find out the best way to do it?”

So pretty much all the time.

Gerber says most start-ups are founded by people with technical skills. But it takes businessskills to succeed.

Here are some StartUp Mythsby Martin Zwilling on

  • A great technology will lead a successful business.
  • If we design a great product, investors will find us.
  • Business work should start only after the product is done.
  • Marketing is a necessary evil to sell weak solutions.
  • Paradigm shift solutions have no competition.
  • Free solutions are the way to build critical mass quickly.

Don’t give your product or service away! To do so implies low brand value. Remember you are putting more than time and materials into the work. You’re putting in YOUR expertise.

Last week, the Women’s Business Center visited Tzima Brown at Sunrise Artisan Bath & Body in Five Points and she said something similar:

  • Know Your Value: Not everyone can create what Tzima creates. It’s not just a bar of soap, it’s the product of study, craftsmanship, and care. Be aware of what it is you bring to the table. Your expertise is valuable. When people walk away after experiencing your product or service, they will know they have received value for what they invested in you.

Here’s a great link for a video for The E Myth Revisited

People set up their businesses in a way that makes them dependent upon the founder to be successful. Gerber argues that we should set up “Turn Key” Businesses — a business with systems in place that no matter who is running it, the business will be successful.

Do you have experience with that kind of business?

Systems dependent businesses are consistent, effective, and orderly. The real product you’re selling is your business, not the product or service you have to offer. In order to build this kind of turnkey business, you must document the processes going into everything you do: sales, marketing, bookkeeping, product development, services delivery, EVERYTHING.

The goal of turnkey businesses is to reach franchise-ability.

Every business needs three people:

  1. The entrepreneur — visionary with the idea of the business and the vision for what it will become; thinks ahead and plans
  2. The manager — setting up processes and organizing the operation so things actually get done; establishes order and delivers consistency
  3. The technician — delivering services and products, delivering value to customers; most entrepreneurs were this before they set out on their own.

Every business goes through three stages:

  • Infancy — acting on what the business owner wants and not what the business needs to succeed; things become overwhelming when the boss cannot complete all the work and gets overwhelmed and quality drops off or fails. Many technicians walk away from the business here.
  • Adolescence — you’ve decided to let your business grow outside of your comfort zone; for the technician, it’s less control, for the manager it’s more subordinates than you’re comfortable with, and for the entrepreneur, how many managers can he keep motivated. Often people manage by absenteeism and the people they’ve hired don’t deliver at the level expected and the company reverts back to infancy while the owner goes back to doing everything himself.
  • Maturity — the owner moves into full-time entrepreneur role, establishing the vision and hiring managers to achieve the vision through technicians who deliver on the vision; this is where you’re working onyour business rather than inyour business.

So Gerber suggests we develop systems. Let’s talk a little about Systems Thinking which is a process in which we organize the work we need to do so we can better manage it.

Here are some fundamental concepts of systems thinking:

  • Recognize that everything is connected.
    • Example — networking, 1MC and the idea of building a community for the entrepreneurial ecosystem; referrals and reviews and how we find opportunities by sharing opportunities.
  • When you combine two or more things, you can create something new.
    • Example — collaboration, collaborative projects and entrepreneurs working together to develop new initiatives, programs, etc. Like Start Something, Columbia! first with Larry and Kasie working together and now with these rotating co-hosts and Shennice and Kasie pairing up; the content is richer and more complex as we bring in new contributors.
  • Emergence is the outcome of those things combining and creating something new — it’s the “something new.”
    • Example — Air BNB — like an Uber for Hotels — the combination of travel and hotel apps and ride sharing apps.
    • Example —
  • Feedback loops are how we measure progress. There are two kinds — reinforcing which produces more of the same, even if that same isn’t good; and balancing which is where all of the elements in the project or program balance out — think stability and self-correcting.
    • Shennice can talk about the Google Reviews process and the best practices around that; how does a business survive customer feedback?
    • Example: so-called “vanity metrics” are those measurements of success that we use to pat ourselves on the back even if we’re not actually producing anything of value.

(There are two others but this may be a bit theoretical for talk radio)

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