The five words that trap most owners in their business… (part two)

By | August 10, 2007

“You have to be there…”

It’s nonsense for so many reasons. But obviously at it’s most simplistic Howard Schulz isn’t there in every Starbucks and they seem to do okay. Every major chain manages to cope without the “owner” being there so why can’t you?

But immediately I hear murmurs along the lines of “well, Starbucks is soulless – I don’t want a business like that.” Hmmm – well yes and no.

Let’s jump sideways in our industry for a wee minute. Let’s look at Gordon Ramsay. At that very highest level of the restaurant trade he manages to create incredibly profitable restaurants without him actually being there.

It’s all down to systems and training. It’s about building and creating a great team round you that can grow with the business. Sure there wil be some casualties along the way but you’ll note just how many of the head chefs in the Ramsay empire were with right at the very beginning in his first restaurant.

You have to recruit, train and systemise in a way that allows people to grow and want to stay with you. A business without an owner standing there at all times is always different from one where the onwer is there but it doesn’t have to be any worse. But I’d argue that a business where the owner has to be there for it to be a success isn’t a business at all. It’s a job at best and a huge financial trap at worst.

If you are in this trap then you need to start – today – to move yourself out of it. To craft a business with new systems that help to replicate the standards you expect and recruit and train people into the positions that you feel only you can do. But stage one is finally accapeting that this can be and is possible. To once and for all banish those five words from your mind forever.

Johnnie Richardson

3 thoughts on “The five words that trap most owners in their business… (part two)

  1. Del Boy

    Systems, Systems, Systems

    Write the manual as you are going to franchise the business. Then work to the manual, tweek it, rewrite it, work it again etc. until its complete.


  2. Johnnie Richardson

    It’s boring and no fun but you’re absolutely correct. Without decent systems and clear manual (that is constantly tweaked and improved as you rightly say) then no business can properly grow.


  3. Chris

    Two great and unfortunately very relevant (for me) articles. Thanks.


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