Starting Your Business: Avoiding the “Incorporated Me” Syndrome
Posted On August 1, 2022
Many people who want to start a business have similar reasons for their ambitions. They typically seek autonomy from an employer, freedom, or control over their own destiny, which also means that they can determine their own income, work hours, job duties, and career path. However, when starting a business, it becomes immediately apparent why many entrepreneurs describe their position as “head chef and bottle washer.” This is another way of saying, in the absence of someone else to take care of all the major and minor tasks that need to be done to run the business, it is up to the entrepreneur to do it all.
Sweeping floors, taking out trash, wiping down counters, answering phones, serving customers, packing, shipping, billing, receiving, repairing, accounting, merchandising: doing these tasks, as well as any others that need to be done, is everything. in a day’s work for the entrepreneur. The businessman becomes a jack of all trades and also falls into a trap. This scenario bodes well for a prediction: the business will never grow. This is because in the beginning, when the entrepreneur’s imagination should have run wild with the possibilities of “blue sky” popping into his head, there was only one general compulsion, which was to hurry up and print the title “President”. in the new business cards of the entrepreneur. The businessman was already affected by the “Me Incorporated” syndrome.
The job description above also explains why some displaced corporate executives who start businesses are unprepared for their new roles as business owners. Now they have to do everything; but, they were trained as specialists operating in silos. They never had to clean the toilet or polish the brass handrails at Behemoth Worldwide. Their jobs there did not prepare them to survive on the “mean streets of Entrepreneur Town”. They cannot deal with the ambiguity and uncertainty that surrounds entrepreneurs, who must create their own destiny and fly without a manual. His job was to keep his mouth shut, fit in, and say, “Yeah, boss, that’s a great idea.” [which you stole from me, you wheezing, blundering, conniving, drooling…idiot].”
Not to continue a full-fledged tirade about large corporations and the drone-like behavior they seem to thrive on (not to mention ethical breaches and other shenanigans), let me stop here and return to the main topic of this article. . . Suffice it to say that you want to start your own business and you have your own reasons.
Since I have explained the result of the “Me Incorporated” syndrome, it would be appropriate for me to discuss cause and effect, so that the affliction can be avoided. Let’s start with how you should think about your business at the beginning. Now wait with me folks, I’m going to talk about imagination, crayons, scissors, and pasta, and you’ll consider me a bit on the edge for a few moments.
Before starting a business, there are no restrictions on the thoughts you are entitled to have. When you’re in the planning stages, it’s not the time to mute anything that comes to mind. There will be plenty of time for you to deal with impediments after you start the business. Feel free to doodle, draw, color, paint, cut out shapes, and assemble anything you want. Draw other people a picture that’s clear as a bell and show them what you’re made of. It is your vision. Make it big and bold, and add a sprinkle of sugary sprinkles of pure crazy colors. Many phenomenally successful inventions were created by people who proved to be geniuses rather than lunatics, only that was after they were successful.
As an example, let’s say you imagine, instead of a sandwich shop, starting a chain of sandwich shops across town. These stores could benefit from efficiencies of scale. Did you know that everything you’ve ever printed, like napkins, menus, cups, and sandwich wrappers in this case, is cheaper in bulk? If you print 1,000 of something, for a few dollars more, you could probably have printed 2,500. Most things are “cheaper by the dozen.”
Some other examples of efficiencies are worth mentioning here, to fully engage your imagination. I once served a group of franchise business owners who wanted to collaborate and buy advertising, acting together, rather than separately. First, I helped them draft a cooperation agreement. You should know that even though each provided the same services, realistically, customers would do business with the franchise owner whose store was closest. In other words, the customers who were located in the center did business with the store in the center; customers who were located on the east side of town did business with that store, and so on. Technically, these stores were in competition with each other, but not really.
Store owners bought a large yellow phone book ad and divided it up to have plenty of space to promote not only their individual locations, but also their brand and the features and benefits associated with their services. Any given single location could not have allowed all of that to be broadcast; acting like a group of blind men, they could.
Most all advertising is local advertising. Family businesses advertise to consumers in their respective market areas. His only sandwich shop, acting on its own, definitely can’t afford TV advertising. However, with five or ten stores in a city, a sandwich shop chain can probably do it. Television could be a great medium for showing the satisfied faces of customers who are consuming your delicious culinary creations, if only your vision required it. Purchasing supplies, advertising, food, and anything else can probably be accomplished more efficiently when you’re acting on behalf of multiple stores.
Let’s also talk about the personal. Instead of rushing to become president, you should think about becoming CEO. In that role, his job is to be the visionary and the team builder. “What are the requirements to become a successful store manager?” is the question you should ask yourself. In case you didn’t follow my leap of reasoning, you need ten of those store managers in our hypothetical scenario. You’re the CEO, remember? Their role is to hire and motivate, compensate, and grow the company as a whole. His main responsibilities are planning, consulting with other team leaders, taking the pulse of the markets in which he operates, understanding the economy and meeting unmet customer needs. As an entrepreneur, by definition, meeting unmet needs is the thing to do in business.
“Where do I get the money?” You can ask. Have you ever thought about the fact that you can “sell” the notion of a higher return on investment more effectively when you’re running a stronger, more imaginative plan? Many small businesses, plagued by the “built-in me” syndrome, will do nothing but struggle and burn out their owners, who are doing too much, for too long, and for too little. Eventually, businesses and owners alike will either submerge under the waters of insolvency and sink to the bottom of the corporate sea, or be eaten alive by larger, better-adapted predators.
It’s as easy to say, “All I need is $973,000 to fund the opening of ten highly competitive, efficiently run, heavily promoted, and professionally managed sandwich shops,” as it is to say, “Mom, Dad, I was hoping that they could lend me two thousand dollars for the first and last month’s rent at a sandwich shop. No, it’s not a typo. I meant to say “sandwish” shop, because that’s what it is. It’s a dicey proposition from an unimaginative aspiring entrepreneur who has already shown a lack of foresight or the ability to think outside of himself. It’s one thing to launch a new company, but it’s another thing to continue without any of the creative juices flowing from it. If you think “me, me, me” all the time, then you won’t think about sharing the work, sharing the profits, or teaming up.
No, you will do it all yourself. No, thanks to all the other people who have let you down. There is no one who can make a “sandwish” better than you. They also can’t handle the cash register, take a delivery, or do anything else as well as you. “Oh baby, baby, you’re the best!”
To avoid the “built-in-me” syndrome, you must create strategic and tactical plans that represent your solutions for recruiting, hiring, training, developing, compensating, and retaining staff. You need to have external resources lined up to accomplish what isn’t being done internally. You need a detailed marketing plan, including the product, price, advertising, facilities, delivery, and customer satisfaction processes you will use. Similarly, you need a financial plan, an operations plan, a technology plan, and contingency plans to manage disruptions and business risk. Regardless of what you were planning to write, just add zeros, because that’s what it takes to start a real business and run it properly, so everyone gets their money back, along with a profit.
You probably won’t have time to do all of this planning after being overwhelmed with the responsibilities of managing all aspects of running your business yourself. It will be too late by then, because you will already be stuck in a quagmire.
Before taking the entrepreneurial step, decide what type of business you want to create. If you ask for something bigger and justify it, you may have a chance to make it happen. What is the alternative? You’ll be in charge of your own little fiefdom, not knowing how things might have been, if only you’d thought a little more, a little harder, a little bigger, and a little less about how you might do every little thing. all by yourself, either planning to keep all the profits or avoiding reality by thinking you could improvise forever.
Drop that “sandwish” and think beyond what you can do yourself, and focus on what you can imagine. The transcontinental railroad that spans the length of the United States was built one rail link at a time, but the plan was always to connect the East Coast to the West Coast (and a larger part of this vision was to connect the East Coast to shipped goods). by traders from places like China and India). If you can imagine, articulate, sell and implement a business concept that involves serving, employing, partnering with, leading and encouraging others, you are probably cured.