Sunday, July 15, 2007

How to grow your business by taking 3 months off

This book by Louise Woodbury and William De Ora is a worthwhile edition to any small business managers library. It is based very much along the lines of the E-Myth by Michael Gerber but has a number of improvements in my opinion. Firstly, unlike Gerber, it starts out with a single goal in mind. Gerber's book is great, telling you to get everything systemized and so on but what for ? Just to make more money ? I think that this book's objective is far more relevant to Australian small business owners.

The second thing is that the book is written by Australian's. Many good ideas and books come from the US but there are still significant differences in the culture between Australian and US small businesses, so coming from an Australian perspective is a bonus. The book also goes beyond what Gerber covers, extending into areas such as financial management and marketing. In some cases this may make the book too long for small business owners pressed for time and in some places I found the book to drag a bit but generally they were few and far between. If there was a flat spot it wasn't long until something “peppier” came along.

The follows the struggles of a business owning couple who have been in business over ten years and who have lost their “spark” and are simply trudging through their day feeling trapped by the business they started all those years ago to free them from the cages of being employees. The ability to take three months off from your business to enjoy a break has two fold benefits. Firstly, it lets those owners who are burning out a chance to unwind and recharge their batteries. Even more importantly, it makes the business owners put in place systems and people ( al la Gerber ) so that the business will continue to run in their absence.

I feel this book is more relevant to businesses here in Australia than Gerber's because it actually focuses on a goal the business owners can aim for as well as providing definative steps as to what needs to be put in place for this to happen. As I said previously , the book is written very much in the Gerber style as a story between all the major players. This I admit can get a little tedious at times but then you do have to remember that not everyone has read Gerber and this writing style will probably appeal to a lot of small business owners who don't really read for relaxation.

All in all a very worthwhile read and I would recommend it to any small business owner, whether or not they have read Gerber. There were plenty of points that made me sit up and pay attention as well as challenging my thinking on a number of issues. Any book that does this is certainly worth the investment of reading.

Rating = 7 out of 10