Ross Cameron

SmartCompany /

Are you running a business, or a business model? It is an important difference.

When is a business a business?

Classifying when a business is a business is an interesting issue.

“It’s a business when you can step back from it and it still runs – when it’s self sufficient.” (20-50 employees, Melbourne)

“It’s a business when I don’t have to be there from the time that you open the business, till 12pm.” (20-50 employees, Melbourne)

Many operators of smaller businesses deceive themselves into believing that they have a business, when really what they have is a business model that is based almost entirely on their personal exertion. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that – but it is easy to deceive yourself without giving it due consideration.

The above comments come from a couple of business owners with 30 employees, and they both highlight this point. In their view an operation isn’t a business unless it can exist and function without the owner.

This is a fascinating observation and has a range of implications in terms of ongoing operations, empowering existing management, business succession/exit etc.

How would your business fare if you weren’t there?


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