Over the years, I started to unpack the double-trap for many small businesses owners. It's not intentional – but happens gradually, without us knowing - especially with family commitments.
There are two traps:
- The conflict between the four hats a business founder wears &
- The five 🌱 based founder archetypes
Building on Michael Gerber's work, the author of book E-myth, a small business founder wears a minimum of four hats. They are the Owner, CEO, Department Manager (Sales & Marketing, Financial, Operations), and the technicians (doing the work).
We have all been there in start-up phase.
Gerber states that majority of small business owners start a business with highly technical skills – I know I did!
For example, a vegan bakery begins with a person who is told they are a great cook. So they start a bakery.
According to Gerber, the average SME business owner, spends 70% of their time in the technical role, with the just 10% as the CEO and 20% as a Manager.
He argues, this is why SME businesses have a high percentage of failure rate. Many SME business owners focus in the technical aspect of the work too much and not on the business.
You can appreciate the aims of each hat are quite different:
- Owner – Wants a return on investment (for both time and labour)
- CEO – wants to control all the operations & wants good performance
- Manager – wants to ensure the right work is being done.
- Technician – wants to focus on where they are most skilled.
Do you see the conflict?
Here's a question to reflect on - If you have a great product or service, that's in high demand, which hat are you wearing when you see the opportunity? The Technician, the Manager, CEO or the Owner? And how does this relate to the impact you wanted to create?
The following section may help you answer the question.
Five 🌱Founder Archetypes
Based on all the founders I have met over the last ten years, I realised there are Five 🌱Founder Archetypes. In all cases, they have a product in demand.
1) Sacrifice – These founders do all that they can and get by. They are frequently busy and give back to various charities. They work long hours, and this carries on for many years.
Everyone starts here, but some move on to the next stage.
2) Livelihoods – These founders have created a business which supports them and their essential needs and wants. They have been through the sacrifice, but now they are comfortable. E.g., the mortgage is sorted, occasional travel and, they are comfortable.
***Note*** if the livelihood founders do not keep their eye on the market, their business is likely to fall behind with the market's growth.
3) Sustained Growth – They understand the market growth potential, and want to do the best they can by using all the resources available internally. They are likely to seek assistance as needed from experts.
4) Outperform Growth – They also understand the market growth potential and add all the resources they need to capture market share. This includes expertise and all types of funding, to fully capitalise on the market.
5) Hyper-Growth – Well funded founders with rich skill sets who see the market potential. They organise funding from venture capital and plan for hyper-growth (10 times). In Australia, brands like V2 Food, Vow Food, & Fable Food are examples that come to mind. Globally, an example will be Beyond Meat.
What if we replaced market potential by impact? The fast-growing businesses are creating the most impact in revenue, livelihoods, suppliers supported, public accessibility, the environment, and of course all the animals.
How to Skip the Double Trap?
First is awareness and being in-tune to it.
Right now, the public is yearning for quality plant-based products. If you believe in your product, then why not look at all the ways to reach these customers.
Whether you are a manufacture, QSR, CPG, or a wholesale product – the principles are universal.
So how can we help? We take businesses from Sacrifice & Livelihood to Sustained and Outperform growth.
Don't you deserve more?
If you want to find out how, let's schedule a time to speak.
Remember, this is your year!