Success in business equates to more income, customers, employees, and opportunities; however, it’s also true that business growth breeds disorder! As a business grows, so do it’s considerations, overhead, problems; thus a need for control systems to keep down expenses and waste.
So, what does that have to do with “13 eggs?”
I met with several business associates and affiliates recently to plan an upcoming Webinar we had titled, “Boss in a Box.”
That was a nickname some had given our software, System100™, because it allows companies to operate AS IF the boss/owner has been cloned, so as to oversee every job at once.
We discussed how our software aids businesses; listing its many benefits. We were also seeking anecdotes that would paint just the right picture—real life stories to best describe it. The team wanted to ensure that the people who had signed up for the upcoming Webinar would really “get it.”
Meet Merle, the “Redneck Millionaire”
One associate, named Merle, a business owner from Hendersonville, is an authentic country boy. He’s the real deal, y’all! He is amazingly good-natured about being called our “redneck millionaire,” due to his molasses-slow southern drawl, and his business success.
Merle tends to use a lot of good ole’ boy terminology when describing his business. Especially, how System100™ (our “Boss in a Box” software) gives him the advantage over his competitors. At times, Merle can be very comical and can lighten up any room in a nanosecond with his self-effacing humor.
Finally being called on during the Webinar, Merle drawled, “Guys, think of it like this. Think of a business as a carton of eggs, and the eggs represent the jobs you do.” Merle paused, leaving everyone on the conference call waiting patiently for his notorious, often hilarious, homespun philosophy to find its mark.
“Y’all know,” Merle continued in his thick Tennessee accent, “A carton is meant to hold a dozen eggs, right? Well, before Philip and I put in systems at my company, no matter how hard I tried, and no matter how long I worked at it, I just couldn’t get that 13th egg in the carton without all my eggs breakin’!”
The rest of us didn’t know whether to remain silent, or burst out howling. But we GOT IT, what Merle was saying to us:
The Reason Most Businesses CAN’T Grow is…
They are not prepared for the chaos new business can bring, and they buckle or implode under the weight of growth!
See blog: Superman—Success at the Speed of Systems.
As soon as Merle said, “thirteen eggs,” it sent my mind back to the early 1990’s when the same thing had happened to me. I couldn’t work long enough or hard enough then, without errors being made. Job orders failed to be placed in process, appointments were missed, employees walked out; customers, too. The more I tried to grow the business, the more “eggs” we broke. I just couldn’t put that “13th egg” (another customer) in my carton either, without it cracking and causing chaos.
My wake-up call came from a walk-in customer one afternoon, telling me the hard truth about the way our business looked from his view. He described our front offices as a “mess,” and strongly suggested we “clean it up.”
Thankfully, that customer didn’t see our production area that day, because it looked (as usual) like a typhoon had blown through. The customer was right, and I was embarrassed. It was true: my company operated and looked like a carton of broken eggs. And, the more we grew, the more eggs were in jeopardy.
The Answer Comes
The answer to our problem came in the form of a how-to book from a concerned friend; then MORE books. That began a quest to bring order to my business. I was determined to gain knowledge about business systems, and I made the decision to CLEAN UP ALL THE “BROKEN EGGS” that anyone with eyes could see.
I also searched and built tools—the System100™ software—and implemented written processes and quality control procedures to ensure safe accommodations for the “eggs” entrusted to us by our customers.
Thanks for the analogy, Merle, and for the benefit of your simply-stated logic that helps many to GET IT, where these “Boss in a Box” systems are concerned!
Did I mention? Great systems work!