Sipho has been working at the car services division of the car dealership for 15 years. He resigns and start his own workshop fixing cars. Is Sipho an entrepreneur? Not really.
Dineo has been working as a hairdresser at a local salon for 5 years. She decides that she knows all there is to know about hair, wants to starts her own salon. Does that make her an entrepreneur? Not really.
Mpho is a very good graphics designer, he wants to starts his own graphics design studio. Is Mpho an entrepreneur? Not really.
Having the technical skills to do something is important, but not enough.
Over 25 years ago, Michael E. Gerber wrote a best-selling business book called The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.
The E-Myth [“Entrepreneurial Myth”] is the mistaken belief that most businesses are started by people with tangible business skills, when in fact most are started by “technicians” who know nothing about running a business. Hence most fail.
Sipho, Dineo, and Mpho may have entrepreneurial intentions, which is important to have, but they are technicians. They know how to fix a car, do hair or design amazing graphics.
Technicians are everything in the business, they are the business. The problem with being everything in the business is that your business depends on you to function.
When technician is sick, the business is sick. When the technician is on vacation, the business is on vacation.
Technical skills are important in any business. However, just because some business owners are experts in the technical work of their business, does not mean they are able to build and run their business.
Understanding the technical work of a business does not mean you understand a business that does that technical work.
Technicians need to develop business skills. How to sell, proper costing and pricing, cash flow management, managing clients relations, leading a team, negotiating deals, etc.
Technicians need to develop management and leadership skills, so that as the business grows, they can employ more people and lead them.
People who are exceptionally good in business are so because of their insatiable need to know more. To increase their capacity.
Developing your capacity means growing your skills and competency to do more than what you currently know.
Growth in business does not happen automatically, you can remain a small business owner forever, as long as you don’t increase your capacity in your business the reason being that the technician builds a job, but the entrepreneur builds an enterprise.