PARA Conference Making Business Work
By David Dritsas
"Because you have achieved success in business does not mean you are in fact at the top of your game." This was one of the first things Michael Gerber, business consultant and author of "The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It," had to say to a room full of audio/video dealers and installers who reacted with a mix of confusion and fascination. Gerber was the keynote speaker at the Professional Audio/Video Retailer's Association (PARA) Conference 2001, which took place April 19th to the 22nd at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Miami.
Gerber spoke at the first day of the conference in two sessions over the course of the day. While Gerber himself is not and was not a consumer electronics dealer or installer, he said his message can apply to any kind of small business. "9 out of 10 (small) businesses will be out of business before they reach their 10th birthday," he said. His main point, and the one that surprised some, was that most entrepreneurs are working too hard for their own business and not enough on the systems and methods of how day-to-day operations take place. He faulted owners who take the attitude, "If you want it done right you have to do it yourself," saying that this kind of work pattern will not lead to a profitable business. "Your job is to be on the job, not in the job," he said, "If you spend a lot of time doing technical work you're costing yourself a fortune.