Think technical skills are enough to run a successful business? Think again.


That’s what Michael Gerber says. Several years ago, Michael Gerber wrote a book called “The E Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It”. His basic message: understanding the technical work of a business (for example, photography for a photographer or electrical installation and repair for an electrician) is not enough to be successful.

According to Gerber, the idea that technical skills are enough to succeed is responsible for the high rate of small business failure. Two other business functions – the manager role and the entrepreneur role – are just as important. As SCORE counselors, we still see clients who suffer from this misunderstanding.

What does this mean to you? Gerber tells us that the technician looks inward to define his or her skills, then looks outward to ask ‘how can I sell them?’ This thought process will satisfy the technician, but not the customer. The entrepreneur identifies a group of customers to be served, then creates a business that will meet the needs of these customers. The customers will buy the total results of the business (not just the technician’s product or service), creating revenue and profits.

The customer buys their total experience with the business, not just the product or service. Previous blogs show how the entrepreneur can build the total business by focusing on the nine critical elements of the lean startup process.

SCORE counselors are available locally or on-line to help you create and manage a successful business. Call us in Pinellas County at (727) 532-6800 or go online to

Image courtesy of Thomas Laurinavicius via creative commons license.

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