Preface: If you can improve [customers] peoples lives, you have a business. People think, ‘well everything’s been thought of,’ but actually, all of the time, there are gaps in the market here and gaps in the market there.” Richard Branson 30 Days of Genius.
The “Michael Process” – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Segment VII)
Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA, CVA
Perusing back through the business landscape to the early 1900s, major business trends or industries applicable to “Michael Process” entrepreneurs included the development of the engine, the tractor, the automobile, oil production, and generation of electricity. Along with these business development enterprising entrepreneurs started car dealerships, farm machinery dealerships, and gas stations. Corresponding new occupations developed e.g. mechanics and electricians.
Organized in 1976 with a single mission to be the best electrical contractor in the Midwest, ProElectric in Kansas City, KS, has developed into a respected electrical contractor with annual sales volume surpassing $20 million. Employing up to 150 employees, the business provides outstanding electrical services to customers. Blossoming with an application of the “Michael Process” to a century stable industry, there’re an entrepreneurial business that is solving problems with a business purpose successfully for their community.
“Interestingly, the 110 story Sears Tower completed in 1974 is monument of the era. This landscape led to new occupational titles including machinist, truck driver, computer programmer, and shop foreman.”
During the 1960s the players on the business landscape comprised manufacturing, computers, telecommunications, automation and production customization, and more stores (and restaurants) to present all the products saturating the marketplace. Interestingly, the 110 story Sears Tower completed in 1974 is monument of the era. This landscape led to new occupational titles including machinist, truck driver, computer programmer, and shop foreman.
What about tomorrow’s “Michael Process” opportunities?
If you have faith like Peter in the Book of Matthew, do you need a “Michael Process?” Here’s how it worked. After they had returned home, Jesus went up to Peter and asked him, “Simon, what do you think? Do the kings of this earth collect taxes and fees from their own people or from foreigners?”
Peter answered, “From foreigners.” Jesus replied, “Then their own people don’t have to pay. But we don’t want to cause trouble. So go cast a line into the lake and pull out the first fish you hook. Open its mouth, and you will find a coin. Use it to pay your taxes and mine.”
“The not only do they [fruitful entrepreneurs] set realistic goals, and take accountability seriously; but they know they create their own success, i.e. they have faith they will achieve their business vision.”
Then there is the story of the daughter of a wealthy businessman who took her boyfriend who was studying to be a small-town pastor to meet her parents. After dinner, the father sat in his mahogany study with the young man, and started asking questions. “So how to do you plan to earn a living to support my daughter and a family if you’re interested in marriage?” The young man responded “God will provide.” The father followed up with “And as a pastor, how will you buy a nice house for my daughter and grandchildren to enjoy?” Again, the young man replied “God will provide.” Following up on the conversation later, the mother ask her husband how the conversation went with the young man. He replied, “….another Liberal and he thinks I’m God”.
Granted, we are not saying the “Michael Process” is an unfailing principle. It helps facilitate the faith necessary to succeed in business and research supports this. Dan Schawbel writes in his article 14 Things Every Successful Person Has In Common, not only do they [fruitful entrepreneurs] set realistic goals, and take accountability seriously; but they know they create their own success, i.e. they have faith they will achieve their business vision.
“Ponder that one moment. If you’re an entrepreneur, those gaps are your business opportunities and or threats. Successful businesses have satisfied customers, no exceptions.”
If you do not have faith like Peters yet, here is a timeless quote. “The best businesses come from [customers] bad personal experiences. If you just keep your eyes open, you’re going to find something that frustrates you, and then you think, well I could maybe do it better than it’s being done, and there you have a business. If you can improve [customers] peoples lives, you have a business. People think, ‘well everything’s been thought of,’ but actually, all of the time, there are gaps in the market here and gaps in the market there.” Richard Branson 30 Days of Genius.
Ponder that one moment. If you’re an entrepreneur, those gaps are your business opportunities and or threats. Successful businesses have satisfied customers, no exceptions. In addition, entrepreneurship doesn’t require a great idea; you don’t need a genius invention for the “Michael Process” to work for you. You simply need the expertise to improve the lives of your future customers. That’s the pillar characteristic of the “Michael Process” case studies. Ray Kroc’s name is not McDonald; Alex Fourie did not invent the iPhone; Anna Phosa wasn’t the first farmer; And Michael Dell did not invent the PC. Yet they’re entrepreneurs who have solved problems [closed gaps] effectively with a passionate business purpose.
What if the business landscape of the future includes remote healthcare, autonomous vehicles, a sharing economy, artificial intelligence, renewable energy, smart cities, 3D printing, domestic robots, and commercial drones? The “Michael Process” will continue to be applicable in business as long as seed time and harvest remain.