How We Think About Ownership at GameTruck

Published on August 2nd, 2022

Business ownership is different from other professions in that it isn't really clear what the business owner does. Fireman? Got it. Nurse? Understood. Lawyer? We know what that is. Or at least, we think we know what those professions are about. However, what is the profession of a business owner?

The simplest model I can think of to explain being a business owner, is that it is like driving a car. A business owner is a driver. Using a business, I know well (GameTruck) let’s take a closer look. The driver analogy is a decent model for how to think about business ownership.

At the most fundamental level, you have the vehicle itself. A car is a made of systems that work together to solve a problem. You have the engine, a source of energy, space to carry people and things you care about, and of course, a method of control. Businesses are made of systems. There are systems to attract prospective clients (marketing), systems to convert leads into customers (sales), and ways to deliver what the customer wants (operations). Of course, you also need fuel and a dashboard (accounting) so you don't run out of gas.

Together, all of these systems make up the mechanics of how a car (or a business) functions. However, you can own a car without knowing how to drive. Businesses are similar. Just as driving is a skill, so is effective ownership. Nothing in the driver's manual will teach you how to drive. Businesses are the similar. The skill to steer a business successfully often times comes from outside the business itself.

There are four skills involved in learning how to drive a business. And a lot like driving skills, these skills cut across, and integrate all aspects of the business. Effective business owners have people skills. They understand strategy. They know how to execute, and perhaps most important of all, they manage cash effectively.

Collectively, these skills will enable you to grow and scale your business. However, there is one final level worth looking at. All licensed drivers are not the same. The question is what kind of driver do you want to be? Timid? Cautious? Reckless? At GameTruck I have seen that the most successful owners share a common set of attitudes, you could call them standards, that shape how they drive their companies.

Great owners are Engaged, Responsive, Excellent, and Efficient. Each of these characteristics shapes the owner's how employ their skills to operate the systems of their business. When you combine all three layers, systems, skills, and standards, what you find is that the driver model of small business works, because it turns the business into a vehicle that takes the owner where they want to go. With reliable systems, enough skill, and the right attitudes, it turns a fun business, into something that is fun to own. And it can take not only the owner, but the people the owner cares about where they want to go. Most owners describe that as a better tomorrow.

If you have questions about any of this, or want to know more about GameTruck, or might be considering a franchise, reach out to us. We can help.


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