To Be Successful, You Need A System (A Cautionary Tale)

By: Mitch Taylor

Tell me if this sounds familiar.

Person “A” works in an industry for years, learning, implementing, developing excellence in product knowledge and outstanding customer service.  He thinks “Hey!  Why should the owner get all the money?  I should own my own business.”  So Owner A decides to open a new office, hangs his shingle and gets to work.  He does well for a while, working hard to take care of his customers, ensures that each customer is given attention to detail and eventually builds a decent client list.  He hires a person or two but not everyone seems to work out after they are given just a couple days of training and expected to sink or swim.

Person “B” works in an industry for years, learning, implementing, developing excellence in product knowledge and outstanding customer service. He then buys the business he was working in. He gets training in every aspect of his new business, hires staff, trains them properly vs. just throwing them on a computer, and enjoys the fruits of his labor with time off when it’s appropriate.

 Here’s the problem:  Owner A has spent too much time working IN his business vs. ON his business.  He has been focusing on minutiae rather than the big picture of where he wants his business to go 3 years, 5 years, 10 years down the road. He doesn’t reinvest in software that can help actively promote to his customer base.  He instead primarily focuses on sales and customer service (which is VERY important mind you) and fails to outsell his problems in other areas.

Meanwhile Owner B has put systems in place that will run efficiently, trained his staff appropriately and/or hired out experts to handle his business.  He has an active business plan, not just one that was drawn up years ago and filed in a drawer somewhere (if he even had one made at all).  He takes time to re-energize and rewards his staff for a job well done with incentives both personally and professionally.

Here’s the solution:  If you’ve read my new book, Sales 4 Event Pros [link: ] you’ve heard me state that there are six facets to any business: sales, marketing, planning, production, performance and operations, collectively referred to as a system. Systems are crucial and MUST be applied to every facet of your business — not just one or two.  Many people dislike the word “systems.”  They think that systems take the human element out of their connection with the client, or that numbers and systems can destroy the heart and soul of a business.  To the contrary, systems allow you to re-energize your heart and soul into your business.  Systems keep you sane.  They are VITAL to the life support of your business.  Without a system in place your business (and your wallet) will flat line.

Maybe you’re reading this right now and thinking “But Mitch, I suck at sales.” or “I’m no good at the operations side of things.”  HIRE people that you trust (interview at least twice and hire once) to handle those situations for you. 

Or know where to get help…

Do you need help at sales?  There’s workshops for that available at or sign up for Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Caffeine ezine, or read any Gitomer book.

Need help at marketing?  Read Michael Port’s book Book Yourself Solid or Harry Beckwith’s Selling The Invisible or You, Inc.

Maybe planning is what you need.  Take a course in event planning through Association of Bridal Consultants or attend WeddingMBA.

If you’re looking for help in production and performance, watch improv. Study comedy.  Take Bill Hermann’s “The Entertainment Experience,” available at  Some of the best performance-based courses I’ve ever taken have comes from my mentors Mark and Rebecca Ferrell who can be found at  Randy Bartlett’s Advanced Mic Skills workshop and 1% Solution DVD has also been an integral part of my skill set.

Aah, operations — one of my favorites and quite possibly one of the most neglected aspects of our business.  Systems are extremely crucial here.  Lay out a calendar of when you need to accomplish things.  Set out your workweek in advance.  The best to learn from here is Matt Radicelli of Rock The House in Cleveland, OH.  Matt has recently started coaching entrepreneurs about their business and is well worth your investment.  Another resource for you is  Visit their website and browse areas where you need the most help and seek out trainings that can assist you.

It’s amazing to me how two different businesses, both in the same town, both in the same industry can have two COMPLETELY different outcomes.  Owner A is just going through life, without having a clear path or vision.  He more than likely won’t have anything to sell when he wants to retire because he IS his business.  Owner B can retire whenever he wants, gives back to the community when he can, and invests in his employees as well as new technology for his business.

Which one do you want to be and where do you want to go?  The key is in the work and counsel you seek.  Choose (research) wisely.


Mitch Taylor has worked in the Mobile Disc Jockey industry for over two decades, first cutting his teeth as an on-board club DJ for Carnival Cruise Lines. In addition to owning and operating Taylored Weddings in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he is a sought-after speaker and Gitomer Certified Advisor whose sales training, books, coaching and workshops are in high demand all over the country.