The Business Rules

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Author: David Eichenbaum

Publisher: Entrepreneur Media Inc.

Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi


Many businesses collapse because necessary rules are not observed. It is therefore necessary to examine this text entitled “The Business Rules”, with the subtitle “The Seven Irrefutable Laws That Determine All Business Success” to guide existing and prospective entrepreneurs. It is written by David Eichenbaum, chief executive officer of Eichenbaum & Associates, an international consulting firm.


Eichenbaum says this text is the culmination of the 20-year research project he undertook to identify the foundational elements that dictate business success. The author educates that there are seven fundamental business rules, stressing that they apply without exception to any organisation in the world and following them has made some companies succeed at the expense of others.


Eichenbaum explains that these rules are timeless and enduring, simple to implement and definitive. The author submits that yet, only very few companies master them all.


This text is divided into four parts of ten chapters. Part one is generically christened “In the beginning” and contains one chapter, entitled “Flawlessly flung flutes of flame”. According to Eichenbaum here, there are fundamental precepts that govern information dissemination that need to be established at the very outset of any presentation.


The author says the first is to create a non-threatening atmosphere wherein the audience can relax completely and focus. He adds that the intent of the Montgomery Ward story is to demonstrate that amidst what seems like extreme and chaotic change, there exists constancy.


The second precept, according to Eichenbaum, is to provide in advance a structure of the material to be presented. He adds that the last, and perhaps most important, principle governing presentation of information is that within the first 60 seconds, you must communicate exactly how the presentation will benefit each individual in the audience not in any general way, but specifically.


The author says it is not good enough to convey how the material presented might benefit someone’s company, for example; but how it will benefit them specifically. Eichenbaum adds that there is no one way to succeed in business, stressing that if there were, he would definitely know about it. He educates that there is damn sure a structure and rules and they apply.


Eichenbaum says business by definition is about risks, uncertainty because, in theory, you have no control over how the free will of the marketplace will react to your endeavours. The author stresses that although much is beyond your control in business, more is within your control.


“Far, far more than most people realise. Most of it is hidden amidst the everyday din of commerce or concealed within the way things have always been done. Most of this mystery can be removed with a simple framework that if adhered to will result in the clarity necessary to excel,” expatiates Eichenbaum.


He asserts that one noteworthy and encouraging characteristic of the rules is that they require few if any resources to implement and they cannot be rules if substantial resources are required. Eichenbaum submits that nearly every phenomenal business in history began with little in the way of assets, most with laughably few.


According to him, it is quite clear that if these businesses could succeed at the very pinnacle of capitalism without resources, then so, too, can you. “The Rules reflect this. They universally require something far more precious than resources – thought. You will find these Rules to be self-evident, and they are. They are enduring, timeless. They are indisputable and account for every instance of business success and failure in history,” asserts Eichenbaum.


He submits that there is no doubt that it is not possible to succeed without implementing them. Eichenbaum says not knowing them will cause unnecessary stress and reduce dramatically any chance for success. In his words, “Regardless of who you are, down at the street level, if you break enough of them, you become pavement.”


Part two is summarily woven together as “Financial identity” and contains just one chapter, that is, chapter two, which has the subject matter of micro being able to sing. Here, Eichenbaum says the first and probably most important business rule is: Sell it for more than it costs you. The author educates that before you can wield the extraordinary knowledge imparted in Rule 1, you have to first determine what your costs are.


“If you don’t know what your costs are on a per item basis in exhaustive detail…, then you are hanging out where the terra isn’t so firma. Businesses do not profit by accident. It happens by design. It is the difference between sale price and costs,” expatiates Eichenbaum.


He says when it comes to the nitty gritty financial details of a company, most normal people’s attention span would not span a crack in the sidewalk. Eichenbaum stresses that your true financial identity exists whether you are interested or not. He adds that all companies have two distinct financial identities, a micro and a macro.


“For my purposes, the former refers to results on a per item/per customer basis, and the latter involves the organisation as a whole. Most companies have at best a macro notion of their financial selves. It is, however, the micro that determines their destinies,” educates this author.


Eichenbaum explains that there are two prominent ways in which to break Rule 1. He says the first is not to know while the other is not to care. According to him, when your bottom line is the top line, then the bottom line is that your bottom line will most likely be inadequate. The author explains that this notion of market share, of a fixation on the top line (revenue), is quite dangerous.


Eichenbaum stresses that there is a huge difference between the top and bottom lines. “That is why they put all those numbers in between may be the most important…You can’t spend sales. In fact, one could submit they are not even as important as costs. Every dollar of cost reduction adds a dollar to your profits. The same can rarely be said about every sales dollar increase,” says the author.


Part three is eclectically tagged “Market identity” and covers four chapters, that is, chapters three to six. In these four chapters, Eichenbaum analytically X-rays concepts such as the really clean bathroom machine; being in synch with bossman’s universe; easy does it and gray matters.


Part four, the last part has the summary subject matter of organisational identity and contains four chapters, that is, chapters seven to ten. Chapter seven is entitled “Mission position”. Eichenbaum says the fifth and absolutely really important business rule is that your employees possess everything necessary for you to achieve virtually any objective, every single one of them has far more to offer than you currently capture.


The author says the only way to compete, be it locally or globally, is to empower each of your employees and harness all that they have to offer. Eichenbaum adds that capitalism no longer allows any room for the waste of resources, especially the most precious one, your people.


In chapters eight to ten, this author beams his analytical searchlight on concepts such as Michelangelo Buonarroti’s bent neck; most important customer being on the payroll and in the end.


Stylistically, this text is okay. The language is standard yet simple, while the presentation is brilliant. Eichenbaum includes a grey-box section tagged “Chapter Highlights” at the end of each chapter to outline the major points of each chapter and achieve conceptual recapitulation.


He also uses the grey boxes to radiate other important pieces of information and create visual emphasis. Eichenbaum writes the “Rules” in first-letter capitalisation even within connected text to create emphasis, though this is regarded as a graphological deviation/error in Stylistics.


Generally, the text is fantastic. It is a necessary companion for anybody that wants to succeed in business.


GOKE ILESANMI, Editor-in-Chief/CEO of https://www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng and Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant. Tel: +234(0)8056030424; +234(0)8187499425

Email: info@gokeilesanmi.com.ng; gokeiles2010@gmail.com

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