Five years before he was going to sell his business, Charles “Chuck” Mertz (Big50 2000) knew he'd have to create a turnkey operation to make a good sale. “Reading The E-Myth really helped me get my head together on standardizing the company,” says the former owner of EnviroCare, a disaster cleaning and repair service in Buffalo, N.Y.

Although restoration work can be chaotic, certain aspects are common to all jobs. Mertz scripted everything from answering the phone to picking up the check. He also credits joining a peer review group with helping him get his books in order. “I had to show three to five years of solid numbers and profits,” he says. “And I had to make the business ‘not all Chuck Mertz.'”

Mertz hired a general manager, gave him his office, and moved into a “really little” office for three years. In 2005, two brothers, who are business partners, bought EnviroCare, and Mertz stayed on briefly to consult. The new owners paid half in cash for the business, with the balance to be paid in monthly installments over six years.

“Now, I've made a little money and can give back,” says Mertz, who is training small-business owners in project management software for the peer review group, and is involved with Shelter Box (, a humanitarian aid group run by Rotary International.