Some business owners focus on growing their profits, while others are obsessed with sales goals. Have you ever considered making it your primary goal to develop your business so it can thrive and grow without you?
A business not dependent on its owner is the ultimate asset to own. It allows you control over your time so you can choose the projects you get involved in and the vacations you take. Also, when it comes to getting out, a business independent of its owner is worth a lot more than an owner-dependent business.
Here are five key ways to develop your business so it can succeed without you.
1. Give your employees a stake in the outcome
While it takes time and effort to set up well, giving your employees the opportunity to participate in your financial success can be hugely beneficial to your business. Most importantly, it results in employees who act like owners when you’re not around.
2. Get your employees to walk in your shoes
If you’re not comfortable opening up the books to your employees, consider using a simple management technique where you respond to every question your staff bring you with the same answer, “If you owned the company, what would you do?”
By forcing your employees to walk in your shoes, you get them thinking about their question as you would and it builds the habit of starting to think like an owner. Pretty soon, employees are able to solve their own problems.
3. Vet your offerings
Identify the products and services which require your personal involvement in either making, delivering or selling them.
Make a list of everything you sell and score each on a scale of 0 to 10 on how easy they are to teach an employee to handle. Assign a 10 to offerings that are easy to teach employees and give a lower score to anything that requires your personal attention.
Commit to stopping selling the lowest scoring product or service on your list. Repeat this exercise every quarter.
4. Create automatic customers
Who is the best salesperson in your business? If it’s you, then you need to fire yourself as your business’s chief rainmaker in order to get it to run without you.
One way to do this is to create a recurring revenue business model where customers buy from you automatically. Consider creating a service contract with your customers that offers to fulfill one of their ongoing needs on a regular basis.
5. Write an instruction manual for your business
Finally, make sure your business comes with instructions included. Write an employee manual or set of standard operating procedures. These are a set of rules employees can follow for repetitive tasks in your business. This will ensure employees have a rule book they can follow when you’re not around. Also, when an employee leaves, you can more quickly get their replacement up to speed to take on their duties.
You-proofing your business has enormous benefits. It will allow you to create a business and have a life. Your business will be free to scale up because it’s no longer dependent on you, its bottleneck. Best of all, it will be worth a lot more to a buyer whenever you are ready to sell.