Some owners focus on growing their profits, while others are obsessed with
sales goals. Have you ever considered making it your primary goal to set up your
business so that it can thrive and grow without you?
A business not dependent on its owner is the ultimate asset to own. It allows
you complete control over your time so that you can choose the projects you
get involved in and the vacations you take. When it comes to getting out, a
business independent of its owner is worth a lot more than an owner-dependent
Here are five ways to set up your business so that it can succeed without you.
1. Give Them A Stake In The Outcome
Jack Stack, the author of The Great Game of Business and A Stake In The
Outcome wrote the book on creating an ownership culture inside your
company: you are transparent about your financial results and you allow
employees to participate in your financial success. This results in
employees who act like owners when you’re not around.
2. Get Them To Walk In Your Shoes
If you’re not quite comfortable opening up the books to your employees,
consider 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 to sell the lowest scoring product
or service on your list. Repeat this exercise every quarter.
4. Create Automatic Customers
Are you the company’s best salesperson? If so, you’ll need to fire yourself
as your company’s 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 company comes with instructions included. Write
an employee manual or what MBA-types called Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs). These are a set of rules employees can follow for
repetitive tasks in your company. This will ensure employees have a
rulebook they can follow when you’re not around, and, when an employee
leaves, you can quickly swap them out with a replacement to take on
duties of the job.
You-proofing your business has enormous benefits. It will allow you to create a
company and have a life. Your business will be free to scale up because it is 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.