Can Your Business Run Without You?

If Your Business Can’t Run Without You, It Won’t Grow Beyond You

One of the questions we ask prospective clients is what would happen if they took a month off from their business – would it still operate the same? Most business owners laugh at the prospect of this. But if your business can’t operate without you then chances are it won’t be able to grow beyond you.

One of the reasons for starting a business is to have freedom and autonomy but nothing eats more into that freedom than having the buck always stopping with you. If you are the bottle neck for all decision making, if you are the only person who can make things happen then it might be time for a rethink.

Making your business less dependent on you has several benefits – you can scale your company more quickly; you get more time to enjoy life outside of your business, and a business less dependant on its owner is much more valuable to be able to sell it in the future.

But where do you start? Here are our top tips for getting started:

  1. Document all of your business processes – if everything lives in your head, get it out of your head and down on paper. How do you onboard clients? What are the passwords for your website? Create a standard business operating manual. This isn’t just helpful for someone holding the fort if you get run over by a bus, it can also be a great guide for new starters joining your business.
  2. Develop your team – if you are fortunate to have people working in your business then help them to improve their skills and experiences by teaching them how to do some of the things that you do. You can start small with a week’s holiday – what would be all of the things you’d usually do that you could delegate to others?
  3. Change your mindset – sometimes as business owners we are the blockers. If we can get out of people’s way, they might surprise us. Have an open mind to what people are capable of doing and give people the opportunity to have a go.
  4. Make a list of what only you can do and set yourself a challenge to abdicate as many of those tasks as you can. Yes, not delegate – abdicate! When people come to you for a decision, ask them to make it. Even when you want to say yes, say no, and put the onus on to others and once they are competent, leave it with them to do!
  5. Review your infrastructure – what systems do you have in place that helps your business operate without you? What can you automate? What could you outsource? Nowadays technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting – make sure you have your infrastructure working for you.

None of these things will happen overnight but if you make a commitment to them, slowly but surely you will be able to see that your time is freed up and you can focus on what you as the owner is there to do – which is to grow the business beyond you. If you need any help in this area, reach out – we can help.

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