At some point, most if not all business owners are liable to ponder “how to build a business that runs without you”. Is it a pipe dream, or an achievable goal? More importantly, how does one get there? Implementing a well-planned strategy is a key part of every business exit plan. Let’s delve into considerations for how to build a business that runs without you. A few things you could take into account, may include:
- Making sure your business can actually run without you.
- Implementing quality of work assurance procedures.
- Leveraging new technologies and productivity tools
- Ensuring your business is flexible, agile and scalable.
- Having an exit strategy in place.
- Getting professional help.
At Taggart & Partners, we can make it easier for you to achieve your business goals. Get in touch with our business accountants on (07) 3391 1188, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us online to get business structure advice, and for help with business exit planning from our industry-leading business advisors.
Ensure That Your Business Can Operate Without You
Making sure your business is able to run without you should be the foundation of creating an organisational structure that continues to operate when you are not present. This may sound like a circular argument at first, but consider these few key points:
- Do you micromanage?
- Does every decision have to be approved by you?
- Do your employees seek your approval before making a decision even if it is not needed?
- Do you trust your employees to make good decisions on your behalf?
The first step in considering how to build a business that runs without you, is to acknowledge and become comfortable with the idea that you as a business owner, must become redundant and replaceable. First, prepare and empower your staff to carry out the ordinary, day-to-day operations of your business without your micromanagement and oversight. If you enjoy this part of running a business, you may have to first convince yourself to let go of your attachment to this level of control. Train your employees to manage the day-to-day affairs in your company and remove yourself from the decision-making chains for all but the critical decisions. While your staff learns to rely on their knowledge and experience, you yourself may need to learn to trust their expertise.
Consider Implementing a Quality Management System
One strategy for establishing an ongoing, assured high quality of work may be to consider implementing a quality management system such as, for example, ISO 9001. A quality management system takes stock of all your successful processes that are also the key to consistently meeting the expectations of your clients and documents them. Documenting what your organisation already does well, can give your employees the tools they need to reproduce those results as long as they adhere to this documentation. The idea behind quality management is to formalise what you already do well and create procedures that can be followed to replicate good results time and time again.
Take Advantage of New Technologies
Consider whether your business is leveraging all the digital platforms and automation tools available to your industry. There is a plethora of computerised solutions available these days that can help you establish, maintain and automate recurring processes from sales, through client relationship management to some aspects of marketing and even more. Creating consistently repeatable and scalable workflows for your organisation’s daily operations allows you take advantage of the new tools made available by the digital revolution. Review your internal processes and research software solutions that may be able to help you create streamlined workflows and pipelines that do not require your constant attention.
Flexibility, Agility and Scalability are the Key
Becoming “unimportant” in the day-to-day running of your business will require your organisational structures and processes to not only be repeatable but also to have a degree of flexibility, agility and scalability within which your staff can operate with a reasonable amount of freedom from your close supervision. Rather than always taking over the reins when facing a crisis, consider training your teams to deal with unexpected contingencies instead, while making sure to delineate clearly defined boundaries within which they can act on your behalf without your explicit consent.
Develop an Exit Strategy
Make yourself “redundant” and hire a successor to take your place. It would not be sensible to expect that you will ultimately just be able to leave your employees alone with completely no supervision or direction; why not hire your own professional replacement so that you are no longer required to supervise, manage, and give direction to your teams? Consider whether you can develop any of your existing human resources to take your place, or if you can hire external talent. As a small or medium sized business owner, you may be excused for thinking that the person who owns a company, by default has to be the person who also runs it. Think about what technical skills and competencies are important for someone to be successful in your place and begin your business exit strategy planning process.