So many small businesses rely entirely on the owner – the family-recipe chocolate shop without a manual, the diner with all family employees, the bicycle repair company where the owner is doing the repairs… These businesses are part of Main Street in communities around the world, but without their owners, how can they survive?
At The Growth Coach, we are asking this question because, whether you want to pass your business onto the next generation, sell it when it’s time to retire, or just take a vacation, you have to have an exit strategy. If you own a business that relies on you being there every day (or at least available every day), how can someone else come in and run the show? And who would buy a business they can’t make successful on their own?
Getting out of the day-to-day of the business will be a long process, but you can do it. Here are three places to start:
Create Systems: For your business to run without you, other people have to know what goes on both day to day and long-term, which means creating a sort of owner’s manual for your business. Writing down instruction on how to operate your business will help whoever comes after you, but it also gives you an opportunity to evaluate your role in the business’s daily operations and figure out how to step back.
Hire and Train Staff: Whether you’re sick for a day, on vacation for a week or traveling for a month, your customers – and your bank account – count on your business being open. If you or your family members are the only ones working in the shop, how can you live a life outside of the company? It requires an additional level of accounting and a different kind of system, but if you want to grow your business, you have to bring on staff members and then invest time and money into training those staff members. It’s a mindset switch to hand the daily operations over to trusted staff members, but it’s a necessary step!
Stop Being the Answer: Once you’ve created systems and brought on a trained staff, it’s time for you to step back and focus on business growth and marketing. Of course, if you’re going to spend time on those items, you can’t be spending time managing the shop! As long as you have managers or employees you can trust to make good decisions about your business, there’s no reason for you to be stopping by every day. Find ways to take off all those hats and focus on being a business OWNER and not a business MANAGER.
If you need help getting your business to a place where it can run without you – or you are closer to retirement and would like someone to help you put a value on your company – contact your local Growth Coach: http://thegrowthcoach.com/find-coach/.