Most entrepreneurs who start their own business or purchase one, do so with the full intention of having more freedom and independence. Unfortunately, many of these business owners get too caught up in the daily grind and trying to be involved in every aspect of their company’s daily operations. If this is you, it’s time to start delegating your responsibilities and find ways to help your company to thrive while you spend more time away from it. In our previous article, we focused on how you can change your mindset, re-evaluate your business goals and choose a new role for yourself. Those steps will help put you in a position to start putting systems and people in place that will not only give you more freedom, but also a more successful business.
Putting Processes in Place
There is a process behind every major function of your business. All these processes need to be documented, so they don’t require your constant intervention. Organizations that run smoothly have comprehensive documentation for every system, so there is no debate about how things should be done, and employees can make decisions without having to over-involve the owner. After all, if all your company’s processes are in your head, there’s no way for anyone else the execute them without consulting you first.
Creating an operations manual not only provides your business with a training and reference tool, but gives you the opportunity to audit your processes and see if anything needs to be improved upon. It can also add a lot of value to your company. If you ever decide to sell your business, this documentation will help market your business to buyers. It allows potential future owners to see a path towards continuing to run a profitable business after you have moved on.
Create a Not-To-Do List
Once you’ve chosen a new role for yourself and documented all your processes it’s time to decide what to delegate, what to automate and what to dump. If there is anything that is not adding value to the business, or you won’t lose money by not doing it, dump it. There may be some products or services you offer that are underutilized and continuing to support them may cost you money or take time and effort away from other, more profitable services. Consider them expendable.
Are there any repetitive tasks that are consistent and predictable? If so, consider automating them. There are many business process automation (BPA) tools and software available now for all types of businesses and processes. This includes invoicing, expense tracking, sales processes, CRM, social media management, employee onboarding in addition to so many more. Utilizing BPA tools not only frees up more time for yourself, but also relieves your employees of these tedious tasks and allows them to focus on more profitable ones.
Everything that you don’t drop or automate should be delegated. It’s ok to keep some responsibilities that you are exceptionally good at or passionate about. If they take too much of your time or are below your paygrade, consider letting someone else do the work.
Allowing Your People to Do the Work
While you may be the most qualified person to run your business, you can’t do it all. Once you have thorough documentation in place, it’s time to let your employees do the work. You’ve hired staff for a reason, so you have to step back and resist the urge to hover. When you do this, you not only free up more time for yourself, but also empower your staff to fill their roles and take greater pride in their work. If you’re not convinced that your staff is capable or trustworthy, do something about it. Either hire people who are more qualified or find ways to develop the people you already have.
You will need a strong management team to help run the company in your absence and make decisions on your behalf. If this isn’t something you already have, start grooming your key employees so they can one day take on more responsibility. As they start to step into leadership roles, give them room to do so. They may fail, but they may also find better ways to produce more effective outcomes. Use failure as an opportunity to coach and lead your team, instead of seeing it as a reason to take over.
Documenting, delegating, and building business systems all begin with learning to let go. This is why it’s important to address your mindset first. Understand how getting your business to run itself can grow it faster and improve your quality of life. It will help guide your decision making as you install the systems you need to be able to take a step back. In our final article in this series, we will go over how you can learn how to stay away and allow the systems and people you’ve put in place to operate the business in your absence.
Have you considered selling a business you own in Southwest Florida? To establish an exit plan and sell successfully, your company has to be able to operate without you. Corporate Investment Business Brokers (CIBB) can guide you through the exit planning process. We have been helping business owners in Fort Myers, Sarasota and Naples sell their businesses successfully for over 35 years. We also provide advisory services well in advance of listing a company for sale. To discover what your business is worth and find out how we can help you, contact us for a free business valuation and no-obligation consultation.
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