When a business is running smoothly, it can be incredibly satisfying. Not only is it profitable, but you can choose your own hours, who you do business with and the direction of your career. On the other hand, if it’s not running smoothly, you can find yourself at the mercy of clients, other people’s time, emails, or whatever the latest crisis is. Allowing a business to run you, instead of the other way around, could feel a lot more like prison than freedom. While that may sound extreme, setting your company up to run on its own can not only be incredibly liberating, it can also allow you to grow it faster than if you were involved in every aspect of daily operations.
Changing Your Mindset
There are some sacrifices that entrepreneurs need to make in the early stages of their business to get it off the ground. Much of this early work can be exhilarating. When you’re the go-to guy and you’re putting your business on your back, the business can make great strides with every change. The problem comes when it gradually becomes too much for you to handle on your own, but you don’t realize it until it’s too late.
Even if you’ve been waiting too long, and you’re at the point where you’re starting to feel burnt out, a change in mindset may be all you really need to begin turning things around. Many business owners get caught up in the idea that nobody can do things as good as they can. In reality, the issue is probably an unwillingness to let go, or to invest the time in putting systems in place, documenting processes and training the right people.
You also cannot scale your business if you are just taking things as they come. You need to know your short and long-term goals and understand how each decision affects them. Being mindful of the vision you have for your company will not only making decisions easier for yourself, but also your staff, which will in-turn result in fewer discussions, meetings and personal interventions.
Building Your Business
While you may pride yourself on wearing many hats, you need to let someone else wear them so your business can thrive. By going from a generalist to a specialist, you can play to your biggest strengths and allow management and other staff members to fill in the rest. For example, if you’re not trying to manage every aspect of the business, you can focus on strategy, figuring out ways you can innovate, or grow your business. If you are continually trying to multi-task, you’ll spread yourself too thin to focus on critical business components such as these.
You also need to dedicate time towards becoming a better leader. No matter how skilled you are at this, there is always room to grow. Someone needs to guide your employees towards a common goal and reinforce the company vision. Who better than the business owner? While you can’t become over-involved in every process, by being a good leader you can steer everyone in the right direction. If your too busy with drudge work, you won’t have time to develop this skill.
Your business should be able to stand on its own. A business that depends too much on you won’t reach its highest potential value. If you plan on selling your company within the next several years, you must consider how it will appeal to buyers and investors. If its success is too heavily correlated with the level of your involvement, potential buyers will shy away from the risk. They want to see how well it performs without you.
Choosing a New Role
Becoming an entrepreneur gives you control over your situation, and with that comes the power to create your dream job. You may not be able to completely eliminate tasks you don’t want to do, but you should be able to do the work you are passionate about most of the time. Audit the time you currently spend running your business so you know where each minute of your day goes. You’ll end up with a clear picture of what roles you currently hold. From there you can decide what you want to prioritize. Delegate or automate tasks that you don’t have time to do, or things that don’t make sense for you to do.
While you may have many strengths and know all the ins and outs of your company, you cannot do it all. The first step in getting your business to run without you is coming to this realization. Understand how taking a step back can help grow your business faster and make it much more valuable. Focus your time and energy on tasks that only the owner of the business can do and put the right people in place to handle the rest. In the next part of our series, we will focus on learning to delegate responsibilities and put systems in place that can help your business to be successful in your absence.
If you are interested in selling a business you own in Southwest Florida, taking a step back from the daily grind of running it is a necessary part of preparing to sell it. This is part of a well-planned exit strategy that can gradually get you to the point of selling. Corporate Investment Business Brokers (CIBB) can help you put together an exit strategy and help you maximize its value, so you get the highest possible benefit when the time comes to sell it. We have work with business owners in Fort Myers, Sarasota and Naples well in advance of bringing their company to market. Contact us for a free business valuation and no-obligation consultation.
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