Published on October 04, 2023
If you want to build a useful business, it's important to make sure your business can run without you being there all the time. However, starting this journey can be scary. In this piece, we'll talk about three simple, low-cost ways to help your business become self-sufficient and grow without your constant presence.
1. Find a new job by specializing.
Most owners can't change themselves because it would cost too much to buy a new one. To replace your wide range of knowledge, you would probably need to hire someone with a very high salary. If you can't afford to change everything you do, focus on a smaller part of what you do best.
For example, Casey Cavell's baseball business, D-Bat Academy, could have catered to a wide range of players, including pros, softball players, slow-pitch beer leaguers, fast-pitch...Rather, he told them exactly who his business was for: children ages 5 to 10.
Sure, he could have charged more per customer if he had focused on college athletes and potential pros, but those top players would have expected a hitting coach with years of experience, and Casey would have had to hire for that.
On the other hand, if one of the main goals of your business is to throw a great birthday party for an 8-year-old, an entry-level worker can do that.
When you narrow down what you're giving, you can avoid having to pay a high salary for someone with a lot of experience.
2. Keep a question journal.
Jodie Cook made a choice every time an employee asked her a question while she was building her social media firm.
She could have just answered the question, which would have been easy, but she pushed herself to write down each question. She turned that question diary into a business manual that told her workers how to do every single job.
Her guidebook was an Excel spreadsheet with 50 tabs. Each tab had information about a different process, such as payroll.
Try to do the same thing: When an employee asks you a question, don't just answer it and move on. Document these questions and turn them into a standard operating procedure (SOP) that will help your employees get better at what they do. Instead of you, the go-to source becomes the instructions.
3. List your workers on your site in order of their last names.
Most companies name their employees in order of seniority, starting with the owner and CEO. But this makes it clear that you are the most important person in your company, so everyone from salespeople to suppliers and potential business partners will want to call you directly to get to the top.
A good way to downplay your part in your company and get others to step up and do more is to list employees on your company's website by last name instead of by seniority. This strategy can make it less about you. Also, calling yourself "Head of Culture" or "Head of Product" instead of "CEO" or "Owner" can make it harder for customers to figure out your rank, making it less likely that they will call you by default.
Getting your business to do well without you gives you the freedom to choose the projects you want to work on or just own it and collect idle income. If you ever want to move on to a new part of your life, you can sell a business that can run without you. You can make your business run more independently in the future by doing things like specializing, making standard operating procedures (SOPs), and playing down your part on your website.
To discuss these issues further, please contact us for a free consultation.