Although often very rewarding, running a small business can be incredibly tough. Particularly if you build a business which is reliant on you, which unfortunately, is what many small business owners inadvertently do. However, it is not the right thing to do, particularly if you are trying to achieve growth. Some small business owners wear their businesses reliance on them like a badge of honour “my business would crumble if I wasn’t there to manage it”. This isn’t a statement you should be proud to say. If this is you, here are three reasons you should be actively seeking ways to build yourself out of your business.
Avoid Burnout & Gain Freedom
If your business is reliant on carrying out the majority of operational tasks, growth will almost certainly lead to burnout. At best, burnout can lead to fatigue, loss of focus, lack of motivation and general lethargy. At worst, it can lead to long term adrenal issues, severe illness and physical breakdowns. It is therefore not ideal to suffer from repeated episodes of burnout which can be avoided if your business can operate without you.
If your business can operate effectively without you, even if for short periods at a time, then you will be able to confidently take holidays, take time off and even get sick without having to panic that the entire business is going to fail without you. This can be such a weight lifted off your shoulders and provide much needed peace of mind.
You didn’t start your business to be a slave to it. If you can build yourself out of your business, then you can pick and choose the level involvement you have without it being dictated to you by the needs of the business.
Enable Your Business to Scale
If your business can only grow by you doing more work, then you have a cap on growth by the number of hours you can physically work. Your business is unable to scale. Additionally, if business growth is closely connected to increased expenditure, then the business may grow but it cannot scale. A scalable business increases revenues without significantly increasing costs/time expenditure. If you are able to build yourself out of your business through business model innovation and automating key areas of your business, then your business will be able to scale much more efficiently and effectively. This won’t be possible if your core offers are dependent on doing more, hiring more and spending more.
Run Your Business More Efficiently
By seeking ways to build yourself out of your business, (including automation, delegation and outsourcing), you provide opportunities for your business to rely on systems instead of you. If you are tired, forgetful, overworked etc., it is likely that you may make mistakes or take extended periods to complete tasks. If you have clear systems for work to be done to particular time frames, in specific ways, using specific processes, your business will begin to run a little more like a well-oiled machine. This will lead to a boost in efficiency and efficient businesses are more profitable than inefficient ones.
Become More Attractive to Investors and/or Potential Buyers
If your business is totally reliant on you, it’s vulnerable. Investors are going to be wary of investing in a vulnerable business. They want to see a return on their investment. If that is predicated on you not getting sick, not burning out or not dying (morbid but facts), then they have less assurance that they’ll get their ROI. If your business can operate without you or at the very least without you doing most things, then they can rest assured that if any of the previously mentioned issues arise, they could put in a replacement and the business could continue, assuring their investment is safe.
Similarly, a buyer wants to know that if they buy your business, they don’t need to buy you too. They want to know that the business will be able to continue running and produce similar profits. If your business can operate without you, this makes it much more of an attractive prospect to a potential buyer. It will also save you time trying to build yourself out of it in order to sell. Whilst you may not presently have any interest in selling, you don’t know how this may change in the future.