Have you ever wondered what would happen if you decided to step away from your business operations for a day, a week, or even a month, with little to no involvement? Is it possible to keep your business running without you?
Imagine maintaining a strong bottom line and raking in the same income — all without really being in the trenches.
If you’ve ever considered taking a backseat in your business, you’re far from alone.
A growing number of business owners and entrepreneurs across the globe are opting to earn passive income while their companies run on autopilot — irrespective of scale or industry.
So, are you ready to set and forget your business?
Here are the 5 surprisingly easy ways to keep your business running without you — and without disastrous consequences to your bottom line.
Why Less is More
We think it goes without saying: operating your business from a distance will bring unequivocal benefits to your work-life balance.
An owner-independent business is the ultimate asset to own. It allows you the freedom and autonomy to choose the projects you handle, the holidays you take, and just how much involvement you want to have, while still affording you enough operational power to make sure your company is staying in the black.
It also allows you to scale your company more quickly if you’re not acting as a bottleneck.
And as it turns out, having less involvement can actually add more value to your business.
When it comes to overall valuation, SME businesses that are not dependent on their owners are generally worth a lot more on the back end. On average, small business owners who act as a sounding board within their companies make a 67% higher capital gain, according to a 2018 study by Forbes.
To find out your business valuation now, take our Business Valuation Survey.
The stark reality: no one wants to buy a business that relies entirely on its owner.
From the standpoint of the buyer, how viable could your business be if it doesn’t make sales without your personal involvement? Or if it can’t produce or deliver the product without your participation?
The real question is how to step away from the day-to-day operations of your business while still ensuring it runs successfully.
Without further ado, let’s get into the 5 things you can do to run your business as a sounding board advisor, without incurring any loss to profits or sales.
Give your employees a stake in the outcome
When you create an ownership culture inside your company, you’ll get employees who act like owners when you’re not around.
And it all starts with transparency.
Be transparent about your financial status: quarterly earnings, the company’s short-term and long-term goals, and allow your employees to participate in your financial success.
Once you’ve cultivated an ownership culture within your business, autonomy will tend to identify itself. There may be natural leaders inside your company that are just waiting for their chance to shine.
Allow your employees to assume roles of leadership and delegate tasks based on their innate strengths.
A day in the life
If you aren’t entirely comfortable opening up the books to your employees, consider this simple management approach.
When your staff come to you with questions, respond to all of them with the same answer: “If you owned the company, what would you do?”
This forces your employees to walk in your shoes.
This practice will get them to think about their questions as you would — and this builds the habit of starting to think like an owner.
Pretty soon, your employees will be able to solve their own problems.
Trim the fat
Here’s where you’ll break your business down into its meat and bare bones.
Start by identifying the products and services that require your personal involvement. Take note of your specific role in the manufacture, delivery, and sale of those products.
Next, it’s time to conduct a value assessment.
How easy is it to teach an employee to handle these products or facets of your business?
Make a list of everything your business sells and score each item on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the easiest to teach employees and 1 being anything that requires your personal attention.
It may seem like a fairly straightforward exercise, but this snapshot will enable you to vet your offerings and determine whether to stop selling the lowest scoring product or service on your list. And that can free up some serious time and capital.
To keep the remote leadership framework tenable and continuous, repeat this process every quarter.
Shift your business model to automate sales
Are you your company’s best salesperson? Or your customers’ go-to point of contact on all things sales related?
If so, you need to fire yourself.
Stepping out of your business’s limelight means you can no longer rely on yourself as your company’s rainmaker. You’ll have to consider other strategies and secure alternative means to keep your business running without you.
Enter stage left: the recurring revenue business model — a whole new paradigm in sales automation.
Set up a system where customers can buy from you automatically via a service contract that allows you to fulfill one of their ongoing needs on a regular basis. This can be done easily by offering periodic services, like memberships or subscriptions.
Because you’re not the only one who’s interested in the set it and forget it approach; your customers are, too. Everybody wins.
Include instructions — literally
When it comes to business continuity, turnkey provisions will make your business as foolproof as possible. So, like an Erector Set, make sure your company comes with instructions included.
Take the time to draft up a comprehensive employee manual, complete with SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). This will give your employees a set of rules they can follow for repetitive tasks within your company.
Providing employees with a rulebook they can follow when you’re not around can be incredibly time effective and cost saving. You can even expand it into the online sphere, with things like webinars, downloadable SOPs, and eLearning modules.
And, we smell a prime opportunity for team building! Consider targeted focus groups within your company to get employees to network and support each other. Focus groups are a great way to boost company morale.
All businesses experience employee turnover, some faster than others. In the event that an employee leaves, having an employee manual readily accessible can help you quickly find a replacement to take on duties of the job.
This sort of documentation provides a one-size-fits-all blueprint of your business that employees can not only understand, but put into practical application.
So, let’s summarise the 5 ways to keep your business operating successfully without you:
- Give your employees a stake in the outcome
- Get them to walk in your shoes
- Vet your offerings
- Automate sales with a recurring revenue business model
- Write a turnkey employee manual or employee rulebook
Pulling yourself out of the day-to-day operations of your business is easier said than done — but it doesn’t have to be. These steps will make it much easier than you think to obtain a remote operations structure in your company.
Once you’ve made your business less dependent on you, you’ll enjoy a number of benefits. You’ll essentially get out of your own way as a bottleneck in your company, which will enable you to scale more quickly. And you’ll get more time to enjoy life outside of your business.
You’ll also reap the back-end rewards when it comes time to sell your business, as yours will be a company less dependent on its owner — and that’s much more valuable to a buyer.
All you have to do is implement a few simple, effective strategies so that your employees can take the reins, while you maintain a high profit margin. Over time, you can even reward your staff for achieving their business continuity targets.
When it comes to success in business, seeing is believing.
We are pleased to report that across New Zealand, business owners and entrepreneurs who’ve applied our 5-step approach are achieving sustainable remote business operations. And some of them have done it in as little as 12 months.
Want to know more?
If you are thinking about setting up your business to run without you, get in contact with us today to organise a free, no obligation chat. Maybe need an accountant in Auckland to further explain what you need to do? We will listen and formulate the best strategies to help you achieve your goals. Alternatively, click on the Book A Call button now to get started.