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  • Writer's pictureGreg Major

3 Creative Ways to Get Your Business to Run Without You

An empty bench overlooking a lake

If your goal is to build a valuable company, it is crucial to ensure that your business can operate independently without you being constantly involved. Embarking on this journey may seem daunting, but in this article, we will explore three cost-effective and simple strategies to set your business on a path to autonomy and allow it to thrive without your constant presence.

1. Replace yourself by specializing.

The main reason why most owners struggle to replace themselves is the high cost of finding a substitute. Trying to replace your wide range of expertise would likely require hiring a highly paid employee. If you cannot afford to replace everything you do, consider narrowing down your core offering.

For instance, Casey Cavell's baseball business, D-Bat Academy, could have targeted a broad range of players, including professionals, softball players, slow-pitch beer leaguers, and fast-pitch players. However, Casey decided to focus on a specific audience: 5- to 10-year-old kids.

While he could have charged more if he catered to college athletes and aspiring pros, those elite athletes would expect a hitting coach with extensive experience, which would require additional staffing.

On the other hand, when your business primarily aims to provide an awesome birthday party experience for 8-year-olds, an entry-level employee can deliver on that.

By narrowing down your offering, you can avoid the high salary associated with someone who possesses a wide breadth of experience.

2. Create a question diary.

When Jodie Cook was building her social media agency, she made a deliberate choice every time an employee approached her with a question. Instead of simply answering the question, she forced herself to write it down. She transformed her question diary into a comprehensive business manual that documented every task required of her employees.

Her manual took the form of an Excel spreadsheet with 50 tabs, each one detailing a specific process, such as payroll.

Challenge yourself to do the same. When an employee asks you a question, resist the urge to provide an immediate answer. Document those inquiries and convert them into standard operating procedures (SOPs) that enable your staff to develop expertise in their roles. The manual becomes the go-to reference...instead of relying on you.

3. List your employees alphabetically on your site.

Most companies list their employees in order of seniority, with the owner and CEO at the top. However, this implies that you are the most important person in your company, leading everyone from salespeople to suppliers and potential partners to want to go directly to you.

An effective strategy to downplay your role in the company (and encourage others to step up and take on more responsibility) is to list employees alphabetically, rather than by seniority, on your company's website. This approach reduces the focus on you. Additionally, using titles like "Head of Culture" and "Head of Product" instead of "CEO" or "Owner" further obscures your seniority, making it less likely that customers will default to contacting you.

Getting your business to thrive without you provides you with the freedom to choose the projects you want to work on or simply enjoy passive income from your business. A business that can run without your constant involvement is also a valuable and sellable asset if you ever decide to embark on a new chapter in your life. Specializing, creating SOPs, and downplaying your role on your website are all tactical steps you can take today to make your business more independent in the future.

A company that can run without you is a more valuable company. Take our Value Builder Score assessment for more ideas or Contact Us today to discuss how we can help you succeed in growing the value of your business.



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