As business owners, we are the most involved in our business’s day-to-day operations. We oversee everything and work to ensure that targets are met and problems are quickly remedied.
However, there are times when we need to step out of the business and we need to know that it will continue as if we were still there.
You might need to step out for a well-earned holiday or it could be due to an accident, illness or emergency. Whatever the reason, it is important that the business continues in your absence.
Ultimately, if you plan to sell your business, as most business owners do, then it is imperative that your business is able to run without you. But how do you achieve this?
Here are some useful tips:
1. MAKE YOURSELF REPLACEABLE
You must work to make yourself replaceable. This includes training your key team members and involving them more in the business so they can manage without you. They need to know how you make decisions and your processes for putting them in action.
You should assign a “Key Person” – someone you trust and someone who can perform your duties and responsibilities. This person will then be responsible in leading and guiding the team and making sure that everything is taken care of when you are absent.
You should introduce your Key Person to contacts and connections so these relationships can be continued in your absence. If you decide to sell your business, then you can plan and go through a handover process. However, by introducing them at an early stage, you know things will continue if you go on holiday or need to take time off for another reason.
By doing this, it will lessen your worry when you are not around and at the same time, you will feel that you are able to take more time off and enjoy life.
2. EMBRACE CHANGE AND INNOVATION
Adopt systems that are simple, modern and effective that can be used by your key team members. They should be able to log in and use key systems without you so your business can continue as normal. Modern systems are highly adaptable and it is easy to set up numerous accounts. While it is tempting to retain control and only have one account that has access to everything, it is important that you set up your key person with the same rights.
Modern systems can be paid for on a monthly subscription making them highly affordable for smaller businesses.
3. INVEST IN YOUR TEAM
Your team will make or break your business. That’s why investing in your team is vital for your success. When your team is composed of trustworthy, talented, and skilled individuals who know their role well and why what they are doing matters, there is a much greater chance that your business will survive and thrive without you.
So, investing time and money in your key person and your team is important. It is also essential that you retain them. This involves a range of factors including a pleasant working environment, appropriate remuneration and your employees knowing that they are valued.
4. FORM AN EXIT PLAN
Every business owner and MD must have an exit plan.
Your exit options are:
- Sell the business- usually to a competitor or a business looking to enter your market
- Pass it on to a family member
- Negotiate a management takeover
- Wind your business down
Most exits from small businesses are management buy outs (MBOs) or family successions at a modest sale price.
If you want to sell your business, whether to a competitor, a family member or your management team, then it is key that you:
• Aim for a year-on-year increase in profits
• Put in place a growth plan so the buyer can see you expand further
• Make sure your accounts are in order, up to date, and give a true picture of your business
• Comply with legislation including GDPR, employment and health and safety etc.
• Grow your number of customers- the more the better
• Aim to tie key customers, suppliers, employees and managers into long-term contracts, especially your key person
• Protect any intellectual property rights you have
• Have systems and processes mapped and in place so it is simple for someone else to take over
It is important that you have an exit plan and work towards putting the above in place.
If you have yet to create your exit plan, then you are invited to contact us at +44(0)1892 807 001 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.