Thursday, April 19, 2012

Factor #9 of 10: Ownership


How well does the business function without the owner?

In the Self-Assessment, we asked you this question:

  1. Our business process and infrastructure operates:
    1. consistently, allowing me to take extended time away from the office as my staff know how to address almost all situations.
    2. reasonably consistently, allowing me to take regular time off without much impact because I maintain regular communications with management.
    3. reasonably consistently when I am directing and interacting with team members regularly/daily.
    4. with my daily involvement.  I am beginning to reduce my hours to a reasonable level.
    1. only with my daily involvement.  I work extended hours to ensure things are running smoothly.

Typically every business begins with the owner/operator or key stakeholder acting as the main driver to develop the particular product or service. This person literally completes every task required to complete any sale or service for the customer. If the product or service fulfills a need in the marketplace the business can grow. At some point the owner/operator is operating at full speed and must hire people to assist. Hires can include subcontractors, contractors, part-time staff, and full-time staff.

In order to continue to meet the expanding customer requirements the owner/operator trains the “hires” to complete the tasks in a satisfactory fashion. This normally requires the business to develop repeatable procedures and processes to sustain consistency. While many small business owners hesitate to engage enough staff to replace the owner’s daily role, the most successful business owners create a support staff that allows the business to operate day to day without the owner’s direct 10-12 hour a day involvement. A business that consistently operates independent of the business owner has a higher value and is typically easier to sell.

TO DO:
Take a step back from your business and look at your involvement with an arm's length point of view.
  1. Honestly describe your team and infrastructure from the perspective of operating for 1 day, or 7 days, or 30 days without you present. How would business perform?
  1. Identify 3 key areas that would contribute to the greatest improvement. I.e.: better system, change in staff, better defined responsibilities, etc.
  2. Pick the top area. Generate 3 action steps to move forward to achieving your greatest improvement and set a time goal to accomplish…and do it!