As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re probably used to working long hours. As most enterprises start out as one-man or one-woman show, you get used to doing things yourself and being involved in every part of the business. 

As things grow, however, you’ll need to let go of the reigns a little bit and learn to delegate. In addition to this, you’ll need to nurture your business so that it can function successfully without you. In the same way as preparing a child for starting school, you’re giving your business the tools it needs to survive on its own. 

For many entrepreneurs, this can be a tricky task. With a high work ethic, drive to succeed and buckets of ambition, you probably don’t want to loosen the reigns or step away from your business. However, when your business can run smoothly without you, it gives you the freedom to explore other opportunities and even take a break now and again.

What’s more, if your business can run without you, it can actually increase the value of your company. Whether you’re considering selling your enterprise or not, building its value is always beneficial. By creating a firm that can stand on its own two feet, it becomes a lot more attractive to potential buyers, thus increasing its value and market worth. 

If you want to grow your enterprise, enhance the value of your firm and regain some of your own freedom, check out these tips for making sure your business can run smoothly without you…

Trust your team

A strong core team means you can trust them to hold down the fort when you’re not there. It also means you don’t have to be involved in every business decision, even when you are present. Of course, you’ll want to establish your team well before you consider stepping away from the business.

With the right combination of expertise, skills and working methods on board, you can ensure your business benefits, both in terms of the resources available to it and leadership when you’re not on site.

Be clear about your expectations

People work best when they know what’s expected of them. While you don’t want to micro-manage your team or restrict their creativity, it’s important that people know what you expect and when you expect it. 

Setting out standard timelines for frequent tasks can be a good way to get everyone working to the same level and it will ensure you don’t have to keep a constant check on workers. Of course, there’s no point setting unrealistic expectations either. Accepting feedback from your workers and amending your expectations is as important as letting staff know what you expect from them. 

Create a professional network

Your business needs a range of resources in order to function, whether you’re there or not. In fact, it can function far more effectively if you create a professional network you can rely on. Depending on the size and structure of your business, there may be a range of services you need that don’t justify hiring someone full-time. 

It’s highly likely you’ll need IT repairs at some point, but this doesn’t mean you need to hire a whole IT team, for example. Instead, you can use managed IT services as a cost-effective way of accessing the support and expertise you need. Once you’ve created your professional network, give core team members the information and authority to use them, as and when it’s needed. 

Empower your staff

If you have the right staff in place, you should feel confident about their abilities. Whether you’re in the office or out of it, staff should know that you trust them to perform their roles well and do what’s in the company’s best interests. 

It’s equally important that your employees know how much you trust them and how much confidence you have in them. When people feel motivated and empowered, they’re going to be happier and more confident. This will naturally enable them to perform better and will give them the confidence they need when it comes to managing the business when you’re not around. 

Preparing your business and yourself

Many entrepreneurs wrongly believe that their business won’t function well without them. In many cases, however, the business will be ready to stand on its own two feet before you’re ready to let it! As well as getting your business ready to succeed with you, it’s important to prepare yourself. 

Planning a holiday, working on another venture or simply scheduling time with your family can be a great way to prioritize the free time you’ll have when your business can run smoothly without you. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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