Perhaps the best way to succeed in your business, is to work yourself out of your business.
The better your company runs on autopilot, the more valuable it will be when you’re ready to sell or transition.
A recent survey by The Value Builder Score found companies that would perform well without their owner for a period of three months are 50 percent more likely to get an offer to be acquired when compared to more owner-dependent businesses.
Let your vacation be a detective
There is no better justification for taking a blissful, uninterrupted holiday than to see how your company performs in your absence. To gauge your company’s ability to handle your absence, start by taking a vacation. Leave your computer at home and switch off your mobile. Upon your return, you’ll probably discover that your employees got resourceful and found answers to a lot of the questions they would have asked you if you had been in the building or on the end of an email or telephone call. That’s a good thing and a sign you should start planning an even longer vacation.
You’ll also likely come back to an inbox full of issues that need your personal attention. Instead of busily finding answers to each problem in a frenzied attempt to clean up your inbox, slow down and look at each issue through the lens of a possible problem with your people, systems or authorizations.
People – start with your people and answer the following questions:
- Why did this issue or problem end up on my desk?
- Who else is qualified to answer this question?
- Why did the organization not contact and consult that person?
- If nobody is qualified, who can be trained for the future?
In my many years of leading and working with companies, growing the capability of the team is the most important role of the leader.
Systems – next, look at your systems and procedures:
- Could the issue have been dealt with if you had a system or a set of rules in place?
- Whose department or area should be accountable for developing that system?
- Can this issue be solved with system automation to remove the human element?
The best systems are hardwired and do not require human interpretation; but if you’re not able to lock down a technical fix, then at least give employees a set of rules to follow in the future.
Authorizations – You may be a bottleneck in your own company if you’re trying to control all the spending too much.
- Did the employees know what to do but did not have any means of paying for the fix?
- Can you put in customer service rules with financial limits of authority?
You might empower (and encourage) an employee to spend a specific amount with a specific supplier each month without coming to you first for authorizing every payment. Or you might give an employee an annual budget, an amount they can spend without seeking your approval.
Let your vacation strengthen your company
Given the fires that may need to be extinguished after the fact, taking a holiday may seem more of a hassle than it’s worth. But don’t be fooled – if you transform the aftermath of a vacation into systems and training that allow employees to act on their own, you’ll find the vacation is worth what you paid for it many times over. Your company will increase in value as it becomes less dependent on you personally.
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