Creating a business that can run without you should be the goal of every founder. While you should never take a complete backseat, it’s important to have the freedom to dip in and out when you like. If your business cannot run without you, it could mean no vacation and no sick days (unless you’re prepared to temporarily shut down your business and cut off revenue).
Below are just a few ways in which you can create a business that runs itself.
Outsource and Delegate Admin Tasks
Tasks like accounting, paying employees, reading emails, answering the phone and ordering stock have to be kept on top of. Most new business owners handle the majority of these tasks themselves. By having the option to outsource and delegate these tasks, you can allow these tasks to carry on without you. This could be essential if you need to take a week or two off. Consider training up a secretary or senior employee to take on these roles if necessary, or look into outsourcing companies that can handle specific admin tasks such as a phone answering company or an accounting firm.
Develop Protocols for Emergency Situations
On top of being able to handle general admin without you, your employees should be able to deal with emergencies if they arise. Spend time creating protocols for emergency situations such as fires, cyberattacks, power cuts and lawsuits. You can drill these protocols with employees as well as creating a handbook that you staff can refer to.
Automate Whatever You Can
It could also be worth considering business automation. There are various admin tasks such as accounting that can be automated. This could free up these tasks, while also working out cheaper than outsourcing or hiring people to take on these roles. You may even be able to create personalised automated processes for tasks such as creating rotas, asking customers for feedback and paying employees.
Streamline Your Business Model
The more complicated your business is, the harder it is to train up employees or automate tasks. Try to create a streamlined business model that can be easily interpreted by others. Be wary of offering too many different products and services and consider tightening up your supply chain. Try to avoid opening too many accounts or taking on too many debts. Everything should make logical sense and there should be no random outliers that have been forgotten such as important files stored in the wrong places that only you know about or important contacts stored under the wrong name.
Empower Your Employees – and Your Customers
You can’t expect your business to run itself if you constantly micromanage your employees. You need to be able to put your trust in your employees, allowing them to take on tasks and make decisions for themselves. With thorough training, the support of colleagues and resources such as handbooks, your employees should be able to keep your business ticking over without your guidance. Similarly, find ways of empowering your customers such as the ability to track progress of projects on an app instead of ringing you up.