Last week I dove headlong into some pretty specific tactics around identifying and eliminating the waste in your business.
Today I want to zoom out a little bit and talk about the bigger picture.
The truth is that someday you will leave your business in one of three ways:
- when you want to
- when you have to
- feet first
If you’re like me then when you started your business you did anything and everything that you could to bring dollars in the door and make sure you could deliver on your promises to customers or clients.
After a while, you hired someone to help you and they worked along side you picking up slack. Maybe you hired another, and another this way and they plugged holes in your marketing or your fulfillment.
Pretty soon you’ve got a moderately profitable business with a few key people who wear a lot of hats, have a lot of responsibilities, but no real structure in your business.
This is where a lot of businesses stop growing.
Because the challenge is that it become increasingly difficult to see clearly what needs to be done to break through where you’re at and get you to the next level. You can’t just tell everyone to do more of what they’re doing or hire more generalist roles because your business is getting more complex, but it still looks like an amoeba.
Amoebas don’t grow very big.
This kind of “do what it takes” growth and hiring feels like it makes sense for your first 6 or 8 people, but after that you need rules, and structure, and more organization and you might not even need those same people.
This can be a dangerous spot.
When you get to this point you probably have a hand in almost everything that’s happening in the business. Team members are likely in some stage of waiting for you every day – waiting on your input or sign off or your contribution. They might even be succeeding in spite of you.
You probably have little insight into their productivity or individual performance because nobody really owns key functions and you don’t have well defined expectations. You’re all just doing your best.
If you’ve already blasted through this phase, then congratulations. Most businesses don’t.
Its my opinion that once you have more than a handful of people in your business you need a framework, a system, for how you operate, and the earlier you start the better.
Systems will set you free and they can help make you rich.
There are a lot of systems out there to choose from. There’s no need for you to reinvent the wheel and I’d implore you not to. Business is hard enough without you having to be a master architect as well.
The system I turned to is the EOS, the Entrepreneur’s Operating System by Gino Wickman.
EOS is derivative of Scaling Up which is derivative of The Rockefeller Habits … and the truth is that there aren’t a lot of truly original ideas in modern business management – and maybe that’s just fine.
Because what you need is a plan that works, not novelty or creativity, when it comes to running your business on systems.
Implementing systems and more structure in your organization can be painful. Many employees will resist it. Some employees might revolt. Some will surely have to go. And that’s ok because your organization needs to mature and if your current team isn’t up for it then they were never going to get you where you want to go anyway.
The rewards of implementing systems are many and they far outweigh the strains:
- you’ll be more efficient
- you’ll be more profitable
- you’ll have clear direction
- you’ll grow faster
- you’ll be able to take vacation without the wheels falling off
And your business will become much less fragile because it no longer relies on you and a few people just working hard
Each week I’ll share the lessons I’ve learned building and selling a highly profitable business as well as lessons I learned from having a privileged in-depth view of many, many other businesses over the years.
My goal isn’t to be original or clever but to perhaps deliver the right message to you at the right time in the right voice so that an idea might take hold and have a positive lasting impact on your business.
I want to help you make sure that when you leave your business for good it has lasting value in and of itself, without you, so that it is profitable and enjoyable to own and when it’s time for succession, that succession is smooth, orderly, and very lucrative.
Imagine that you’re leaving your business when you want to and that it has reached its full potential. Imagine someone wants to pay you 7, 8, or 9 figures for your business and that they’ll be stepping in to continue to lead and grow the successful organization that you’ve built.
What does that business look like?
Talk to you next week.