Is your business worth anything? Could you sell it?
Or are you the only valuable part of your business?
Many of us have left jobs with the aspiration of having our own business, and will hope, one day, to sell on that business for a considerable sum of money and sail off into the sunset.
There is however a slight problem… if you are integral to your business, either it will have no value to a prospective buyer or the purchase price will be significantly lower than you anticipated.
This is a common issue, so you are not alone.
I think a good yard stick to seeing how integral you really are to the business, is to go on holiday for 3 months and see what happens. If invoices mount up, if work doesn’t get done, if customers are screaming to talk to you… well, unfortunately, you don’t have a business. You have a job!!
Thanks to your necessity, the company that you have toiled and spent the long hours trying to build up is worth very little. No acquiring company is going to pay the big bucks for an employee, which is effectively what you are.
So what should you do?…
Make yourself redundant!
I know, I know, easier said than done. But there are three easy ways you can begin to remove yourself from the day to day running and build that high value saleable business…
1. Systemise your business
You might have heard the words systems and procedures thrown around, but what does this actually mean? Well, it means have a set of operating rules in place to make sure the business can be fully operated without you.
You will also need the right staff in place to operate those rules, an audit system to ensure the rules are being following, a feedback system and a review process so these rules can change and evolve when necessary.
It’s a simple process, but it can have a massive effect on the amount of time you need to spend in the business.
You need to trust your staff and let go.
All successful business owners are great delegators. It’s a life skill we all need to work on.
But I know it can also be the hardest thing about a business. When you’ve been the one to work the long hours and graft to get where you are, it can feel like a loss to hand it all off to someone else, but it is necessary so you can keep on moving up and building more.
It’s a bit like letting your kids go out into the big wide world for the first time; you’re nervous, excited and scared, all at the same time, BUT if you have prepared them well enough, it will be fine.
We all know that things go wrong in business, as in life, but it’s how we adapt to those situations that make us who we are.
3. Develop a leader centric business
Delegation isn’t enough on its own. You need to recognise talent and develop it.
Make sure that your organisational structures, processes and rewards are all geared up to encourage preferred behaviours and attitudes in the business.
Make sure that you have the best management and leaders to look after your business.
And incentivise them; give them targets to hit and maintain, give them profit share, even part of the business. A company is only as good as its staff so make sure you get the best and keep them.
By doing the above, you are making sure the business doesn’t need you to be successful.
It probably comes from our primal emotions, that we all want to feel loved and needed, but in this instance you need to fight it and do the exact opposite. Don’t let your ego devalue your hard work.
Once you can truly, hand on heart, say that your business operates without you, then you have a saleable asset, and something of great worth.