Business Strategy, Melbourne

The profits of learning to let go…

Over lunch on a warm afternoon in Lygon Street Melbourne, I discussed with a friend the need to be able to extend your business beyond yourself, particularly for owner/operators who were their business.

I’ve witnessed several businesses with great potential that would have grown more successfully if the owner/manager could have imagined that business being implemented by someone else.

Where a business owner has had the insight to recognise that they can’t do everything themselves (and shouldnt try), then the business started to progress. Not to say its easier or less work to involve others I’ve seen the benefits of sharing the load. In addition when they’ve started to think about how they would structure/operate their business with a view to someone else operating it, a change takes place that opens up a number of opportunities.
Here are a couple:
1. If you have others working in your business you can share ideas and problems with them – you are not trying to work out everything yourself.
2. If someone else is working IN the business – driving sales, delivery customer solutions – you can be working ON the business, driving strategy and leadership skills, developing new ideas.
3. If you are the business how do you sell your business if you decide you want to move on? By building a business model that is transferable, that can be owned by someone else is what makes a business, in my opinion, a real business and not a one person consultancy. To test this, think of how a business named after the owner which has no other staff could possibly sell that business to someone else unless they have a repeatable business model that does not rely exclusively on the skills of the current owner.

4 Which brings us to the old chestnut of business plan – which should be considered with the future of the business in mind – not just today, but in 5 or 10 years. Dont you want everything you’ve worked for to continue after you’ve found new interests? (even if those interests involve mostly a pina colada and a beach). So building a business plan that allows the business to be owned and successfully operated by someone else is a must unless you’re happy to shut your door when you take down your shingle.
5. Release the Equity in your business: capitalise on all the work you’ve put into the business to date. This is your business equity. If your business were a house which you’d owned for a number of years in a rising market, when you were ready to move on, you’d sell it on to a new owner for a profit. You can set yourself up to do this with your business to release the accumulated equity if you build it with the future in mind. All that sweat and effort could turn itself in to a future profit. Isnt that something for which it’s worth sharing your vision?
Write and tell me what your vision is for your business. And for more info on planning and building a better business visit Alignments Australia and consider reading The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.

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