How to create a business that functions so well that you’re no longer needed

If you want to improve and grow your business, read on. If not, we understand. You have far too much to do and no one suitably qualified to take on the workload for you.

The day-to-day reality of most people running small businesses is that they spend most of their time working in the business rather than on the business.

What are systems?

Anybody remember Harry Hill’s famous catchphrase “you’ve got to have a system”? If you don’t remember (or you’re too young to remember), this was one of those popular Saturday night one-liners of his that you loved to hate.

But for Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds, it was the mantra that led him to build the most successful franchise operation ever…

Some people that hate McDonalds might be rolling their eyes in disagreement with that statement. But even if you’re not a fan of the Big Mac, I dare you to take a trip to a McDonalds outlet and just observe their operation for a while. Running a fast food outlet is not a straightforward business. There are hundreds of key processes that would, if they were to go wrong, result in very unhappy customers.

What you’ll find instead, is an operation run so seamlessly that customers get the product they expect without fail every time they visit. And all from a group of employees who, in some cases, have only been out of school for a year or two.

What’s more – the owner of the business is nowhere to be seen

Burger preferences aside, the McDonalds model sounds desirable, doesn’t it? But before you make any changes, you need to think about whether your business can be systems led, or whether it’s personality led.

Is your business one that relies on you to identifying new opportunities, doing deals or delivering whatever it is that you do? Or, is it one that can be systemised to deliver consistent results to customers day in day out ultimately (and ideally) without you even being there?

We often refer to either being a Ronald or an Elton.

Ronald: Imagine that the real Ronald McDonald has stepped back from the front line and trained up others to the famous red nose. Ensconced at the top of McDonalds tower in a smart designer suit, he works on strategy, marketing, recruitment and systems. He’s built a franchise that can be replicated all over the world.

Elton: On the other end of the scale, think about Elton John. He’s one of the most financially successful people in the UK. And the one thing he hasn’t done is train up lots of little Elton Johns to go round the country performing Goodbye Yellow Brick Road every Saturday night. He’s the star performer. He’s the one they want. So his business model has to be different.

So the question is, are you a Ronald or an Elton?

If it can be systems led, and you’re keen to get to Ronald stage, there are some major benefits to making these changes:

  • It will free up some time for you to take that relaxing holiday you’ve been planning on taking for years
  • You may actually get home at a reasonable time
  • You can spend more time improving and growing your business
  • Your business becomes a lot more sellable – as it is no longer dependent on you

But it doesn’t suit everyone and sometimes you might need to see your profits and cash flow go backwards before it goes forwards. Are you ready to make that commitment? If so, getting there must begin with small steps…

Ultimately, there is only one of you and the business has been built around your skills for many years. Very few business owners will be successful in recruiting one person who is instantly able to take over a significant part of their workload. What seems to be more successful is a gradual delegation of tasks.

But you can’t expect your staff know what is excellent – they will all have different opinions. This is why you need great systems– to define excellence and set out how it is achieved time after time. Take time to write your systems and train your team members how to use and write them. Hopefully, over time they will be able to take more and more responsibility from you.

A fully systemised business is worth over 86% more than an averagely systemised business

That’s exactly why we have a ‘Less Dependent’ Service. To help you create a fully systemised business that is geared for growth, without sole reliance on you! Find out more about it here: business less dependent on you service. 

Wait… what if I’m an Elton?

If you’ve made it through to the end of this article and you’re recognising yourself as an Elton, don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you!

What’s the key for the star performers? Getting rid of the tasks that someone else can do. Get a PA, a good Accountant. Buy a Dictaphone so that you can dictate instructions, emails, letters. Delegate everything but the things that no one else but you can do.

Whether you’re a Ronald or an Elton (or likely somewhere in between), it’s time to break free from the prison of your business and create a strategy to move forward.

Want to find out more?

Call us on (01474) 853856 and we will put you in contact with one of our advisers, or send us an enquiry by clicking below.

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