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Does your business need you? Hopefully not!

The thoughts of Richard Osborne on many subjects over the years.

Does your business need you? Hopefully not!

I was spending some time talking with some fellow members of a business peer group that I am a member of this evening. We got talking about what every business owner strives to achieve, a business that can survive without the business owner. Where you have a team working in your business for you so that you can work on your business, and this I’m glad to say is what I have achieved in Quick Formations. It isn’t without it’s consequences though, because one thing that came out of the meeting is that it does mean that occasionally I get bored. There isn’t that much to challenge me, so now I need to find something that does and I intend to find that within Quick.

This doesn’t take anything away from the importance of still working your business towards that position, getting it running without the need for you. So I thought I would share some points about how I have achieved this, and they are not recket science.

  • Trust your staff to make their own decisions (and mistakes). If they make a mistake it is because you haven’t trained them effectively. As a business owner you learnt from your mistakes, allow others to do the same, let them find their own feet but with some guidance and support.
  • Invest in time and training for your staff. It may seem like you are spending time you don’t have training, but a day spent training saves months in the long run. Put everything to one side to focus on the training.
  • Reward your staff, don’t take them for granted. Your business will only be as strong as your team, so respect them and treat them like you would like to be treated yourself.
  • You have to empower a manager to take control, someone you invest more time and effort into, someone who can make decisions on your behalf. Realise that they will not always make the same decisions you will, but realise that is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Don’t surround yourself with “Yes” people.

Unfortunately not all business owners see it this way. Some people refuse to trust their staff, refuse to properly train their staff, believing that by keeping their staff in the dark gives the business owner some form of power. Unfortunately what they are actually doing is trapping themselves within their business.

Comments (2)

  1. Jun 27, 2007

    Good point – taking it further I’d like to suggest that it’s easier for some types of organisations/businesses than it is for others. For example, we do voice coaching and presentation skills training. That’s very very hands on stuff – sometimes that’s a litteral thing, too!

    It’s what I enjoy doing – not the administration that comes with employing the rest of my staff to do it. By some standards that makes me “self-employed” not “an entrepreneur” of course, but it’s fun.

    To move to being a bigger company I’d have to employ someone to do the business side and then it woulnd’t be my company any more! 🙂


  2. […] Firstly, how does this person value their time in their business? I’ll give you two examples, the first being an employee scenario of a manager I employ had trouble delegating their work out instead holding onto everything. My response was that for as long as you don’t train someone else up to do your job I cannot promote you any higher in the organisation! What about with the business owner, if you don’t value your time and take steps to allow you to work on your business instead of in your business (same-old same-old) then you are not going anywhere and you’ll always be a lifestyle business. That is fine if that is what you want, but when the time comes to retire if your business completely relies on you then you are not getting much of a retirement fund from the sale of your business. Again, I have covered this in the past regarding Whether Your Business Needs You. […]