Why Your Business Shouldn’t Rely On You

Octopus In BusinessSmall business owners often try to be involved in all aspects of their business, which is commendable but time-consuming and draining – and ultimately detrimental to the business.

Why is this the case? Here are several reasons.

  1. First and foremost, whether it is in retail or services, it is almost impossible to be an expert across all aspects of a business. The phrase “Jack-of-all-trades, master of none” is perfectly apt for business ownership. Even if you begin as a master of a particular discipline, attempting to spread yourself across multiple tasks will result in a lower performance level all around and the business will suffer.
  2. If the business relies on you on a day-to-day basis to run smoothly, any incapacity of you will potentially cripple your business.
  3. You need to get a life. Being totally consumed with your business will likely lead to problems in other areas of your life – relationships with family and friends in particular – which will more than likely result in negative impacts on the business long-term.
  4. Finally, if you try to sell the business, it will cost you money.

How can being in complete control of your business cost you money when selling?

Consider the buyer’s perspective. You have the option of buying two businesses – both making the same profits. In one, the owner has structured the business so that they are not involved in the daily running of the business. They have access to reports and financial data and make strategic decisions, but are otherwise removed form routine procedures. In the second, the owner is working 70-80 hours a week, is involved in all decisions and processes needed for operations and is the primary contact for all client relationships.

How could a buyer smoothly insert themselves into a position you have probably held for a decade or more and not expect the business to suffer? Why would they want to sign up for an 80-hour week? Most importantly, how can the business grow if the owner is involved in everything? There are only so many hours in the day.

Which business would you be more interested in buying?

If you are too involved in your business, now might be a good time to consider taking a step back.

By Jennifer Lowe

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