If your business will not survive when you are not around, then you do not have a business. You have a hobby. I recently had a client company mention to me that the owner had taken some time off and during that time sales dropped off substantially. A business is certainly not sustainable if it collapses as soon as the owner leaves. Such a business will never be able to get passed on or sold.
Does this sound familiar? If it does here is the cause of the problem. The business owner wants to have growth and stability but does not trust his or her employees. The solution will lie in the owner becoming a leader who trains, develops, empowers, and delegates with confidence.
It is important to have the right people doing the right jobs. Start by having job descriptions for everyone. Make sure that every staff member is qualified for the job. Find out each employee’s qualifications and whether they meet the requirements of the job. You may discover that you may need to hire some different people. You will need to focus on training and development to get your staff up to speed.
Next, look at every activity in your business as a process. What is the purpose of each activity? For example, we can start with the sales process. I asked my business owner to tell me who was responsible for making the sales proposals. She told me that the responsibility was solely hers. By holding that authority, she is creating a roadblock for sustainability and growth. Many owners fear giving too much information to the staff for fear of having trade secrets given to competitors. Those who follow that advice will never grow past the level of business they can close themselves. Proposals are better done by the people closest to the sale. You don’t need to share secret formulas with your staff but you should set up a procedure for pricing your products and services. Set up price lists for all products and services. Develop procedures for determining the price of each job. And then let the staff do the work. You will increase sales and increase customer satisfaction by empowering your employees.
Share business goals with your employees and help them develop their own goals. Their goals should support the overall goals of the business. Expect every staff member to take ownership and recognize them when they do. Give them responsibility and knowledge of performance measurements for their area of responsibility.
Remember that by properly delegating and giving authority to those closest to the work you will multiply the performance of your organization. With proper guidance you will delegate with confidence and this will build momentum. As momentum grows you then can enjoy and sustainable business that runs without your involvement in day to day details.
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