It’s a familiar scenario in business; the owner who believes their enterprise simply couldn’t function without their presence – that the image of the business wouldn’t be upheld, that the levels of customer service couldn’t be met or that the whole place would be a smouldering wreck at the end of a week.
It’s a misconception that binds an owner to their business, enslaving them in their workplace through chains of their own creation.
And it begs the question: “What would you do if you had to stop working in your business tomorrow?” Here are three tips to set your mind at ease.
There’s a wise saying in business that a company is only as good as its people.
A successful business will have a hierarchy of staff, including a second-in-charge or management panel that is kept abreast of the business plan, who is brought into the inner sanctum, and knows the managerial style. They will be aware of the goals for the future, the targets that need to be met and are across a good portion of the finances.
This trusted staff member/s should be trained and given enough information to step into the owner’s role for annual holidays and longer term. Other staff who have been carefully selected and trained for their jobs will work to support them.
Systems and Procedures
The backbone to any business is its systems and procedures – those nifty little manuals that indicate a business’ expectations of how things should be done. Systems and procedures are the go-to guide for any business indicating what needs to be done, when, by whom and what happens when something goes wrong. If push comes to shove and the business owner is unavailable, it’s these that enable staff to keep an operation running, often seamlessly.
It’s all very well to have paperwork but do your staff know where and what it is? In other words, are they aware of your systems and procedures, have they been trained in their jobs and given the correct tools to problem solve, or seek assistance via a chain of command. The reality is in times of crisis, or when required, your staff will rise to a challenge and handle it with aplomb, providing they have been given the direction and tools to do so.
Much of business is about future-proofing, imagining the worst and having a contingency plan to cope – after all that’s part of the reason you have insurance. But this concept also extends to the owner’s role in a business. As that person you owe it to yourself, your staff and your carefully nurtured business to future proof it against your absence, either short or long-term, through your staff, your systems and procedures, and the training you provide.
If you need assistance with creating comprehensive systems and procedures or in ensuring your staff have the tools to step up in your absence, contact me Clive Enever – The Business Mentor.