Imagine being above a ravine clinging to a rope – white knuckles and fear of your grip slipping would be understandable. As a business owner concerns about letting go may be inhibiting your company and your health. And if your team is now remote working you may want to cling on more tightly.
There are many reasons why you want to hold on to as much as possible. It’s your business, you know it better than anyone else and past experiences have reinforced the belief that only you can do it. To your clients you are the company and you may be covering inefficiencies and problems that you would rather not reveal. But how will you eventually exit?
If your personality type and past experiences reinforce behaviours of doing it all yourself, not sharing the load and not trusting others, you have created a business that will weigh heavy on your shoulders and a business that will be limited to the width and strength of those shoulders. Add remote working and not seeing your team in the office and any trust you have may slip away.
If you want further growth so that at some point in the future you can exit, and you can contemplate sharing some of the load, the following five tips will help:
- Try a little. Letting go of a small element of your work is the best way to ease into the behaviour of trusting others. For many of our clients the first step is to employ a part-time bookkeeper or a virtual assistant.
- Stay in control. You don’t have to do the job to be in control. Write out the ‘operational process’ and include quality and performance measures so that anyone undertaking the task knows exactly what to do and to what standard. In time you will create an ‘operations manual’ for the business, which will release you for further business growth work.
- Consider the untapped potential. Take a reality check on how much you can do, how sustainable it is and the potential growth that goes untapped. If you were able to move the lower value half of your weekly workload to a colleague what would that allow you to achieve with regards to the higher value work and your exit plan?
- Recruit well. Easy to say but if you are feeling sore after an unsuccessful experience this may be a barrier. Get help with writing the role definition, person specification, the interview and selection process and be flexible about part-time and virtual team members.
- Lead well. One of the biggest inhibitors to the growth of owner managed businesses isn’t the problem of finding good people it is what happens once they start. If you are not experienced or confident in managing and leading people seek support.
The route to a more successful business and exit plan is closely linked to trusting the people in your company. In a period of crisis, when survival may be more on your mind than growth, you may find that trust further tested by people not being so visible. If you find letting go a challenge, the help of an exit adviser can be invaluable, and that in itself requires you to let go. Contact us to explore how we can help.