11 Ways To Create A Self-Sufficient Business That Runs Without Making The Owner A Slave To It
At some point in our lives, there comes a point when we all consider running our own business. The dream of opening our own store, managing our hours and having a team of amazing people around you are just some of the reasons anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit desire.
It’s no wonder that entrepreneurship is an ideal venture many undertake. It takes a lot of determination, research and works to get your business off the ground. What are you passionate about? What are you offering that would add value to people? Are there products or services like this in the market? If so, what are they doing and how can you outsmart them? Is there need to lease office space or can you start out from home? What business permits do you require? These are but a few questions entrepreneurs have to consider before breaking out and starting their own business.
With a great idea off the ground, it’s no wonder that over 40% break even within the first 2 years of starting off. It shows there’s certainly room for more entrepreneurs and business people. With due diligence and research, anyone with a desire to start out on their own can definitely succeed.
So, what happens a few years down the line, when your business is breaking even and running quite smoothly, what next?
Here are some ideas to move from a position where you run everything to a place where you oversee a successful business without being there 24/7.
Learn the top 11 Ways on how to start a self sufficient business that runs without making the Owner A Slave To It and make an impact while being profitable.
Define your values
When running a business, you need to first figure out who you are and what you stand for. This will guide in setting the ideal values for your business. This will help define what you believe and establish a foundation for what your business is about. Determine what matters most to you; is it good business practices, integrity, efficiency or quality? Think through the values you hold dear and apply them to your work. This helps you define your products or services from the competition. Be sure to align your values with action. If you stand for integrity, what does this entail and how can you practice this in your day to day practices? Be realistic and honest with yourself and think through how to practice them to hold yourself accountable. It will help you remain consistent when making any critical decisions or when faced with thorny patches.
Define your business goals
Business goals give your business the right footing and a strong foundation when it comes to guiding your business in the right direction. Here are a few tips to consider when setting your business goals;
- Have a clear mission about what you want the business to achieve. This can be supported by having a strategic business plan showing how you plan to achieve this. The advantage of setting this up is that over time, strategies can evolve to counteract a constantly changing environment. Be sure to define your goals knowing in time, you can revise it to accommodate change and move with changing times.
- It helps you critically assess how your business operates and how you hope the business will run 3 to 5 years from now. Business objectives help you think through what needs to be done to achieve your goals.
- Setting a clear strategy helps you factor in what might happen in your environment and how to handle challenges.
- It guides employees by giving them direction and enhances teamwork and collaboration. It gives them a sense that they are working together to meet a communal and shared goal and ensures all people are on the same bus, heading towards the same direction.
- The business goals need to be clear and concise, structured in a way that everyone can clearly understand. This eliminates ambiguity and any person joining the team knows what the business objectives are and what each person’s role is in achieving the goal.
Understand your product
Understanding your product will help you know what to focus on, who your customer is and how to attract and retain customers. It will also guide you on your marketing strategy and define how to remain relevant in today’s competitive market. Here are a few questions to consider;
- What am I offering?
- Who are my customers?
- How will my products/services reach the customers?
- How will I position my product?
- How do I create demand for my product?
- How will I price my product?
- Who are my competitors?
- What products do they have and how are they priced?
- Does my product fill a certain gap or niche in the market?
All these questions will help you clearly define what your product is and how to best position yourself in the market to meet customer needs and enable you to run a profitable business. Once customers start buying your products then you will have established customers want and you can focus on growing your business.
Once you decide on what your product is, it’s important to determine what is your core business is. The Pareto Rule can guide you in determining what 20% of key activities lead to 80% of your business. This helps you specify what the most important tasks are and activities that help bring in most of your business. It can also guide you on other aspects of your business such as client and account management; for example, when it comes to your main clients, who are your major clients who bring in a chunk of the business and what can you do to offer greater value to retain them?
It means asking yourself these 3 questions;
- What am I passionate about?
- What am I good at?
- What can make me money?
The point at which all 3 intercepts is that unique factor that may determine what business to engage in, which you’re passionate about that will make you money.
Determine structures and systems
So, what does your business need to run effectively on its own with minimal input? This is where you determine your teams’ roles and how the business will run operationally. You don’t need a huge team of 200 plus people to work for you if that’s not how your business is structured. Are you running an online business? Maybe all you need is a contract web developer to ensure the site is running and there are no bugs, a rider to make deliveries and probably an administrator to ensure all orders are serviced and all payments tracked. This can be done from either rented office space or from the comfort of your home. This would ensure that even if you were not present, the business would run smoothly and all you would have to do is keep tabs on your team and check the site from time to time to ensure all is well.
Figuring out the most important roles and how things can run without your help structure the business in such a way that it can become scalable and grow over time. One of the main challenges small businesses face is lack of continuity if anything happens to the founder. Structuring the business to function without you ensures your business will thrive in the long run and that it makes money for you, even when you are not physically present.
Choose your team
Every great company has an amazing team behind it. Some of the best companies to work for like Google and Apple place state their greatest asset is people. Considering your company is a startup, you might want to consider hiring people with the right skills and an even better attitude and work ethic to help you grow and succeed. Consider the kind of work culture you would like to have. Is its strictly professional or can you have a more laid-back environment where creativity is encouraged? Envision the people you would like to work with, the environment you would like to set and work towards making this a reality.
You may need to make adjustments along the way, in time you’ll find a mix that fits, as long as your main goals are being achieved, then you can evolve over time and having people who believe in the brand and what you do goes a long way.
Train your team
Any great team doesn’t just happen, it is created and this comes with hard work, training and more. This is why it is important to ensure that once you have a team of dedicated and passionate people, proper training is vital. As a leader, your role is not to micro-manage but to set the tone for the company. If you’re a competent, passionate leader who leads by example them the rest of the team will be able to respect you and follow suit. It’s also your role to plan, set the culture and establish controls in the company. With strong leadership, all employees will know what the company stands for and what their role is in the company. When it comes to planning, you can allow a structure which is flexible enough to guide people how they work; however, that sets a guide on what should be achieved so that objectives are clear. Share what should be done rather than how it needs to be done. This gives your team some leeway to figure out how to get tasks done, given all the required tools and materials.
Take on the leadership role
Once you have delegated key roles to your employees, the next step would be to take on the role of leader. This means that you can focus on overseeing the running of the business, letting your team run core business functions and you can focus on getting more business. Seek new prospects that might be viable, be sure to be able to assess those that might be feasible and don’t waste time on those that aren’t. Look out for partnerships that ensure a win-win for your businesses, take time to assess any deal and think through the benefits and worst-case scenarios, ensure everything is in writing. Closing deals requires key sales skills and techniques so to get deals closed quickly, create a sense of urgency. People tend to procrastinate if its not to their immediate advantage so create that sense of urgency.
In any business, innovation is the key to avoid becoming redundant and irrelevant. It’s by being innovative that you can project your customer’s needs and come up with products that are ahead of their time and ahead of the competition. A few things to focus on when it comes to innovation include;
- Listen to what your customers, they hold the key to what they are looking for
- Focus on the end result rather than the duration it will take
- Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo and think differently
- Encourage creative thinking and change among your team
Define your legacy
When running a business, one should try removing themselves from the equation and see whether the business can run without you. If you have a business that stops the minute you walk out of the door then it might be time to consider a different model where you have a team of people that run the day to day tasks and you take on a more managerial role. In any thriving business, there are systems in place that function whether the boss is present or not.
Mold your successor
Everyone wants to feel needed and wanted, but if you hold on to your throne, you might hinder your business from moving on to the next step. Be sure to have a succession plan. A good way to do this is to hire your successor and train them. If you can hire someone internally, great. It’s a sure way to boost morale among the team. If not, hire from outside the company and seek the help of a board in choosing the best person to take your place.