Reducing owner dependency.

The challenge.

Owner managers are often the biggest barrier to the growth and success of their own business. Few businesses achieve a successful transition from ‘owner’ dependency to ‘management team’ dependency.

The solutions.

Start with the end in mind

Recognise that businesses that are wholly dependent on the activities and performance of their owners are unlikely to attract a significant capital value on a sale.

Most businesses are owner-dependent at the outset. This is natural but the skill lies in reducing this dependency over time.

At the point of sale, the business should be able to run without the involvement of the owner, except where the owner is performing a line management role that can be filled through normal recruitment or search.

What you should do

Take charge of the strategy of the business and focus on the big issues.

Hire the best people you can afford.

Let go of routine management tasks.

Give your managers the tools and authority to do the job.

Motivate and encourage your management team.

Develop the team’s skills, knowledge and understanding.

Make independence of management clear to all your stakeholders.

Maintain a sensible work/life balance.

What you shouldn’t do

Abrogate your responsibility for the management of the business.

Interfere in the day-to-day activities of your managers.

Undermine or criticise the activities of managers in the eyes of staff.

Introduce unnecessary and/or burdensome management systems.

Take credit for the success of other team members.

Allocate responsibility without authority.

Lose sight of your objectives and goals.

And finally

Be a strategist. Aim to spend at least a third of your time thinking about the future of your business. Try to work ‘on’ your business, not ‘in’ your business.

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