Many business owners formed their companies with the intent to be able to walk away from daily operations without things falling apart.
If you take the right approach, you can make the transition much smoother. Keep reading to get our 8 tips for helping your business to function without you.
- No more hovering. Why hire workers if you don’t let them work? If you step away from your workers and let them do the job you hired them to do, you will likely end up with a group of empowered and motivated team members who can find creative solutions to problems without your help. However, if you hover over them, you are more likely to have a team who is not as motivated to figure things out on their own.
- Take a vacation. Stepping away for a week or two is the best way to see how your company would function without you. So, make yourself completely unavailable for 1-4 weeks and evaluate things after you return. Any struggles can give you an indicator on what you need to do to support and improve your team.
- Become the grandparent. Think of new team members as children who have a lot to learn. Teach them the basics during their “teen” years until they are trustworthy “adults.” Give those adults room to do their job and allow them to mentor new workers who join your team. On their own, your team now knows how to make the right decisions and you have forged your new hires into capable leaders. Now, you’re the grandparent.
- Reevaluate your job title. You know you’re the president or CEO of your business, but it’s a good idea to evaluate what that means. Take some time to list what your duties as a leader should be, and compare that list to the duties you actually perform. You may find that you’re infringing on the role of other mangers and need to take a step back.
- Don’t be afraid of failure. The process of transferring responsibility from yourself to your workers won’t be completely seamless. You will find your team doing things in a way that you wouldn’t have. Sometimes, these will be failures. But there will be other times when you realize that their ways of doing things produce more effective outcomes. If you learn to embrace failure and coach your workers through it, rather than jumping in and taking over, this can be a valuable learning opportunity for your team.
- Sever ties. This can be a painful step, but it is necessary for some business owners. After selling a business, many owners find it cathartic to do away with company merchandise, cancel phone extensions, and throw away business cards. Often, our businesses become part of our identity, and this can help you to let go.
- Walk away, and don’t keep it a secret. Once you have your ducks in a row and the business is out of your hands, don’t hide the transaction from your family and friends. Announce it on social media if you like. Once the news is out, you may get some interesting messages and phone calls. This can also be a good way to create some buzz around your business.
- Don’t look back. Let go of your business and do so completely. The habits you needed to develop in order to run your business may linger, and they can be harmful if they stick around. Try to learn what keeps you tied to your company and stay away from triggers till they lose their impact.
It may not be easy to walk away from a business that you have invested your time and money into. But with the right technique, your business will continue to honor your vision for years to come.
Once you make the decision to sell your business, check out our 7 Best Ways to Prepare Your Business for Sale.