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Article | 4-minute read

How do you build a business that can run without you?

Eight key steps to build and grow a business that can run without you.

There is no doubt that every business owner dreams of growing their business.

But growing a business does not happen on its own. You have to work on it to make it grow and prosper.

In this article, we have identified eight key steps that will help you build and grow a business that can run without you.

Fear of losing control

Most business owners see themselves at the centre of their business. They want control. They want to be the decision-maker. They believe they have the expertise and skills to grow the business.

But in some cases, a business owner can also hinder the growth and expansion of the business. When one is so focused and involved in every detail of running the business, it can also be limiting. A business owner can be a bottleneck and can slow down the business growth.

Need for systems and structure

Instead, what is needed for a business to grow is to have structures, systems and procedures in place. This will ensure that everyone involved in the business, not only the business owner, can contribute to its success.

Given the fierce competition in the marketplace, it is best to equip your business with sound strategies and solid long-term plans to navigate your way to growth.

And besides, building a business that can run without you may provide many other benefits like:

  • Freeing up your time for other business opportunities
  • Giving you more time for family and other interests
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Promoting efficiency and scalability to your business
  • Improving the viability and valuation of the business

Here are the eight key steps to help you to grow a business that can run without you

1. Plan and set goals

There is an often quoted saying that goes “failing to plan is planning to fail”. It highlights the importance of having some initial plans and goals that will guide you as you grow your business. Whether it is a short-term plan to secure more clients or a long-term goal to hit profit and growth targets, it is helpful to have business plans right at the start of setting up a business and revising them as your business grows.

2. Identify and simplify procedures 

Whether you’re making products or delivering services to your clients, there are day-to-day procedures at the core of your business.

It is best to simplify those procedures. The simpler, the better. This will ensure that every employee can understand and follow the procedures.

3. Document the procedures

While having procedures in place is a great starting point, documenting them is vital to make your business efficient and primed for growth.

A documented system and procedures will reduce the time to train new employees. It is also helpful in making sure that other staff members can take over and continue with the work in times of sickness, holidays or emergencies.

What is the documented procedure in signing up new clients? What is the procedure in manufacturing your best-selling product? What is the process for training new staff?

In his book “Built to Sell”, author and business coach John Warrilow, highlights the importance of having documented standard operating procedures. He describes them as the foundation of building “a business that can thrive without you”. 

4. Hire and train people to follow and execute the procedures

Hiring the right team of people is one of the most critical aspects of growing a business. If you have a competent, reliable and trustworthy team supporting you, you’ll be in a great position to grow your business.

5. Share the vision with your team

Having a shared vision to grow a business is critical. A shared vision among your team can serve as the fuel for further growth. A long-term vision of success is important to keep people motivated and on track despite possible challenges along the way.

6. Build trust and accountability

A trusted and accountable team of people deliver more than those who are not accountable for anything in your business. Once you have a competent team in place, make each person accountable for specific results and business goals. This will make them feel more involved and trusted.

7. Build an innovative and growth-oriented environment

A successful business is usually one that is innovative, flexible and adaptable. With the marketplace in constant flux and with consumer preferences changing rapidly, your business must be innovative and flexible enough to capture and take advantage of changes. Whether you’re in an established market or an emerging technology-based segment, an innovative, flexible and growth-oriented approach is a must to grow your business.

8. Tap a team of trusted business advisers 

While you and your team may be the experts in your field, it is important to have a team of external advisers who can provide an objective and high-level view of your business as well as the overall marketplace. A team of business advisers can help set up the right structures around financing, taxation, investment, valuation, business continuity and succession planning.

As you can see, growing a business takes more than having the best product or service to market. It takes more than your skills and expertise to propel your business to the next level of growth.

Wherever you are in the growth cycle of your business, it is vital to ensure that it can operate and thrive without you. And having documented systems and procedures can go a long way to ensure your business growth.

If you want to know more about how to grow your business, or if you’re unsure of the next steps to take, ANZ financial advisers can help.  Find out more and book an appointment. 

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This information is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

ANZ Financial Advisers are representatives of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ABN 11 005 357 522, holder of an Australian Financial Services licence. 

© Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) ABN 11 005 357 522.