In order to grow a business the founder must be willing to let go of work they love to do.
There are many tasks that business owners must do each day. There’s the doing of the primary service that the business provides its customers, the selling of the actual services, and all the other things that seem to take up most of the day.
Many business owners also consume a great deal of time getting bogged down in creating web pages, collecting and paying bills, writing emails, tweeting, meeting, troubleshooting the network and, my favorite, taking out the trash.
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Common sense suggests that in order to survive and grow you must delegate. Here’s the dilemma though – while getting all that other stuff off your plate might free up your mind, it won’t actually set your business free, or allow you to grow.
If your organization is dependent on you to make it rain sales and then get the work done you will forever be constrained. In order to be free to grow, you must be replaceable in two key job areas – the doing of the actual work that makes money and the selling of the work that makes money.
Here’s the tough part. While this might make perfect sense, in many cases, this is the work an owner loves and is why they got into business in the first place. This is where they feel important and useful. Letting go and empowering someone else to do the work is often very difficult for business owners.
If you’re a service company, you must be able to find people who can provide amazing service without you and you must be able to find people who can land new contracts without you. If you’re a plumbing company, you must be able to find people who can do the plumbing without you and you must be able to find people who can sell the plumbing without you.
When you can replicate yourself in those two areas you are free to work on building a remarkable business asset that you can package and sell. You can create and document your successful systems so you can continue to recruit and teach others how to do it. When you can do this, you can predictably grow your business and, this may be the best reason of all, you can show a potential buyer of your business precisely how the business can run without you.
If the business relies on you to do either of the core functions mentioned above you don’t really have a business, you have a job!
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.