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How to make your business run without you

Are you a business owner that has everything in their head? Does your team constantly come to you to ask questions about how something works, what they should do next or where to find something?

If this is happening regularly it suggests that you have most things in your head and there are very few processes and systems documented for your team to follow in order for them to get things done on their own.

It is also possible that you are letting your team take the easy route by just asking you, rather than them learning for themselves. This could be impacting the capability development of your team.

A recent client had this exact problem. Their team was so reliant on getting information from the business owner about almost everything that the business owner was reluctant to even take holidays in fear that the business would stop ticking.

Even when they did go on holidays their phone was turned on at all times. Does this sound familiar? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go to a meeting, a weekend away or a well deserved holiday and know that your business can run like clockwork without you being there?

Well my client was able to finally achieve this by setting their business up the right way. Here is a high level outline of what they did to make their business tick without them:

1. Recorded all the things that the team needed the owners/ managers assistance with, analysed the list and put in processes or delegated each item

2. Documented all the key processes and systems together with the team into a visual and easy to follow template (avoid 100+ page manuals – no one is ever going to read these let alone use them)

3. Visualised information so that anyone at any time could understand the status of the business

4. Empowered the team to take ownership of processes and improvement.

5. Established very clear and documented roles and responsibilities for everyone.

6. Created a visual skills matrix for each team member so that people knew who to go and ask about a specific problem/ area – this meant that people could develop each other rather than everyone just going to the boss.

7. Let go – you don’t have to control everything and if it’s documented the right way and people follow the right process you won’t have to

So next time you have the urge to cancel a holiday or keep your phone on in fear that something will go horribly wrong in your business, think about introducing some of these actions into your business to make your life significantly easier and stress free.

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Jana Krizova Hocken

Jana Krizova Hocken

Jana is the founder of <a href="http://improve8.com/">Improve8</a>, and has 12 years of experience using best practice methodologies to help some of the leading companies globally to continuously improve, and be more productive, lean, competitive, profitable and customer focused. She is now sharing this knowledge and empowering small businesses in Australia and NZ with the skills, tools and thinking they need to improve and achieve their potential. Follow her on Twitter @improve8co

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