You work hard on your business, and it shows. You have most of your operations running smoothly with few errors or customer complaints to slow you down. But what if the biggest error your business faces, the one that could end it for good, is caused by you?
Stay with me here.
Obviously you would never be so careless when your company’s well-being is at stake. You double-check your work, your management’s work, your employee’s work; but what if all of this double checking is the problem?
This has, unfortunately, happened to most of my clients. I will share one of their stories with you so you can keep this from happening to you:
Mike ran a successful business with some big-name clients. He personally oversaw that these clients were taken care of to the fullest extent from start to finish. He kept growing and before he knew it, he was the industry leader in his area. Unfortunately this success came with a price.
Mike was working 60-70 hours per week, on-call 24 hours per day, and never took a day off. He was stressed out and tired, and it was jeopardizing his health.
If his health got any worse, and caused him to be unable to run the operations of his business for any significant length of time; his company would be in serious risk of lowered productivity, reduced quality control, and loss of clients and future business.
Because his management staff were all close to retirement age as well, and he had no acceptable backup candidates or systems in place, his risk of the business failing was multiplied.
He had no personal office support to handle the small details that his time shouldn’t be wasted with, and he didn’t have management training or clearly defined career paths for his staff to be promoted efficiently and in the best interest of the company.
In short, he put his business at risk of failing, if he were not there to run it.
It became so bad that he couldn’t take a day off without a dozen phone calls or a vacation of any sort. Feeling defeated, he did some research and found out that he needed documentation and process management to get his business to run without him.
He called me the very same day.
When I spoke to him, I revealed just how much he contributed to the company and why that was one of the worst things he could do.
You see, Mike was responsible for 55% of the company’s sales. In addition to that, everything that the company does that makes it better than its competitors was all in Mike’s head. Of course, there were bits and pieces of the processes in each of the employees’ heads as well; but the integration of everything is what made Mike unique in his field and was not known to any single other person.
When we met, Mike was in desperate need of a break. He just wanted a short vacation to relax, reenergize, and clear his head but he knew that it was impossible for him to go and not be worried about his business.
I discussed his routines and we worked together to create a process map for his company. We then documented his standard operating procedures and developed a problem log to detect any variances so that they could be corrected and documented.
Then I helped him to put together a team to create and implement a career path and management
During this time, we tested his company’s reliance upon him. First, by having Mike take a day off to see what problems arose. Then we increased the break to a few days at a time until he could leave the business for several weeks of vacation time without a single phone call.
Mike came back from his vacation completely refreshed, and with the peace-of-mind that his business could run without him should he ever need another break or decided to retire and leave the business to his son.
Escape the same “Owner’s Trap” that Mike fell into! Take our FREE Online Questionnaire to see how reliant your business is on you, and discover how it impacts the value of your business.