If you had an employee, could you give your work to that person and have them do it with few, or no, questions?
There’s a belief out there that most businesses are started by people with tangible business skills.
The truth is most businesses are started by technicians.
In his book ‘The Entrepreneurial Myth’, Michael Gerber speaks to this myth.
The result is most businesses when they start out are centered around a single person, whose input and expertise is required in all facets of the business in order to run.
Unsurprisingly when this happens, the business is simply un-scalable. It can’t grow because it is always limited by that one, single person.
With that in mind, the first step in getting to a state of less work and more free time is simple awareness.
Are you a business owner or are you actually an employee within your own business?
If you’re reading this chances are you probably see yourself as a business owner.
But, it’s important to be honest with yourself on this question. It’s really, really, really easy to say that you are a business owner, you have your own letterhead, you’ve got a logo, but that’s not what we’re asking.
What we are really asking here is:
If you had an employee, could you give your work to that person else and have them do it with few, or no, questions?
Keep in mind that there are a lot of smart people out there, and we have no regard for the cost of this person, we are just asking, if someone else was to come into the picture, could they take over your work?
To be a true self sustaining and scalable the answer here should be ‘YES’.
In fairness, there is a range here. There are likely a number of tasks that someone could do, and some that they couldn’t, but if the answer the majority of the time is “I need to do that”…then those like Michael Gerber would say you are really an employee within your own business.
To truly be free, or scalable, you need this awareness. It helps you completely detach yourself from your business, even if you are the only person in it.
Doing this one simple step will make you think differently about what you are doing and how. Which will start changing how your business performs and works.
Once you have this awareness you can take a step back and ask, what creates true scale for professionals?
To be a true self sustaining business, one that could operate without you if you wanted, you would need:
- Marketing to attract leads in
- Sales profess to turn them into customers
- Operations to satisfy their needs
- Customer service to support their issues
You would also need to have each of those functions defined enough that someone else could do them, which means they need to be well thought through, tested (as in they actually work) and documented.
The small interjection there about these processes actually working is an important one. Even if you have this awareness, if your processes don’t work, both in terms of logistics and in some form of profitability, they will never be scalable.
Are you currently trying to scale your firm? Let us know how it’s going, and if you have any questions please reach out! You can find us on LinkedIn here.