It is common knowledge that when it comes time to sell your business, a buyer will review exactly how dependent the business is on your daily presence and involvement. Typically a higher value is placed on businesses that are well managed and the overall success of the business is spread throughout the company rather than tied to the owner directly.
So, it may be prudent to take that long anticipated vacation that you have been putting off for a while. Leave your computer at home and limit contact to only emergency calls. The better your company runs on autopilot, the more valuable it will be when you are ready to sell.
When you return from vacation spend valuable time to assess the situation. Don’t rush to answer every email or phone call immediately. Slow down and delegate some of these items to your employees. Look at each issue through the lens of a possible problem with your people, systems, or authorizations.
Start with your employees to answer the following questions.
- Why did these problem end up on my desk?
- Who else is qualified to answer these questions and why was that person not consulted?
- If nobody else is qualified, who can be trained to answer this question in the future?
Next, look at your systems and procedures. Could the issue have been dealt with if you had a system on a set of rules in place? The best systems are hard wired and do not require human interpretation; but if you’re not able to lock down a technical fix, then at least give employees a set of rules to follow in the future.
You may be personally creating a bottleneck in your own company if you are trying to control everything. Employees may know what to do but do not have any means of executing the fix they know you would want. This can often be accomplished successfully by allowing experienced employees the responsibility they deserve.
Given the fire that may need to be extinguished after the fataking a vacation may seem more of a hassle than it’s worth. But if you transform the aftermath of the vacation in to systems, training, and procedures that allow employees to act on their own, you’ll find the vacation will be well worth it as your company will increase in value as it becomes less dependent on you personally.
PUBLISHED IN THE SOUTHCOAST BUSINESS BULLETIN – APRIL 2014