Imagine your business as a wheel. It’s got a hub, and it’s got spokes. As the owner of the company, where do you live on that wheel?
In truth, even though every component of a wheel is critical to its operation, it is only as strong as its hub. If the hub fails, everything else fails too. If you are the hub of the wheel and hoping to sell your company, it’s unlikely you will attract the right kind of buyer. Companies that are wholly business dependent on the owner for their continuity are simply not a good risk.
Here are five signs of business dependency:
You are the only financial authority If you are the sole signing authority, what if you are away for a few days? Is it business as usual? Or does everything grind to a halt until you return? Relinquishing control is a healthy exercise. Give one of your managers signing authority, but place limits on what they are authorized to pay. Have paper statements sent to your home or check your accounts online to ensure they are not taking advantage of your trust.
Your business relationships are personal Do you know all your customers on a first-name basis? In itself, this shouldn’t seem like a warning sign, but it could be an indication that your business leans on those personal relationships a bit too much. A couple of strategies you might use include hiring an account executive(s) to manage some accounts or a sales person(s) to bring in new business or mentoring an employee so that your customers can get comfortable with someone other than you.
You are cc’d in every incoming and outgoing email If your customers and employees need your approval for every little thing, it’s a clear sign that you have not made it abundantly clear when and where you want to be included in their decision-making. If you absolutely must be included in the conversation—for example, if they require a specific action from you—have them place you in the ‘to’ line.
Your company revenue has flat-lined If your revenue has flat-lined, it’s a sign that you are at your capacity. If your company is too dependent on you, this is often the result. If you have too many offerings (services or products) that require your personal involvement to work, think about simplifying, narrowing your scope, or reducing your product line to top-sellers that can help you achieve higher volume.
You haven’t taken a “real” vacation in … how long? Vacations are necessary for your mental and physical health, as well as for your closest relationships. When you vacation, if you spend more time on your laptop than you do with the family, it’s time to cut the cord. Start small, with just a couple of days off, and work it up over time. Identify your failure points and develop systems to protect them.
Do you see yourself in any of these scenarios? Reach out today to schedule a call. I would love to show you how I can help.