The Australian Small Business Blog

Monday, June 19, 2006

Will Microsoft Survive?

Bill Gates is about to retire. Will Microsoft survive? Of course it will. But if you retired, would your business survive?

Too many businesses depend on their owners, who can’t even be away for a month without cashflow drying up, let alone having an asset that they can pass onto others. So how can you make your business survive without you? Follow the steps below:

1. Create Systems for all areas of your business
Document each part of your business’s procedures and turn them into an operations manual. This makes sure that you have in one place where everyone can find it, the way you want things done in your business. So there is no re-inventing of the wheel, mistakes are eliminated, and the most efficient way of undertaking tasks is the way that things are done.

2. Look for opportunities to delegate what you do
When you document what it is that you as an owner do, you can delegate or outsource the non-core areas. I also call this the Brain Surgery of your business. Most business owners think that everything they do is brain surgery. But when you document what you do, only a small portion will be “brain surgery”. Everything else can be delegated or outsourced.

3. Create Reports for all the Key Result Areas
The way to make your business run without you is to manage it by reports. The reports can be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual. But the longer the report period, the more strategic the report should be.

4. Train your staff in your systems
When you train your staff in following your procedures, when staff leave, you have a simple way of training new staff, as well as finding them, as this will be documented as well. This goes for your suppliers as well.

When you have a business in which all systems are documented, and you have outsourced or delegated non-core areas, have trained your staff and suppliers in your systems, you can then run your business on reports. You will then also have a business you can sell or pass on to someone else, so you can retire like Bill Gates.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is a Business Coach and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems.

The Australian Small Business Blog

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Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
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