The Most Important Business Question You Will Ever Ask
There is one question however that at some point every entrepreneur needs to ask themselves. In my opinion this is the single most important question a business owner can ask themselves. I'm also willing to bet you have never asked yourself this question before today. The question is
"If I walked away from my business today would it still be here in a months time?"
Whatever your goal, whatever the reason you decided to become self employed, the ultimate goal should be to replace yourself within your business. Once you have replaced yourself you have probably achieved whatever target you set in the first place
If your goal was to spend more time with your family, being able to walk away from your business with the knowledge that it will continue to thrive means you have hit that goal.
If your goal was to build a huge business empire, being able to walk away means that you have more time to be entrepreneurial. This means you can work on growing your business rather than working in your business delivering the final product (and basically being a busy fool).
If your goal was to make lots of money, then being able to walk away and still have a profitable business is huge. It means you have created a passive income which is what you need to do if you want to be financially free.
Whatever your goal, your desire, your clear mental image. Whatever you really want, being able to replace yourself within your business will help you achieve that. So I'm going to ask you again
"If you walked away from your business today would it still be thriving in a months time?"
Most business owners I have met have not achieved this yet. You can have a hugely successful business; You can be really well known in your field; You can have a massive list of clients. However none of this means anything if you have to be in your business every single day steering the ship.
People ask me all the time how I am able to run four separate companies. How do I have the time? The honest answer is I haven't got the time. There is no way I could possibly run four successful companies on my own. The secret is that my initial goal within each business is to replace myself as soon as possible. This allows me to move onto something else safe in the knowledge that the company is looking after itself.
For example my kids entertainment company is called Non Stop Kids Entertainment. It turns over close to a million pounds a year on its own. I hardly have anything to do with this company anymore. A few months ago I went to an annual party for all the entertainers and half of them had no idea who I was. I had one girl come up to me and ask how long I had been working for Non Stop Kids Entertainment for!
Separating myself from this business has allowed me to focus on other things. Currently I'm just launching a company called Maximise Success. It's taken 18 months to be in a position where we can launch. However the reason for the time scale is so that very soon after launch I can remove myself from the day to day operations. Then I'll probably move onto something else.
So the next question is how do you replace yourself within your own company. I plan on writing a blog about this shortly however I'll try to give you a couple of tips right now. Things that you can implement straight away that will help you move down the correct path that will ultimately lead to you replacing yourself.
1.) Outsource everything.
Entrepreneurs are scared of outsourcing. However it frees up your time and allows you to focus on more important aspects of your business. An additional benefit is that generally the people you outsource to are experts in their field. They will do a much better job of the task than you will.
2.) Make sure your business has systems and processes in place for everything.
In order to replace yourself you will need to eventually teach others to do everything within your business. To make this process as easy as possible I recommend systemising everything. You might be able to fly by the seat of your pants but it doesn't mean everyone can. In all of my companies I have put together a handbook even before I hire staff. In this handbook I explain how everything works within the business. It helps me develop processes for everything and makes it easier to teach this to others when the time is right.
3.) Hire staff.
Like outsourcing a lot of entrepreneurs try to avoid employing people. They don't want the headache associated with HR. You will never be able to replace yourself in your business without staff helping you. Your goal should be to hire someone who can do your job better than you. Only then will you be able to step away, safe in the knowledge that things are being handled.
4.) Be patient! The best things come to those that wait.
Understand that this will take time and effort. Entrepreneurs generally want everything to happen yesterday but this is a process that you cannot rush. Take your time and do it right.
So there you have it. The most important question you will ever ask yourself within your business. The bottom line is if you really want to replace yourself and hit all your goals this is something you need to start thinking about now!
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