Hands-off Business: Creating a Company You Can Leave Alone

By Thursday, January 8, 2015 0 No tags Permalink

Have you ever hoped and dreamed of starting a business that will mean you work less and earn more? The reality is that once you go self-employed, you’re likely to be working more hours than you were in a regular job. And, what’s more, you’re likely to have taken a salary cut, at least until you build your reputation. But it is possible to create a business that can run without you or that you only have to put a minimal effort into running. You won’t be able to start relaxing on the beach right away, but putting a lot of work in at the beginning could pay off in the end. If you can create a business that can successfully run and grow without you present, you can save your time for other things. Instead of continuously monitoring your company, you could be working on other projects or looking for ways to expand your current business.


Create a Scalable Business


A scalable business is one which can grow without you needing to add additional employees, and might even expand without your presence. To build a scalable business, you need to find the right product and market, and make a business model showing your company’s projected growth. Of course, you will need to be prepared to adjust your practices as you monitor the way that customers behave and respond to your product. Your business needs to be able to grow without you or a large team of managers present. If it depends on your presence, it’s not a scalable business that can expand without you.


Have Realistic Expectations


It would be fantastic if everyone could set up a business that runs itself overnight. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. It could take years before your company can sustain itself without your daily input. But even right from the beginning there are ways to free up some of your time, to prevent you do everything singlehanded. You might need to put a lot of work in when you first start, but it will be worth it in the end when you no longer need to work 60-hour weeks.


Learn to Delegate


One of the most important things for creating a business that can run without you is learning to delegate. You should differentiate between the tasks that you need to do yourself and those that you can have someone else handle. Even from the very beginning of your company’s existence you don’t have to do everything yourself. There’s no need to have extra employees to get everything done either. With virtual services and business support people, you can make sure that all your work gets done.


It’s easiest to delegate the simple tasks, so you can focus on the more important things, like growing your business. For example, you could use the service of a virtual receptionist to answer your calls. While your virtual receptionist deals with your incoming calls, taking messages and dealing with any issues, you can get on with more pressing matters. You could have other people do the majority of your work, especially when you have access to freelancers. The only barrier is money, because you need to be able to pay others and still make a profit. For example, if you run a company providing writing services, you might start off doing all the writing yourself. But further down the line, you could afford to pass that time-consuming task to someone else.


Mix Temporary Services and Permanent Employees


As well as making use of temporary services, such as virtual assistants, taking on more permanent employees is also a good idea. Although virtual services are useful for expanding your business on a budget, they don’t always ensure consistency in the product you provide. If you take on more permanent employees, you can make sure that you train them to your standards and specifications. These people will be doing the work, while you manage them, but that doesn’t mean they need to be the most talented people ever. You’re the brains of the operation, but you still need to make sure your workers are competent and hardworking. When you have your staff in place, you need to give them structure and guidelines so that they can complete their work with minimal input from you.


Focus on Expanding


When you have a team to take care of the day-to-day tasks, you can pour your time and effort into growing your business. Eventually, you can train someone else to do this, so that you have more time to do whatever you want. You should have a plan for expansion and a projected time for when you can hand over this aspect of the business to someone else. Even while you’re spending your time chasing clients, you can still make your own schedule and choose to work as much as you want. It’s up to you how fast your company grows, and there’s plenty of time to make it happen once the other daily tasks are in other people’s hands.


Hire Someone to Do Your Work


At the beginning of the process, you hired people to do all the grunt work of providing the service. But eventually your company will reach a point where you can afford someone to manage it too. Once you can hire someone to take your place and run the business, you can sit back and let it run with minimal input from you. You’ll need to plan out how the handover will happen when you hire your replacement. It’s a good idea to have a timescale, as well as an idea of whether you’ll choose a current employee or hire from outside. You need to know what sort of leadership qualities and competencies you need in your new manager, so you know what you’re looking for.


Creating a business that runs without you might take you several years, but the effort is worth it for the freedom you’ll eventually gain. Don’t go into your new venture with visions of being able to spend all your time travelling right away, and you won’t be disappointed.

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