A life-long goal for most shop owners is to reach a point in their business where they have flexibility and freedom with both their time and their money. It’s a wonderful state but mapping the path out to reach this point can seem daunting. Gradually, you will need to give up control of your business by empowering and trusting your team and it’s also important to make sure you have proper goals set and the right tools to help you achieve them. At Management Success, we specialize in molding our shop owners to reach this point, focusing on the following key areas.
Know the “hats” you are wearing
As a small business owner, you get used to wearing a variety of “hats,” to the point where it begins to look like one big job. It’s so second nature to you that you may not even realize all you are responsible for, such as being the primary contact for building or equipment problems, handling employee issues, etc.
Through the evolution of your business and as you advance to this next stage, you will need to delegate some of these jobs, as well as decide which “hats” you would like to keep. Getting this completely sorted out allows you to become operational, meaning that your shop remains productive and profitable with or without your physical presence.
Whether your ultimate goal is to sell your business or to pass it along to a family member, there are steps you need to take to ensure a successful transition. While you are continuing to plan for your succession, you will still need to play an active role as the owner. This is where you will need to map out your plan in both short-term and long-term goals.
Make your lists and check them twice
An important piece to setting your goals is to decide who will take over the functions that you plan to transition. Start by listing out your various responsibilities in the sequence you would like to turn them over; start with the least critical and move up to full shop management. This will take some time and thought but it is an essential element of a smooth succession.
Next, you will need to write out a list of needed policies and procedures that will help guide the transition. You have been the one running your shop for all of these years so that makes you the expert here. What does your shop need to be productive? Write out these functions and the detailed instructions of how you would complete the task if you were doing it yourself.
Now is the time to teach. If you already work with the person that will be soon taking over, it’s time to start handing over some of the control. Review your goals and plans with them, explain your policies and mentor them to run your business as successfully as you do now.
You have worked hard to reach this point and it didn’t happen overnight. Transitioning is also a process that takes time and planning. There are many factors involved, such as understanding your shop’s numbers as well as your own personal financial state, setting actionable goals and timelines and just making sure that your shop is in its best possible condition before you turn it over.
Management Success has been helping shop owners like you achieve their goals and design their dream life. To see how your shop measures up, take this FREE online assessment and start your journey toward a stable and profitable future.