Benchmark Business Group

Why You Should Fire Yourself Before You Sell Your Business

October 17, 2022

A business that can thrive without the owner at the center of all its operations is more valuable because processes can run smoothly with or without you. The truth is buyers aren’t interested in purchasing a job, they are interested in businesses that aren’t dependent on any one person.

It isn’t unusual for an owner-operated business to be overly reliant on the owner. If this is your situation, you may be driving down your business value. To maximize the market value of your business, set a goal to begin firing yourself from the tasks that only you can do.

Here are four steps to successfully firing yourself to maximize your business value.

1. Identify where your business depends on you

Make a list of the work that only you know how to do. Next, add the work that others can do, but you hang onto because you feel you do it better than everyone else. 

2. Commit to a STOP DOING work list

Go through your list and identify the Top 3 tasks you will Stop Doing and put a timeline on when the business will no longer depend on you to do that work.

3. Identify why others aren’t already doing the work

Take each of the Top 3 and list the reasons you hang on to doing that work. Is it knowledge? Is it experience? Is it money? Is it a lack of trust? What is it that you know that others don’t? What are you afraid might happen, or not happen, if you stop doing that work? This will aid you in determining what training is needed and if you need to hire new talent.

4. Commit to systems not people

Avoid making the mistake of replicating the dependency problem by simply shifting the work to another key person. Without having a system for how the work is done, your business is still at risk and a buyer doesn’t have the assurance that they can get results regardless of who is employed. As you train others to do what you do, work with them to begin to document the process you use to get results, and leverage the opportunity to innovate how you do something to ensure others can do it even better.

The best part of firing yourself before you sell your business is that you will have more free time to focus on other strategies for maximizing the value of your business! Take 15 minutes to Discover the 8 Drivers of Business Value.

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