A Valuable Tip for the Business Owner

13 12 2012

Jon Castle, CFP, ChFC

Jon Castle, CFP, ChFC

As the end of the year approaches, it can be easy to become swamped with end of the year tasks. We look at that calendar almost daily, mentally ticking off that ever growing “to-do” list of things that we need to get done by the end of the year. I won’t even go into creating a list of examples; I’m sure that if you are a business-owner, that list has already popped into your head and you are populating it even as you are reading this article.

I would ask that, once things settle down a bit – maybe even after the New Year – that you take off your “employee” hat and put on your “owner hat” just for a little while. No – I mean really take off the “employee hat.” Learn to think of your business as a Chinese puzzle or a Rubik’s Cube that you can hold in your hand. You own your business. It is a widget, a device, a tool, a construct of your own making that you must tinker with, work on, improve, re-engineer and tweak until you get it right. Why bother? Because some day – maybe not today – but someday in the future – you will hand that widget to someone else. Maybe… just maybe… if you solve the puzzle… if you do it right… someone will hand you a size-able chunk of money for that widget as you move on with your life.

This perspective of ownership takes a while to develop – but is one of the distinguishing characteristics of those successful entrepreneurs who truly get rewarded and compensated for the time and effort that goes into building a business. A business owner who eventually retires and sells a splendidly crafted business can enjoy a retirement that most never even dream of. A young entrepreneur who creates or acquires a business, cultivates it to perfection to the degree that it is purchased for a handsome sum… creates a life for herself that few others can even imagine.

How does one do this? Ultimately the key is working on the business instead of just in the business. We’ve all heard the same old mantra about creating business plans, setting goals, creating milestones, etc., etc., etc. This is not what I’m talking about. What I’m suggesting that you do is spend the time figuring out how to make you, the business owner,– and your most valuable and experienced employees, expendable within the business.

“What?” you may initially scream? “Me expendable?” Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. If your business relies upon your experience… your relationships… the collective knowledge that only you and your most experienced employees have… then you do not have a business. You have a job. You have a gang, a group, a team of people working together to get things done. This is not bad; quite the opposite. However, you do not have a Rubik’s Cube that you can perfect and then turn to someone else and have them buy that product. Essentially, you have a job.

Ideally, business are the most sell-able (and the most valuable) when they run themselves and the owner is not critical to the successful functioning of the business. When an owner can hire someone off the street, with only a little training, to fill the human needs of the business, and have the business continue to function at a high level of efficiency – then the business has inherent, proprietary value and can itself be sold as a product. When procedures are documented, and automated workflows exist within the business, so each task necessary is performed, tracked, and documented, in the proper order, by the right person, at the right time… so the service or product the business produces gets done. Ideally… without the owner being critical to that cycle.

Is this possible within your business? If not… how can it get that way? Set as a New Year’s resolution to deeply think about the way your business would operate… if you weren’t there. Impossible? Maybe. But maybe not. Or maybe you could get halfway there. Set a New Year’s resolution to start thinking that way. You might be surprised at what your business looks like by the end of next year!

Jon Castle

http://www.WealthGuards.com

This blog is for informational purposes only. This is neither an offer to purchase nor sell any securities. All investing involves the potential of loss – including invested principal. Indices quoted are general barometers of security price movement. You cannot invest directly in an index. All information is obtained from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. No tax or legal advice is given nor intended.

Investment advisory services provided by Paragon Wealth Strategies, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

10245 Centurion Pkwy. N. Ste 105, Jacksonville FL 32256 (904) 861-0093 www.WealthGuards.com

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP(R), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(tm) and federally registered CFP (with flame logo) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements