Jane Jones
Jane Jones Manager at SavvySME

How can you set your business up so that it will continue without you?

Can your business run on autopilot whilst you're away or will it stop running if you're not there?

Top voted answer
Steve Gray

Steve Gray, Director at Gray Capital Investments

Top 10% Marketing

My main business at the moment is property based, so an agent looks after most things. So I guess I could answer by saying. "I have my assistant look after things for me."

But if I was to be advising someone on what to set up for a std type of buisness there would be multiple details to sort out.
- The type of buisness - service and or product.
- The number of employees.
- How long they would be away.
- What ordinarily happens during the time frame the person would be away, e.g. tax time, rates to be paid, insurance etc.
- What you want to have happen while you are away? Sales levels, Strategic planning etc.
- Is the person you are going to leave in charge capable, responsible etc.
- Are any of the staff liable to wander off while you are away or do something stupid that could jepordise the business.
- What holes are there in teh day to day running plans for the business, and can they be sorted well before you go away.

There are some starting points.

Yee Trinh

Yee Trinh, Cofounder at

IMO.. strong processes and structures are important. Documentation etc. 

I think a big part of it are also the people you bring into the business and the culture of the company. Just having an agent/assistant doesn't mean the job gets done well. You might come back to chaos!

User
Jane Jones

Jane Jones, Manager at SavvySME

Thanks @Steve Gray and @Yee Trinh - Definitely have to have someone you can trust to do the job. Agree 100% that you have to have the right people that fit into the culture of your business - it just doesn't work when you've got someone rowing in the opposite direction.

User
Steve Gray

Steve Gray, Director at Gray Capital Investments

Top 10% Marketing

To me it all starts with an effective strategic plan. Then you have a guideline to follow, if it's in place and working well, you know the things you expect from yourself and others will be in alignment with that. By the time you aim to go away... you know that the strategic plan has proven itself and your people are simply going through exceptional motions to do what they do, if there's a hiccup then it will show up fast and it will be solved. Here's an example.

You are away and an issue comes up witha key supplier, they are contracted to supply an item vital to production, they know you are away, and one of their team let things slide to give them some slack so rush out product for a new client. Your team doesn't know that but they know what to do. They call and chat about the issue, working on your key value of respect, everyone know the organsiations stance on that and follows it, it includes all stakeholders. Before long someone higher up in the organisation spots your team has an issue and knows that they need to take positive action. Hiccup attended to, and pursued until a resolution is achieved. Tey may be able to suply more often but in smaller amounts so you can keep going.

Anyything that happens along the way will be readily dealt with due to the team knowing they need to find effective and elegant answers asap. They have an intimate appreciation of the way things are done and how they can be solved.

Best overall example I saw was a guy and his wife who ran a business, he wanted more time, so he weaned himself off the business a half day at a time, to the staff it looked like he was out chatting with clients. Nope he was having some very well earned ME time. His wife took different times off. After a while they both took off a half week here and there and built up.

Along teh way he and his wife figured out the issues they could deal with from afar and plugged up the holes for any other issues that would come up operationally.

Each business will have differeing needs for what they need to develop for smooth systems, policies and procedures.

User
Jane Jones

Jane Jones, Manager at SavvySME

What systems and processes do you have in place so that things run smoothly whilst you're away... @Sonam g @Andre Smith @Petra Zink @Dmytro Moroz @David Chambat @Daniel Magrin @Nina Meiers @Jef Lippiatt @Steve Gray 

User
User