Can you relate to this? Most people when they start their own business are particularly good at something. For example, a craftsman builder might be particularly skilful brick layer. An architect may be talented at residential design. When they became a business, initially, they focussed on all the things on the blue line below.
They were skilled at production and delivery. At the same time, they had to get involved in marketing, sales and engagement…probably new topics for them, but they did fill these functions.
As the business grew, as more people joined and more customers were being looked after, they found themselves spending less time doing the very thing they were good at. And that’s not always a happy place to be.
Succession Plus is a selected 55/Redefined partner offering strategic advice for SME owners who want to consider or manage succession and exit planning. Whether you want to run your business on a part-time basis or plan to move away completely, you can take advantage of expert advice. Contact a Business Planner at Succession Plus today.
But There’s Even More to it
The functions of a business are broader than just those on the blue line. As you can see from our structures model below, successful businesses that deliver value to their owners and shareholders, have additional functions.
The green line is all about setting the vision and determining the desired culture of the business. This informs the black line; this is where strategy is decided, that is in line with the vision.
And then, the vision and the strategy determine what products and services are presented to customers on the blue line. In the centre of our structure model, holding things together, are all the support functions like finance, HR and IT.
Is it any wonder some people end up not enjoying the business they started? Which craftsman or professional suddenly got excited about having to focus on all those other functions?
The Route Back to Enjoyment
If all the roles in a business can be categorised in the structures model, how about taking some time out to consider who does what in your business? It may well be that a fresh focus could see allocations of responsibilities being realigned.
Additionally, you may spot talent in your organisation that could fulfil important roles that they are not quite ready for yet. This all comes under the heading of succession planning.
I have worked with professionals that have chosen to step aside from the managing director responsibilities and to return to their own skill in their own business. They continue to own the business, they get the salary and dividends as before, but they step away from the very things they didn’t sign-up for in the first place.
This, for many people, can bring back the fun. At the same time, a business that becomes less reliant on its founder, is more valuable to an acquirer.
By Kevin Harrington, Partner, Succession Plus UK