As your business grows, your role will change dramatically. You'll need to leave the day-to-day operations to others so you can focus on the bigger picture. But how do you make the journey from self-employed to entrepreneur?
Being your own boss is great but if you don’t work, you won’t make money. While your business is a source of income, it hasn’t become an asset you can sell because without you there is no business. You need to build a business that keeps working when you’re not there.
Start by writing a comprehensive business plan mapping the direction you’ll take and the systems you’ll put in place to get there. Systems create consistency, which is the key to strong business performance. Importantly, they don’t need you to run and can be taught to your team.
The kinds of systems you create will depend on your industry, but there are some every business needs:
With your systems up and running, you can begin handing over day-to-day responsibilities to your team. That’s when you know you’ve made the step from self-employed to manager.
As a manager, you oversee the systems you’ve created but you also need to step back and develop the business.
Look at the key numbers in your business and find ways to drive them higher. Think about how you can:
Try a number of new ideas simultaneously and measure results, so you know what works.
Continue developing your team and building a business that works without you. With your business generating a healthy profit and your team running independently, you’re ready to hand over the management reins and start acting like an owner.
You’ve made the step to owner when you can focus on developing your business and increasing profitability.
What return is it achieving? What’s its potential? Can you leverage your success by expanding further? If so, should you seek an equity partner or borrow money?
If you feel you’ve developed the business as far as it can go, or as far as you want to, you can choose to take the next step, to entrepreneur. With one successful business established, it might be time to leverage your capital to invest in a new one.