Owner Dependence or Independence? Your Choice

dependenceOwner dependence can be the biggest hurdle business owners will face when it comes time to hand over the reins. Whether you just want more time to enjoy your life while hanging on to the business or you find yourself ready to sell this is an issue you’ll want to solve years before it comes up.

Dependence on the business owner is the largest obstacle small and medium size businesses face when it comes to taking much deserved time off or maximizing their sale value. Cutting your hours in the business down to just 40 hours a week can’t happen if you are the reason the business runs. And buying a business that can’t operate without the owner is a risk most buyers aren’t willing to take.

The biggest barrier to fixing the owner dependence problem is usually the owner themselves, who are un-able or un-willing to let go. If you have employees who are willing to step up but find yourself thinking that none of them can do anything as well as you can, then you likely aren’t delegating enough. If you’re not delegating then no one is going to be there when you are ready to hand over the reins.

Overcoming the “owner dependence” issue requires you to put systems processes and accountability measures in place. This includes employee training programs for all company operations as well as fully documenting standard operating procedures. Owners often underestimate the time and training needed in order to adequately prepare the team to successfully run the business in their absence.

independenceUnless you plan to be one of your own employees for the rest of your life the time to start preparing is now. Here are 5 must haves that are key to your team being able to run the business according to your vision with or without you.

  1. A strong 2nd in command
  2. Documented standard operating procedures
  3. A training program for all staff, entry level through leadership
  4. A delegation, results measurement and accountability system
  5. Clear communication

If any of these five items are weak or missing it’s time to prioritize them and make a plan to put them in place. A Vision & Action Plan is a good way to identify gaps and areas that need development. Connect with me for a complimentary “Vision & Action Jump-Start” session to start identifying ways to overcome “owner dependence” in your business.


Suzanne Lyon

Lyon~S Focus






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