Many family business owners run a “business” that’s thriving, but which will die when they’re no longer there to nurture it. Do you own a valuable family business or a worthless job?
There are eight drivers for building a valuable family business.
One of the drivers is termed Hub and Spoke. Are you the hub of your business where most of the operating decision-making and important customer contacts are depending upon you? If so, you need to find ways for the wheel to turn without you. Start by taking an extended vacation, like for a month, and see what happens. Would you feel comfortable and confident about breaking away for that long? If not, you’ve already got some business value issues to address.
If you decide to get away as I advise, here are four areas you may discover necessary to resolve:
People: Hiring and keeping competent and reliable family and non-family staff is challenging and often stressful. However, without the right people in place who you can depend upon, you’re relegated to working a job with no value.
Mistakes: Mistakes will always be made, even by you. However you need to determine where and why wrong decisions are made by others while you are away. It probably gets down to the lack of systems and proper training.
Bottlenecks: Clear understandings about responsibilities and effective delegation eliminate bottlenecks. Having the right people, properly trained, and with guidelines for knowing their boundaries can make certain you’re not being a bottleneck hub.
Stalled projects: There are projects which are strategic and need you to be involved as leader. Then, there are non-strategic projects which should not require your direct involvement. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that others might be better suited than you to move the projects forward.
So, take time to enjoy a longer-than-usual vacation away, come back with a tan, and build a valuable company that allows the spokes to keep your business running without you having to always be the hub.