If you are a regular reader of this blog post, you will no doubt have noticed by now that there’s a bit of a theme developing as we create more content. And this theme is about you taking the steps to learn how to run a business without you in it.
This current blog post “series” works as a means of solving your delegation problems, then trying to anticipate roadblocks you might run into and also give you possible solutions to those problems as you start delegating more in your business. This is especially true because many business owners want to work ON their business, not be trapped IN it.
The first blog post talked about the WHO first method in which I gave an in-depth step-by-step guide on how to find and hire reliable virtual team members. You can use it for in person teams, but it’s primarily developed for working with virtual team members.
Once you’ve gone through the process, hired them, got them on board, trained them, and built your platform agnostic systems, the next step in the process is starting to think in terms of removing yourself from the day-to-day of doing tasks in the business, so you can focus on growing the business.
Accomplishing this will be much more achievable at this stage as you should already have your virtual team AND you have the foundations of your Platform Agnostic System in place.
REMOVING YOURSELF STARTS NOW
Once you have successfully brought on more team members, you’ll actively have to stop yourself from being the doer and work on becoming the manager in the business.
From my experience, I can say confidently that before you hired your virtual team member(s), you were the one planning, researching, writing and posting your social media posts. Now that you have your virtual team member, you can make them responsible for all those aforementioned tasks provided you’re supporting them with planning and strategizing.
By this point, you have your WHO and you’re getting them to run things and complete tasks. And assuming you’ve followed everything I have written about on how to train them, they would now know how to find solutions themselves rather than coming to you with problems.
You should have trust and the indescribable peace of mind that comes from giving them tasks and KNOWING that it will be completed to a high standard.
So, when you are at this point, your thoughts will naturally start veering in the direction of removing from the day to day doing in the business, and it’s not removing yourself from the business so you can go lie on a beach sipping Mai Tais while your virtual team does the work (I personally wouldn’t advise that especially early on in the process).
THE CORE 4
Before we start daydreaming about lying on the beach, we need to understand the Core 4 of a business, which is what we’ll be talking about in this section.
I’m calling it the Core 4 because whenever it comes to building a business and removing yourself, you have to understand the fundamentals of what you are trying to do. And understanding these fundamentals means whenever it’s time for you to actually take steps to either bring people in or amend what you’re doing, you know what you’re doing, and you can execute with full confidence.
If you lack the foundational understanding, you may struggle removing yourself from the business.
So what are the Core 4?
- Lead generation
- Lead Nurture
- Lead Conversion
- Service/product delivery
If you are looking to remove yourself from your business, one of these core areas is where you would want to start. Where you choose to start is completely down to you.
Personally, where I would suggest that you look to get started would be in service delivery.
This is because, if you think about it, the one thing that’s going to be consistent in your business is the thing that you are delivering to your customers. Everything else may experience changes as your business grows and evolves.
If you can remove yourself from service delivery and plug somebody else to do that for you, that now frees up your time for you to work on the other cores of the business.
The point is you want to remove yourself from as many of these as possible. I’m not saying you’ll be able to remove yourself from all of them, but from as many as possible. You then become the person that manages the people that are in the day-to-day doing all the Core 4 instead of the person actually doing them.
HOW I CURRENTLY WORK ON THE BUSINESS
To make this applicable, I’m going to talk about the Core 4 in the business that I was able to remove myself from almost completely.
I’m saying “almost” because I still actively keep an eye on what everybody is doing. If you know me, you’ll know I am a perfectionist of sorts and like to make sure that everything is up to my standards. And it is because of this reason that I still feel like I am working IN the business, even though I’m not doing any of the work.
I’ll be giving an example using my podcast management side gig.
I consider it a side gig because it never became a full-blown business, reason being there was no lead generation nor lead nurturing. Most of my leads came from friends and clients recommending people to me, thus I didn’t need to build any lead gen system and because I didn’t have any leads to convert, I didn’t have any to nurture.
Anyway, going back to the main point. For my podcast management business, currently I am in charge of lead conversion and my team is in charge of the service delivery.
Naturally, I started out being in charge of the service delivery. I would personally speak to people that need help with their podcasts and don’t want to do XYZ anymore. I then tell them my price to do XYZ and I do everything myself.
When there was enough money in the business, the first thing I did was to put somebody else in charge of doing the service delivery aka the thing we were selling.
On my team, the people I put in charge of that were Mark and Kat. Mark still works with me, but Kat doesn’t anymore because she’s moved on to bigger and better things, but the point is that I had those guys doing the things that the client paid for.
I had to train them, obviously, I didn’t just find them on the street and say, “hey, go manage my podcast management side gig.” But the point stands that I put them in charge of service delivery, because at this point, my clients and customers were paying for something they didn’t want to do anymore.
Once I had Mark and Kat in charge of service delivery, I then moved my attention to lead conversion and, in a way, lead generation. Again, there wasn’t really a need to nurture because the leads came from referrals.
As you’ve seen from my experience, I was initially in charge of both service delivery and lead conversion. And eventually, slowly pulled myself away from service delivery so I can focus on more income-generating tasks for the business.
Obviously, how things work with my business will be different from yours, but the idea is still the same, which is to find one thing (or more) that you can actually hand off to your virtual team.
WHERE DO YOU STAND IN THE CORE 4?
Now, in terms of removing yourself from the business so that you can work on the business, you will have to think of how the Core 4 applies to you.
The Core 4 will be the things that actually guide you and let you know if you are on the right track. You will need to make sure that each core is being taken care of properly rather than spreading yourself too thin handling each by yourself.
Each core must have a strong foundation of its own.
So for example, there’s no point worrying about service delivery or lead conversion if you haven’t got lead generation taken care of. You shouldn’t even be thinking about the service delivery or the lead conversion if you have got no leads.
This is the classic overthinker’s problem…
You have a tree in front of you and instead of chopping down the tree, you start walking around this tree doing all kinds of different measurements looking for what’s around to decide where you actually want to cut the tree.
You then mark where you want to cut the tree and then something happens. The weather changes or it gets windy enough to go back and recalculate everything. The situation would’ve been different if you just sharpened your axe and actually started going at it. You would be a lot further along if you took immediate action instead of trying to plan for the perfect outcome for chopping down the tree.
So when it comes to running a business without you being in the business, I believe that the best place for you to start is to rate yourself on the Core 4.
Do you have your lead gen system in place? Is it consistently generating leads? If it isn’t, now you know where to start. If it is, you move on to nurturing the leads.
How are you nurturing those leads? How are you working with those leads that you’re getting from your lead gen? And how are you introducing them or turning them into your customers?
If you don’t have a lead nurture in place, then obviously you have to go away and work on that.
And if you have a lead nurture in place, then the next thing for you to work on becomes your lead conversion. How many of those leads are you actually turning into clients? This one is relatively straightforward and if you’re not converting them, then there’s something broken in your sales process and you need to go fix that.
And if you are turning them into clients, it then becomes a case of how effectively you are delivering what they paid for.
Your business will not survive with a poor customer experience, but your business may be able to survive with a poor lead nurture system because you can go back and fix that simply with the customer experience.
The point I’m trying to make is that you need to ask those questions and scrutinise everything.
It’s important to know where you stand in terms of all of these and realistically rate yourself. Look at what you can do better to actually improve how your business operates and once that’s good to go, it’ll be easier for you to remove yourself.
Once you have assessed your Core 4 and you find that everything is working as it should, this is where the magic starts to happen.
WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS
Because if you know your Core 4 and you have your virtual team member, then what you now have to do is to start looking at the things that you don’t like to do or don’t want to do anymore. And that’s where you want to plug in your virtual team members.
If you can plug in your virtual team members in every level of the Core 4, you have now removed yourself from the business and no longer have to be the one responsible for those components.
By now, it should come as no surprise that in order to work towards that, you need to create (you guessed it) systems and processes.
In terms of systemising the Core 4, let’s quickly walk through that.
To systemise your lead generation, it becomes a case of looking at things from an organic or a paid standpoint. They both have their pros and cons.
Organic can be very time intensive and research-heavy in order to do it extra successfully.
Whereas with paid, you don’t really have to spend so much time finding leads, creating your offer, then creating ads. A point of note, because of the power of paid lead generations you will be spending your time monitoring the paid channels that you use, whether that’s going to be Google ads, Facebook ads, influencer marketing, etc. otherwise your costs are going to run silly high and your lead generation thing is not going to work anymore.
For lead nurture, typically the way you do that is through content marketing or email marketing (which is still kinda content marketing).
So for example, if you are on YouTube, content marketing means consistently making videos, putting them on your channel and promoting that video so that you get viewers to watch it.
And then lead conversion which can be systemised by hiring appointment setters or hiring commissioned salespeople.
Finally, for service delivery, that’s where you plug your virtual team members into so that they can do what you’ve hired and trained them to do.
ALL YOU NEED IS PATIENCE
It pays to understand that to remove yourself from your business, it’s not something that you’re going to get done in a week or two. Heck, not even 4 weeks, because setting these Core 4 takes time.
It takes time because it’s quite an iterative process. You do something, you go back and assess if that thing is working or not. If it’s working, then cool, you keep doing more of that.
If it’s not working, then basically you need to go back under the hood, figure out why it’s not working, come up with the things that you’re going to try to fix based on the assessment that you’ve done, and then try running it again to see if it works.
Doing all that takes time. The reality is that you can’t cheat that time because you have to roll your sleeves up and do the work that you have to do to fix what it is that you are trying to fix.
So yes, it will take time, but the time that it’s going to take is time that you save in the future. The time you spend setting things up now is the time that you get to have off when all of this is taken care of and you have systems and people working without having to pester you for solutions to questions that they have.
This will all be possible because everything is systemised. Within your documentation and your systemisation, they have everything they need to do the job that you want them to do.
And whenever you’ve invested that time to build a strong foundation, you find that after a certain point, you are working less IN the business and working more ON the business.
And that is a quick overview of how to run your business without you in it.
At this point, it is important to understand that there’s always going to be an element of you being in the business. You’re not going to be stuck in the business because you will have other people or systems or automation doing the things that you don’t want to do, or doing the things that free up your time so that you can focus on higher leverage activities.
But you will have the luxury to do things for the business that you actually WANT to do instead of HAVE to do. And that, I believe, is where freedom as a business owner lies.
See you in the next blog post.