How to Create a Company That Can Run without You

hammock

Do you ever dream of owning a business that makes money even while you sleep or go on vacation? That’s a dream a lot of business owners have.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just getting more clients. There are, in fact, four major issues you have to deal with before you can create a business that runs without you.

I’ll explain exactly what those four issues are and how you can handle those issues, but first let’s define the kind of business I’m talking about.

What is a scalable business?

Whenever you hear people talking about “scalable,” what they basically mean is a company that can grow without additional employees and, maybe, even without you.

How do you build a scalable business? Christian Mayaud says a scalable business must satisfy two things.

The first thing you need is a business in which the costs of making each dollar is going down. Any business will reach a size where it can no longer scale. How much your business can scale depends upon the market size and the market share you can get. These projections should be figured out in your business model.

Speaking of business models, as the founder of a startup, you begin with a product and a business model, which basically answers questions like:

  • How do you build the product?
  • Who is the customer?
  • How are you going to distribute the product?
  • How do you price the product?
  • How do you position the product?
  • How do you create demand?
  • How do you fund the company?

Your job is to watch the market and see if your customers behave like you said they would. There’s a good chance they won’t, so you need to be prepared to adjust.

You’ll know you found the right product-market fit when customers start buying your product.

The second criterion is simpler. Your business shouldn’t depend upon you and a big team of managers to survive and grow. If it does, then it isn’t scalable. A truly scalable business should grow, no matter who is in charge.

Decide on your career goal

Before you can create a company that can run on its own, you need to decide what your goals are. Do you want to continue to do the work yourself, say, like a computer programmer or chef? Or do you want to own a business that you can work on?

The two are very different.

If you decide to continue to do the work yourself, then you will not have the time to build a business. You can hire partners to help the company bring in more revenue, but that revenue is split among the partners. That is not a business that can run without you. It’s really a collective of high-paid professionals.

A scalable business starts with you deciding to step away from a production role and into a management role. You take off your worker cap and put on your leader cap.

Narrow the service you offer

Once you’ve decided that you are going to grow a business that can run without you, your first major decision as a leader of this new company is to streamline what you do.

Let’ say you provide SEO services, and, for a typical client, you did everything from on-page optimization to building back links to PPC advertising. Well, if you want to create a scalable business, you need to decide which services you are going to focus on.

This may sound counter-intuitive, so let me explain.

A scalable business has a set of procedures that any competent person could follow. It’s easier to document and provide these procedures when what you offer is limited.

For example, let’s say you just focused on PPC advertising. You have to document a typical process with a typical client that defines what you do. In other words, you become the specialist in that one particular area. Of course, when you are making this decision to narrow what you do, you are taking into account what you do really well.

When thinking through this procedure, try using Jim Collins’ “Hedgehog Concept.” The Hedgehog Concept answers three very important questions:

  1. What am I really good at?
  2. What am I really passionate about?
  3. How will I make money?

As you can see, these questions force you to focus on the work that’s not only profitable, but the work that you are proficient and passionate about.

If you think about it, you are probably really good at a lot of things. But you may not be passionate about them. You might be good at balancing your books, but that doesn’t mean you should become an accountant. It’s not your passion.

You might also be really passionate and good at collecting stamps. Unfortunately, there is not much money in that. In the end, your scalable business has to focus on work that you are passionate about and proficient in so you can turn a profit.

Train junior talent

Now that you’ve got your services narrowed and the procedures documented, you can start hiring junior people.

If you’ve got a good procedure for what you offer, you don’t have to hire the best talent. You only have to hire competent and passionate people.

Yes, you have to manage these people, but think of yourself as a leader who sets a tone within the whole company. This tone, according to Thom Elicker, involves planning, predictability, control and culture.

  • Planning – You have a flexible structure and guidelines within which people work. This includes a budget and product development plan.
  • Predictability – This means you produce consistent and reliably good products and services and don’t change the rules on the employees.
  • Control – Everybody understands the company goals, the product development process and the hiring procedures. It’s your job to make sure these goals are clear and understood by all.
  • Culture – Each company is unique when it comes to culture. Some are strict, while others are more relaxed. You are responsible for the culture.

This tone colors the environment within which your junior talent works, so make sure it’s a healthy and sustainable one.

Work on closing deals

The whole point of freeing you up is so you can grow your business, whether it’s by finding new partners or new markets. Of course, this is also a part of the business that you can eventually train someone else to do. Until then, here’s a little cheat sheet on closing deals:

  • Always learn how to qualify – Don’t waste your time on prospects that can’t use or can’t afford your product or service.
  • Limit your “yeses” – Be careful that you don’t give away the farm when a customer makes a request. It’s easy to say “yes” to every request. However, some customers may never stop asking, and you’ll have unhappy customers and a much stressed out work force.
  • Ask for something in return – Instead of simply promising a customer you’ll do something every time he or she asks, always ask for something in return. “Sure, we’ll give your weekly progress reports. Do you mind extending this to a six-month contract then?”
  • Create urgency – A great way to close more deals is simply to put deadlines on requests. For example, point out to your potential customer that he needs to sign a contract before the end of the month; otherwise, you have to give away the one opening for the month to someone else.
  • Explain why – When you ask for something in return or create urgency, you should explain why to your customer. If you don’t, that information gap will create suspicion.

Even though there are more ways to close deals, I’ve found that those five boost my close percentages greatly.

Once you’ve boosted your revenue, you can now look for a good successor.

Hire your successor

At this point, you are now prepared to do one of the most important aspects of a scalable business: hire someone to take your place.

You should have a plan that defines who your successor should be and how long the transition will take place. That plan should answer the following questions:

  • When do you want this to happen? In one year? Two? Three?
  • Who will be your successor? Will you hire someone from outside or inside? If you can’t develop talent from within, you’ll have to look outside.
  • What are the leadership competencies that are important to this position? Strategic thinking, risk taking or talent management?
  • What are the technical competencies that are important to this position? These will be specific to your industry.

It’s always helpful if you have a board or advisory panel that can help you make the transition. Whether it’s a coach, mentor or a CEO who’s gone through the same transition before, it’s helpful to have outside help.

Naturally there are some mistakes you’ll want to avoid. For instance:

  • Do not neglect the plan – Putting off the plan until you are in trouble will likely make the transition and the decisions necessary to make that transition difficult.
  • Don’t be rushed – On the other hand, don’t feel pressured to maintain a schedule if circumstances make the transition tough. The plan is a flexible guideline and not a rigid law.
  • Don’t hire out of loyalty – Make sure your successor is someone you truly believe is capable of taking your place. Hiring someone out of a sense of obligation could destroy everything you built.
  • Don’t micromanage – Once you hire your successor, back away and let that person do his or her job.

Conclusion

Creating a business that can run on its own is very rewarding, especially when you reach that point where you can step away for three months and not have to worry whether you will have a business when you get back.

I wish I could tell you that it happens overnight or that it happens in three years, but each business and industry is different, and the size of your company matters too. Just be patient and enjoy the ride.

What ways have you found that can help business owners create a company that runs on its own?

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Comments

  1. The way I’m working to make myself unnecessary for my business isn’t by finding a replacement, but by first systematizing and then automating. There are a couple good Mixergy interviews about this, including:
    http://mixergy.com/harold-mann-mann-consulting-interview/

    The gist of this process is to delegate as much as is possible, in a systematic way, and then find ways to automate your process (ideally programatically).

    A good habit mentioned in the interview is asking 5 why’s. Eg: Why am I having to look over weekly hours for contractors? Because they need oversight. Why? Because I want the most bang for my buck. Why? Because they can’t manage themselves. Only 3 Whys in, I found the bottleneck, which I’m going to systematically deal with in the coming years. Hopefully innovating in self management will help automate what I do.

  2. Another great resource… E-myth by Michael Gerber

  3. Always great stuff here Neil. I like the point about being passionate about what you do. Yes you may be good at something but not passionate enough, thats the mistake a lot of people make, maybe thats the reason that some of them just give up after a while.

  4. Setting an income goal is vital (I think) Too many people just say “I want to make a living” and then when they get going other expenses eat into that income.

    • I agree too many people don’t evaluate what it is they will need and what the cost will be. It is a good idea to calculate a budget that projects your future cost. That way you can set an income goal based off those calculations and know what it will take to “make a living.”

      • I agree to a certain extent, but I think people waaaay more often than not come up with a “projected income” that is just not possible or ridiculous. Always shoot for the stars, but be realistic with forecasting… I focus on the growth of my business and what I take home is what I take home, if you’re an established business, then yes, you can probably forecast your numbers much more easily.

  5. I’m discovering the joys of outsourcing – especially coding and other highly technical things that I’m just “ok” at (but not expert at). Using freelancing websites, I’ve been able to find very competent talent at very reasonable prices. Seldom do I put a contract out for something as simple as optimizing a single web page where I get less than twenty bidders. And every time I’ve outsourced, I’ve been impressed with the results. This is, for me, the best way to delegate – that is, scale my business – without having to hire anyone (at least for now).

  6. Great insight Neil. Coming from a company that use to focus on one thing (PPC marketing with call tracking) to building a small agency on my own everything you say is dead on.

    Although, we offer SEO & PPC management services on a local basis with WordPress web design we have decided to use exclusivity since doing multiple things is harder to scale. I have been thinking about just focusing on one element so I can scale down the line overlooking the agency and train junior talent vs being heavily involved day to day.

    • Thank you, sounds like you have pretty good idea of what you need to do and where you are heading. Let me know if there is any questions you have that I can try to help you with.

  7. Thank you for codifying what a scalable business is Neil. After you posted the story about Juan from Gmaids.com, I contacted him to give him “Props”. It seems he has figured out how to balance scalability and a successful strategy for growing his business. These types of businesses are what some might perceive as ‘dream’ businesses because you are constantly and hopefully getting paid even when you are asleep. However, I don’t believe you will become overly wealthy through these types of businesses. I intend to implement a scalable business aspect or department for my new business to balance with active product sales and marketing. For my business, combining the service side with a scalable model and the product side with a marketing/sale team can create both cash flow and those large closing deals (I call these bonuses).

    I’m sure I can speak for all your readers when I say I appreciate you blogging more. Thank you for all the great advice.

    -Cheers!

    • No problem, I hope it helped. He has indeed found a way to successfully balance his business. It is very difficult in general for one to become overly wealthy. It takes a great, creative idea and excessive hard work. It seems like you have a good idea of where to go with your business. Thank you for your kind words.

  8. I like the “asking for something in return” idea. It’s hard for me to believe that I, myself, have thought of that one, because it is such an obvious, and good suggestion. (You worded it so “smoothly” it sounds like you’ve actually used that exact line :-)

  9. What about investor, is he or she really participate in company!!

  10. Hi Neil

    Thanks for your tips!
    I have been analyzing this topic for many days now- People get in to business for financial freedom and finally end up losing time which balances the money they have earned. The reason behind the issue is that people start a business to quit being an employee, but never quit the mindset of being a employee. So they become independent money vending machines that has no time to rest. Finally end up with great dissatisfaction.

    • You definitely want to make sure you are prepared to take on the responsibilities and difficulties when you decide to create your own company. If you are not ready and do not have the proper mindset you will not do well.

  11. Neil,
    This is not a per-cursor for you stepping down from KISSMETRICS is it ? :D Seriously though, are you planning on eventually replacing _yourself_ and stepping away from your business to focus on the “bigger picture” ?

    Dilanka

    • Not by any means. I see myself with KISSmetrics till the end. I don’t believe in bailing on my investors or my business partner. It doesn’t matter if the company is worth $0 or a a billion, I never bail.

  12. Hi Neil,

    Nice one, Every one wants to run their own business but due to some circumstances he/she can’t do this but he/she should not lost their confidence because time can do any thing in your favor.

    Beside that lot of businessman now running their business very well even in their absent in company but behind that they used their mind very well like which all mentioned in this blog post. So this blog post can prove useful for them who all are often not present in company.

  13. HI Neil

    Another insightful post about running business,

    Really enjoy reading your blog.

  14. Great post and loved reading it. Very informative post.

  15. As always, super useful advices. Thanks a million Neil!

    This post led me to an idea of automating my business, without compromising the values and quality principles I’ve set so far. Thanks again.

  16. Hi Neil, this is the first time, i found your blog and its such a useful and insightful site on the web.

    You were very true with “Enjoying on a vacation without concerning about their business is a dream a lot of business owners”.

    First even this is not that easy to start your own business and then run your business without you? It just seems unreal.
    But as i went through your post, i realized one could really do that with proper planning, information, resources and time.

  17. Don’t hire out of loyalty – how very true. I felt a little guilty when one of my previous businesses went down, so hired one of the best guys in my new company. I felt loyalty to him but he felt anger, frustration and loads of other emotions including a burning sense of injustice.
    Needless to say the “partnership” didn´t flourish and the business stalled until he left.

    • That brings up another good point, which is to keep your emotions separated from, if not completely out of business. If you let your emotions get the best of you then you will not clearly see the bigger picture and will most likely not succeed.

  18. Lot’s of meaty info in this one! For me, I wanted to create a business that was location independent (I have a content writing service) in order to partake in my true passion, travel. At first, I was so focused on being remote from people, that it hindered my growth. Eventually, I realized I needed to make real live contacts and relationships, so now my model is beginning to finally work as I can “step out” for a few weeks here and there (I currently write this from Plovdiv, Bulgaria!).

    You have to leverage your talents to a certain degree, and also consider that even if you’re not doing something you actually love, if you don’t hate it, then you are light years ahead of most people…

  19. Yes it could be better for me when my company could really run without me. It is also like world is running without god.

  20. Thanks Neil for this insightful Article, I always want to setup such a business but do not have any idea what to follow and how to scale that business. You have clearly explained, how to expend such business.

    Planning , Planning and More Planning as you mentioned throughout this post is must for such expandable business.

  21. Great Article,

    As I am new to all the online marketing and business I have found this article really helpfull. I also am going to be looking at how I have set everything up so I can make sure my business is scalable.

    Bryan

  22. Matteo Lombardi :

    Great Post!! All of us from the 4-hour-workweek generation are so very interested in automatizing and getting ourselves out of the way, this post is important advice on that.

    My biggest worry is that I have an E-commerce business, and a easy to copy (but very profitable) model. By training someone to replace me, I am afraid they might be able to emulate me all too easy. If other people are interested, this could be a great blog post, as I have friends with small internet businesses worried about this same issue.

    I saw another interview on Mixergy that was very interesting with Jas Panasar, he talkes about creating a system that records ALL tasks that are done at your company, making a searchable “wiki” of your company´s business. But sometimes I am afraid of putting all I know there, for my employes (which are freelancers) to see when my business is not too hard to copy.

    http://mixergy.com/jas-panesar-damaag-interview/

    Thank you Neil

    Matteo

  23. Well Neil,

    Considering my company is about growth and scalability this is a wonderful post. I working on the first three, probably think of a successor in 10 years cause so far I enjoy what I do haha

    Thanks Neil.

    David

  24. I am hopefully doing the right things… I have lots of experience building company with my friends and investors. Scalable Business is like “Forming A Winning Partnerships”

  25. Great stuff Neil,It’s always interesting and empowering to get new and fresh ideas from your post.this is really worth considering.

  26. Built to Sell by John Warrillow (http://www.builttosell.com/) is worth a read on this topic particularly if you have a small agency or service-oriented business. As a consultant trying to make the switch to products business I love this stuff. Thanks Neil.

  27. Thought provoking and I enjoyed the hedgehog concept video from Jim Collins. However I’m surprised that you didn’t really delve into any outsourcing, delegating, or automating tasks as ways to extract yourself from your business. (4HWW-ish I know, but still relevant to your topic)

    Also, I believe that it’s necessary to determine your business’s cap on scability… the point at which your business tops out at given current constraints. (For example, my business can handle growth up to point X before I will need to invest more in resources A,B, and C to handle further growth. Or in another example, my business can handle output levels to point X with me being absent or away from the day-to-day ops.)

    Then you can evaluate whether or not you even need to grow that big… there are a lot of complications with growth and if you’re shooting for a business that can run itself, you should focus on sustainment as much if not more than growth potential. 37Signals has a great chapter in their book Rework titled “Why Grow?” that covers this topic well.

    Cheers!

    • Thanks for your suggestions i’ll be sure to go into more detail for future posts. I appreciate your additional input and thoughts on the matter. I have not read that book, but it sounds interesting and i’ll be sure to give it a look.

  28. David Vallieres :

    Fantastic post! This has been a focus of mine for the last several weeks. A few weeks ago I spent a weekend at a workshop in Toronto hosted and run by John Warrillow, author of “Built To Sell”. It was a great experience meeting John and getting his insights into “productizing” a service so that it can be performed without the owner micromanaging and/or performing the work themselves among a dozen other topics related to running a business that does not depend on the owner to be involved in the day-to-day operation. If anyone hasn’t read John’s book I would highly recommend doing so – it’s all about creating a business that runs without you…

    It has changed the way I look at business in general, and I want to really thank you for your insights into this process.

    Dave

  29. This guideline will help :) Thanks

  30. Neil:

    Great post! I have just started my full-time online career and as most people I definitely want to create a company that can run without me. I am personally focusing on affiliate marketing as I feel this is definitely scalable and will create the passive income I am looking for.

    Once the sites are up and running, little to no maintenance will be needed. I know this model will take some time but I truly believe it will work for me.

    Thanks,

    Timothy

  31. is any business scalable if it relies on growth without adding people? That would be called magic!

  32. …and the magic word is “scalable”. Building a business that can function even in my absence is one of my earnest dreams. Thanks for the insight. You are doing a great work.

  33. Yes Dear Neil,

    I m very impressive from this post. i also believe in Planning for the successful business.

  34. shavhani nthambeleni :

    hi! Neil

    i was blind now i can see

    thanks

    nthambeleni

  35. This is Steve Jobs did and most founders never think of doing it this way,

  36. I recently found out just how bad hiring out of obligation can be. It cost me several clients and a lot of money trying to fix the damage.

    • You may think you are doing the right thing, but you have to think of what is best for business first. If they are not suited for the position then like you have experienced they will cause you more problems then they are worth.

  37. This is by far the best and most succinct article describing what I am reaching for. What’s more, is that it is a well-defined roadmap to reaching the articles stated goals.

    I have been developing a ‘buy local first’ and community-oriented series of websites for the past few years but something was missing, scale and asking something in return with each customer request.

    Thank you Neil spot on!

  38. Always good tips Neil and the facts is luckily I am following some of tips which are here. And being passionate of what you love is the biggest secret to be a successful businessman even you are running a low budget business.

  39. Great advice Neil! Being a jack of all trades does not allow me to specialise in a particular field. I need to really take a look at our offerings and only focus on key aspects which I am really good at.

  40. Thanks for the insight, always looking for good resources.

  41. G’Day Neil,
    Are you familiar with the extraordinary success of a Brazilian company called Semco? If not, Google the company or the CEO, Ricardo Semler.

    Here’s a bloke who’s been unbelievably successful by tossing the conventional management wisdoms out the window. He virtually withdrew from his business in 2002.

    He’s written two books: “Maverick,” which sold 1.1 million copies and “The Seven Day Weekend” in 2003. He hasn’t written more because he’s enjoying his 7 day weekend!

    Neil, if you haven’t read these two books…….well, as Mr. Nike says, “Just do it.” Semler’s Seven Day Weekend preceded the much reccomended Four Day Weekend.

    But be prepared to confront some serious questions some of our most deeply held beliefs about successful management.

    Make sure you have fun.
    Regards
    Leon

  42. You have perfectly analyzed the factors, it is very difficult for me to run a company without presence of owner, but it happens then i will be very happy.

  43. Well… no offence to those to whom this applies, but a lot of people, even a few regular ‘sprouts’, think of a company that can run without them as a network of affiliate blogs or something along these lines as evidenced by “Timothy @ PreLitChristmasTreesReview’s” comment. While it can be good for one’s ego to think of whatever you do for living as ‘operating a company’, but it’s not good for you in the long run if what you’re actually doing is ≠ what you think you’re doing.

    A company (by definition) is “an institution created to conduct business”. The part of this definition which we need to understand is the “institution” part. An institution (again, by definition) is “an organization founded and united for a specific purpose”. The part of this definition which we need to understand is the “organization” part, which, by definition, means: A group of people who work together. Bottom line: In order to classify whatever it is that you do for a living as a company, you need to be working with a group of people in whatever role you assign for yourself. People who found successful companies know what a company is. Neil, for example, is someone who knows this but it too modest to point out when someone makes the mistake of classifying their entrepreneurial activities as ‘running a company’ or trying to ‘build a company’. If you’re not doing that, then you’re just a lone salesman trying to sell something on internet.

    You don’t get to the “company that can run without you” part until you actually have a company that is running successfully. Assuming you do, you should refer to the most important part of Mr. Patel’s article: Hire your successor. This is something that you’re going to have to do anyway. This can’t be someone you’ve trained or someone you can hire overnight. This has to be someone who’s willing to do the job long after you find it too boring (think Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer). When you do find that person, be ready to give him a big slice of your pie. Anyone with the brains and motivation to run your company will need a lot more than just a salary and a bonus. Ballmer owned around 8% of the company at the time of Microsoft’s incorporation. Right from the beginning, baldy’s egomaniacal nature played a great role in shaping Microsoft as we know it and he was an important decision maker.

    • You make some good points. I would have to agree that you have to first build a company and have it running quite smoothly before you can think about having it run without you there. Thank you for your thoughts on the matter. Your additional input is much appreciated.

  44. I think the E-Myth books do a great job on elaborating on this and the necessity of creating systems and procedures to facilitate growth.

  45. AR @ make money online :

    I believe that hiring passionate people is better than the ones who is talented and more experience but has a higher ego and agenda. Making a scalable company will greatly depend on people who is passionate of their work and would like to help your company grow, not the ones that would impose what they want for the company but don’t have the heart to make it grow.

    • I understand the point you are making. It is definitely more beneficial to have someone working for you who has a lot of heart for what they do. However they must also be good at it or else it won’t help your business.

  46. a wonderful post Neil. I would like to implement your advice for my business. I would like to hire people who are passionate and willing to go extra mile to help me in my business.

  47. Hey Neil, thanks for sharing such a nice points. It is necessary that every entrepreneur should implement these points.

  48. I also love the way how Derek Sivers describes this process in his book “Anything You Want”.

    An example of this book that comes to my mind is the following:

    Whenever one of his employees had a problem with something they didn’t know to handle or they weren’t sure if it was the right thing to do he did the following. He brought his team together and showed them how he would solve it and which rules he would have for himself to fix the problem. Then he would let them document those rules themselves and where it with his team.

  49. This is thought-provoking stuff to chew on, Neil. Thanks. It is my first visit to your site. If this is the kind of food for thought you offer, I will have to spend some time here! For me, passion definitely is the fuel that drives me. Without that, it is easy to become discouraged. If you have passion, you will always have a reason to tackle problems or setbacks head on.

  50. Muhammed Suleiman :

    This look simple and great. For starter enterprenuer tutors like us, we can follow to learn more.

  51. What a great post… I think is the goal of most entrepreneurs. To create a business that can run without you and make the same amount of money!

  52. Neil,

    I’m loving where you are going with your blog post topics lately. Have read your last two SEOmoz posts and several on QuickSprout here. I’m getting the feeling you are about to launch a new consulting or business advisory service for SEO agencies? :)

    You touch on a lot of things I’m starting to turn my attention to as the owner of a 10-person SEO agency. My push for the next 60-90 days is to defining, streamlining and documenting our processes. Systematizing. It’s a bit of a daunting task but I recognize the value. Thanks for your posts here – not just for the content but for the inspiration as well :)

    • Thank you, I appreciate it. It sounds like you know what you need to do and where you are heading. I am glad my content could be informative as well as inspirational to you.

      Best of luck!

  53. having efficient word force of people who can take important decision without your help and who can give full dedication towards their responsibilities will also work great without you. Even we will be there forever, we always need to adopt the strategy where it can work without your guidance.

  54. I think the only way we can create a company that can run without the presence of us by build a reliable system. By the way, your blog is awesome. There are a lot of knowledge shared here, I will visit again later …

    • I agree, if you can build a system that works and is, like you said reliable. Then you will be more likely to run the company without having to be there. Thanks, I hope you do.

  55. I tried letting my business run on auto couple of years ago. Everything failed in a matter of days and weeks. This happened because I had never delegated authority to people working in my company. Now I have evolved a system for almost every thing and a plan to meet all possible eventualities and everything works well and I don’t do much myself. But five years later I take another extended vacation everything collapses. Reason: No one works when the boss is away. even the best system needs the boss to be there to reboot everyone. Hard fact of life: Nobody will make money for you when you are out spending.

    • That is too bad, sorry to hear it. It seems you were able to learned from your mistake though, and did better the next time. You make a good point that people tend to become lax if you are not constantly “on top of them.” However if you find people who are passionate about what they do or find someone that will keep them focused then you won’t have so much difficulty.

  56. You have to hire your successor. This can’t be someone you’ve trained or someone you can hire overnight. This has to be someone who’s willing to do the job long after you find it beyond your capabilities to manage or when you burn out. When you do find that person, you have to give him a big slice of your pie. Anyone with the brains and motivation to run your company will need a lot more than just a salary and a bonus. Otherwise he will be running his own company or running away with your’s

    • Thanks for your added input, you make some valid points. You need to find someone you trust and is smart enough to continue your business outside your presence. In order to do that, you will have to give them something they want, like you said.

  57. Thanks Neil, Its a good idea. My aim is to become an entrepreneur. Sure I’m going to follow this “Hedgehog Concept”
    once I started my business.

  58. Your posts are very helpful as me myself is running a startup company in india.

    - Pradeep

  59. Asking for something in return is good advice to close a bigger sale. I have never thought about doing this!

  60. Really nice post! I have been questioning myself that for the last few years. I wondered several times if it is an utopia to think that it is actually possible to reach that. You gave really good tips for achieving that but i think that the best trick would be provide some ownership of the company…(a small percentage of shares) to the person that will replace you as a leader…I think this might be the safest way to make sure that person is motivated enough to do a good job.

  61. hey neil,
    its a great and very interesting post indeed. i am feeling that it’s specially for me. really good to read for me.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  62. Hi,
    I also like your idea very much but depending on the business you do, there are a few that can’t be automated. No matter how much you try there always the need for a person to do that job.

  63. Hi!,,,,,,,Always good tips Neil and the facts is luckily I am following some of tips which are here. And being passionate of what you love is the biggest secret to be a successful businessman even you are running a low budget business.Thank you so much!,,,,,,,,,

  64. I agree with what you are saying has given me great ideas for the future with starting off you have to plan for the future and with any business you run.You don’t let the business run you!

  65. Hey Neil,

    priceless and timeless article, thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge. if theres any way i can connect to you for disucssions please let me know.

    Thanks. God bless you.

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