The Self-Managing Business: a Checklist for Scaling

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John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

At W5, we believe that the real purpose of a business is to give you, the owner, the life that you really want.

Because most people don’t want a life that is totally consumed by their business, this means developing a self-managing business that runs efficiently without the owner’s constant involvement.

When you have a self-managing business, you can:

  • Get out of the “hub and spoke trap” where everyone comes to you for every little thing.
  • Achieve time freedom so that you can leave at a reasonable hour, take weekends off, or go on an extended vacation.
  • Retire and have someone buy the business or run it while you draw income from it.

It’s also a critical part of growing and scaling.

In this article, I will share with you the “ultimate checklist” of practical tips to create a self-managing business.

How many of these do you have in place?

1. Develop Systems and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for every aspect of your business.

You need systems for customer service, production, accounting, hiring, recruiting, sales, and marketing.

By documenting your processes into Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS), you create a roadmap for your team to follow, ensuring consistency and efficiency.

SOPs also make it easier to train new employees, delegate tasks, and scale your business.

2. Get other people to perform the services of your business and look after customers.

Next, get other people to perform the services of your business.

If you’re an accountant, for example, hire others to do accounting.

Then assign someone to be in charge of customer service.

This person should be responsible for resolving customer complaints, answering inquiries, and providing support.

3. Hire a VA.

Free up your time by hiring a virtual assistant (VA).

Your VA can prioritize emails and calls, forwarding only the ones that require your attention.

This ensures that you are not bogged down by trivial matters and can focus on high-value tasks.

4. Hire someone (or a team) to sell your product or service.

You should consider outsourcing marketing first, then sales as one of the final stages.

Hiring a team to sell your product or service can help you scale your business quickly.

This also ensures that you have a dedicated team working on revenue-generating activities.

5. Monitor business performance.

Create a scorecard or dashboard that includes forward-looking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that reliably predict the health of your business in the future, as well as lagging indicators that show how your business is performing.

This allows you to make data-driven decisions and identify areas that need improvement.

6. Keep an eye on your cash flow.

Cash flow is critical for any business.

Create a three-month cash flow forecast and assign someone the responsibility of updating it daily. This person should notify you if they anticipate your cash flow dipping below a threshold you set at any point in the next three months.

Put your customers on a recurring billing plan wherever possible. This ensures a steady stream of revenue and reduces the risk of late payments.

Delegate managing accounts receivable and collections so that you don’t need to spend your time chasing payments.

7. Hire a second-in-command.

Finally, hire a general manager, president, or second-in-command to run your business on a day-to-day basis.

This person should have the skills and experience necessary to lead your team and make critical decisions.

By delegating responsibility to this person, you can take the role of executive leader focused on strategy and growth.

Developing a self-managing business is the solution to freeing up your time to live the life you want.

By implementing these steps, you can create a business that supports the lifestyle you want while continuing to grow and scale.

The key is to develop systems, delegate tasks, and hire the right people to help you achieve your goals.

If you’d like assistance building a business that runs smoothly, profitably, and (mostly) without you – a business coach can speed up the process.

Find out if business coaching is a good fit for you by booking 15 minutes on my calendar: Book a Call with John

The Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business

w5 what does it mean to scale your business

How to grow your business without sacrificing time freedom

This post is part of my Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business. Visit the guide homepage to get my best advice and coaching exercises to help you:

  • Develop systems and processes to free up your time
  • Hire and manage a great team to run your business (mostly) without you
  • Make the mindset changes that enable you to grow your business bigger - faster than you dreamed possible