If you were to step away from your business completely, what would happen? If that question just gave you the chills, then I have a few more for you:

  • Do you feel your business owns you instead of you owning the business?
  • Do you see poor communication between your departments?
  • Do you feel compelled to be involved in every business-related decision?
  • Do you have a problem getting the results you desire from your staff?
  • Are you an entrepreneur looking to scale your business, but you don’t know how you’ll manage any more than you’re already doing?

I was once told (while struggling with some of these very questions myself) your business is not measured on the success when you are there, but on the success when you’re not there. It’s true. However, many real estate investors run businesses that cannot operate without them or, more likely, that they cannot release to run without them.

Every business needs structure and organization, and that need grows as the business grows. In order for your company to grow, you save to add more people to your structure. These people depend on your business for their livelihood, as do you.

Think about it: When you first started out, the entire burden was on you. You were the system. That is not a realistic model for growth however. Your business needs processes in place so the company and employees can depend on those systems and not solely on you. You will burn out if you do not use systems as leverage to do more.

Imagine the Possibilities

Can you envision a business that runs effectively whether you are physically present or not? You’re free to take time off because you know the work will get done the way you would have done it. Sounds great. But what about a bad, even a worst-case scenario: your best employee leaves?

Today, that event might be a nightmare. With the right systems in place, however, it can be a sad event rather than a disaster. Here’s how the best-case version of this negative scenario might go, thanks to your business systems: Your best employee tells you they are leaving. You’re sad. You’re going to miss him. Thank goodness, the business won’t suffer! Thanks to your training systems, you are able to hire someone else who shares your vision for the company and plugs right into the process and system your company built. Training new employees is nearly stress-free because you have documented processes and procedures that can be used for training. You make the hire, then get back to work “on” the business and vision instead of “in” the business putting out fires and fixing problems.

If that scenario sounds good to you but you cannot imagine how to make it happen, then don’t give up. The solution is as simple as asking yourself some simple, albeit tough, questions:

  • If you were to take time away, would your business run smoothly?
  • Are you constantly interrupted by calls and emails all about daily issues?
  • Do your employees seem to lack directions and resources? How do you know for sure?

The answers to these questions will help you identify where to start implementing systems.

Systems are a Creative Process

You might think a system is the least creative thing in the world, but creating a system is truly an art, and, like all art, it can be difficult to get started. Creating sound business processes is hard work but still

needs to get done. There are a ton of things that must get documented with high level process maps and work charts. Then you need to define roles and responsibilities and accountability charts.

You Have 2 Tough Options

Now that you are ready to get started, you have two options:

1 | Dig in and just get it done.

Ask your employees to work harder or pay overtime and add one more ball to your juggling act and hope you don’t drop one. If you can accomplish this, then you will see a great return on the time you invest.

2 | Get help.

There are lots of ways to get help and one of those ways is you can hire a business consultant. I wish I could tell you that every business owner trying to do this on their own is successful, but most of the

time companies simply do not have the in-house expertise that is needed. So, if you lack the expertise, time or resources then hiring someone could be the most important decision you make to effecting change in your business.

Next Step: Take Action

Act now. Procrastinating will just make your situation worse, and your total reliance on yourself to manage your business will soon start costing you money if it has not done so already. How much does it cost you to lose a lead, continue costly rehabs that are over timelines, or pay more money to your lender because your projects are taking too long? Starting this process will help you resolve that problem and take your life back from your business without you having to go out of business.

8 Out of 10 Businesses Fail

According to Bloomberg, eight out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months; a whopping 80 percent crash and burn. I would guess the 20 percent that have succeeded did so thanks to strong business systems and processes that allow the leaders to work “on” the business and not “in” the business.

Remember: The next step you take does not just affect you. It affects your employees and customers as well! Where do you find the time to create these systems? You barely have enough resources to get all the work done daily. Stop! This line of thinking is dangerous, and it leads to this result: You continue to do what you have done: nothing. This is part of the problem. You need to make this a priority and be a part of the solution and not the problem.

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  • Gary Harper

    Gary is the CEO of Sharper Business Solutions. Gary spent 13 years as an executive in a Fortune 500 company where he handled the process of evaluating companies operation expenses and helped them to reach new levels of efficiencies. He began investing in real estate in 2004 and has taken his expertise in business systems and process management and developed a program to help real estate investors position themselves to scale their business to new levels.

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