Have you ever thought about how your business might perform if you were no longer running things, or if an emergency occurred while you were on vacation or ill? In addition, regardless of how much longer you intend to run your business, it's a good idea to think about what the future will look like when you decide to retire.

The question is: does your business rely too much on you in the leadership role? Here are some ways to help ensure the business can go on if you step down or if important decisions need to be made when you’re not there.

1. Share the Load

If you're the sole decisionmaker for your company, it's time to start sharing the load with at least one other person. If you don't have a co-founder, figure out whom you trust the most to handle important leadership-related tasks and decision-making. Give them some of the responsibility and let them get used to having some control over the business. Additionally, make sure staff are as knowledgeable as possible.

"Business owners need trusted leadership to execute the vision," says Jeff Meade at Entrepreneur.1 "That means everyone on the team should be subject matter experts in their area of the business: They should be able to grow and manage their department, team or business unit, and they should have the autonomy to achieve their goals."

2. Put Important Strategy and Process Information in Writing

Make sure all information about your business strategies and processes is in writing and available for reference for those who need to know details. The same goes for important contacts and financials. Think of this as leaving your successor an instruction manual. Before the time actually comes for you to step away, give them a chance to review and ask any questions they may have so you can answer them completely and ensure everything is clearly understood.

3. Stop Micromanaging

If you find that you micromanage your team, try to ease up on that. This can be a detrimental management style anyway, but if you are preparing your business to flourish when you’re not around, you need to give the team the ability to handle things their own way, within reason. The more comfortable and confident they feel in their roles, the less they will feel they need to rely on your input. While this may be a bittersweet feeling, it is important for the business to carry on without you.

4. Ask Your Team What They Need

Talk to each member of your team to find out what they think might help them do their job more efficiently. Have in-depth conversations about their work and look at things from their perspectives. This can help you make improvements to processes and operations while you're still in control. Basically, you want to set them up for success, so listen to your team to find out what they need.

As you're talking with your team, be sure to ask them what they rely on you for, so you can work to shift that reliance to the appropriate person, people, or resources.

5. Take Some Time Off

Before you completely step away, take the opportunity to take some much-deserved time off. If you spend less time around the office, you can give your team a chance to run things without entirely relinquishing control.

"There is no better way to see how the company runs without you than leaving it," says Matt Shoup at Inc.com.2 "Plan a vacation during which you are completely unavailable for one to four weeks. When you come back, evaluate where issues arose and unanswered questions linger. These bottlenecks will show you how you can and should empower your team."  If your vacation doesn’t feel like a vacation, then you’re not stepping away.

Getting your business to be less reliant on you may not seem like the best way to feel great about your legacy as a business owner, but if you want your company to thrive when you’re not there, you must do everything you can to make it more self-sufficient.

1. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/367240



The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC