Overcoming Founder Dependence

As a small business owner, one of the hardest things to do is let go of control. It may be because you care about your business and customers more than your employees. It may be because you see your employees as unable or unmotivated to manage the challenges of operating your company. Whatever the reason, here are some steps to help your business overcome founder dependence.

Train Your Employees

First, you have to train your employees to do everything you do. If you keep everything close to your chest, they would never have the opportunity to take over essential business operations.

Instead of keeping your employees out of parts of the operation, give them opportunities to learn and engage in your company. Teach them to do everything to run the day-to-day operations and important month end operations.

This will not just help you when you want to go on vacation, this will help your business if you ever get sick or have an emergency where you can’t be in the office. If you are not around, you don’t want your business to come to a halt.

Empowerment

Don’t just train your employees to do their jobs and act as a backup for you. Empower them to make the company and workplace better.

Empowered employees are more vested in helping their employer succeed [Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science]. If you can find good ways to empower employees to deal with customer and operational issues, they will work harder for you. Make them feel like their contribution is making a difference.

This will make it more natural for the employees to run the business in your absence.

Incentive Bonuses

If you incentivize your employees for success and good work, they are more motivated to work hard and be responsible when you are gone. Make sure the bonuses are very clear and align with your goals for your employees in your absence.  Setup a pay for performance program that models what you want to achieve.

Customer Feedback

When you are around, and particularly when you are not, make sure to get customer feedback. If you are not present and your employees are treating customers poorly or wasting time on your dollar, you want to know about it.

To take it a step further, you can send in a secret shopper to give you extra feedback on your employees and their level of customer service.

How else can you overcome founder dependence?

About Eric Rosenberg

Eric is a finance blogger at Narrow Bridge Finance and a serial entrepreneur. He runs a media company, flash mob company, and DJ business from his hometown in Denver, Colorado. You can read more about his finance background and connect with him around the web.

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