The following excerpt is from franchise expert Mark Siebert’s book The Multiplier Model. Buy it now.
Today we are starting to see cars that drive themselves, and I expect that — sooner than people my age are comfortable with the thought — these vehicles will likely dominate the streets, with cars that require actual drivers relegated to auto museums and Fourth of July parades.
As a business owner, your goal should be to go through a similar process. When you get started, your business will certainly need a driver. But from an aspirational standpoint, your goal should be to create businesses that essentially work on autopilot, with only active monitoring from the driver. You provide some initial input on direction and destination, and the business does the rest.
But in order for your driverless business to work, you will need the right people and the right culture to complement the systems you create. Here’s how to get started.
What is Entrepreneurial Velocity?
To understand the importance of setting up systems that will help you automate, much of your business, let’s consider the concept that I call Entrepreneurial Velocity.
In fluid dynamics, the concept of terminal velocity is defined as the maximum speed achievable by an object as it passes through a “fluid” (including air). The object reaches that speed limit at the point when the force of gravity is balanced by the sum of resistance (drag) and buoyancy. From that point on, the object will continue falling, but it will not fall any faster.
When you first get started with your business, you you will likely have a six-month adrenaline burn that could keep you going day and night (and may make it impossible for you to sleep). But during the startup phase, most businesses will not start out with an abundance of clients — and will therefore not be overloaded.
As you continue to work in and on your business, you will hopefully get more efficient. But the time you will spend on the tasks needed to properly scale your business will continue to increase until you reach the point that all the hours in the day are not enough to finish all the work you need to do.
And while the mundane and more routine tasks of management, finance and operations may be your most pressing needs, the creative itch that most entrepreneurs feel may drive you toward fiddling with the business, or even starting something new — until you get to the point where the core business begins to suffer. And that’s Entrepreneurial Velocity.
Delegating will make you successful
This is where systems come in. Systems are designed to ensure that your business can consistently deliver a product or service. But one of the key components of systems is to make sure you can delegate tasks to your employees, who, if they follow those systems, can deliver products and services with the same level of quality across the board.
This ability to delegate allows you the freedom to focus on the bigger picture—improving systems, evolving the business and managing people and profits.
Related: The 9 Provisions Every Franchise Agreement Needs to Have — and What They Mean
Taking the time to develop systems will help you
The bottom line is that you can only go so far and so fast by yourself. To overcome this speed trap, you can multiply your speed of growth exponentially by providing others with a systematized approach to understanding how to achieve comparable results—thereby duplicating yourself in this process.
In order to delegate effectively, you need to be able to trust — and trust does not often come easily to entrepreneurs. But if the systems are put in place, you can overcome those hurdles.
Let’s start by airing some unspoken truths, shall we?
- You know more than any employees you could hire about the business you are creating.
- In all likelihood, you can do a better job than any of the employees you are hiring at the job you are hiring them for.
- You care more about the quality of the work and customer relations than the employees you are hiring do.
There. Feel better?
Overcome your ego
Many entrepreneurs (myself included) start out in business with a real ego problem. Those of us who manage to survive usually have a lot of that ego beaten out of us by the world, the market, our competitors and our mistakes—sometimes we even gain a little humility in the process.
But when we first get started, we have yet to make the mistakes that can teach us humility. And that can result in a reluctance to trust other people which makes managing, and specifically delegation, much more difficult.
Lead (and grow) your business to self-sustainability
So to get to a point where the business can “run by itself,” if you are like most entrepreneurs, you will need to overcome any trust issues that you may have so you can delegate with impunity. And to do that, you either need to hire people that are better than you are at a particular task or develop a system that will allow those with less skill to perform at the same level.
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Get started with The Multiplier Model
Going from small business to successful startup to scalable growth takes more than just good luck. It takes a system. Over the last 34 years, franchising consultant and growth expert Mark Siebert has been sought out by more than 70,000 executives looking to expand their companies. Out of those 70,000, only 5,000 had the right systems in place to go from successful to scalable. In The Multiplier Model, Siebert discusses the factors that determine if an entrepreneur is ready to scale their venture — and the best ways to get started. Read more.