If you’re running a business, it’s probably because at some point you got tired of working for someone else and decided to write your own rules, set your own hours, and pocket your own revenue. But have you really created that freedom? Are you living the lifestyle you had in mind, or are you busier and more stressed than before?

As an owner, the dream is usually to get the business to a point where it keeps on running without you present or on call every hour of every day. You want to do less of the doing, and more of the strategy and oversight. But if you can’t walk away from your business, even for a day, then what you’ve actually succeeded in creating is a job for yourself with a different set of rules – not a business.

So how do you get your business to a point where you can step back from the day-to-day operations and reduce your hours?

1. Share your knowledge

Start getting all of the business information and intellectual property out of your head and down in writing – whether that’s in the form of an operations manual, product sales sheets, customer service scripts, or how-to videos.

Imparting this knowledge to your team is critical if you’re ever going to let go and be less hands-on.

2. Hire well

Don’t just look for people who are great at what they do now. Look for people who will be great, who have the potential to be good leaders, and who show all the signs of wanting to learn and take on responsibility.

Know what traits you need in a future manager, as opposed to what skills you can teach. As the saying goes, hire for attitude, train for aptitude.

3. Train well

Don’t rely on people to learn on the job. Put the time in to create an amazing team you can trust. Have clear position descriptions, key responsibilities, performance indicators and expected outcomes. Put in place formalised methods for training and seek outsourced help in this area if you need it. Sometimes the investment of an experienced trainer or mentor from your industry is worth more than you expect.

4. Delegate

If you hold all the knowledge and insist that people do things your way, you’ll never be able to take a holiday. Empower your staff by allowing them to take ownership of their jobs. After all, that’s why you pay them.

If you struggle with this, then start small and practise daily. Shift your focus from how a particular task is executed to its actual outcome and results.

5. Systemise and automate

To be successful, people need the right tools and systems to do their jobs properly. This can take the shape of internal processes and sign-off procedures, for example. Or it can include the automation of certain tasks to reduce the risk of human error or inconsistency.

In many cases, this comes down to having the right software Don’t scrimp on productivity tools because you’re trying to save costs.

6. Stop selling

The sooner you can remove yourself from the sales function, the sooner you can take a step back into a more strategic role. If your business doesn’t depend on you for sales, then work will come in regardless of whether you’re there or not. This key step encompasses many of the ones above.

People do business with people (not organisations), hire staff based on their ability to create meaningful client relations or customer service. Take them along to client meetings, train them in this area, give them the support tools they need, and then trust them.

Start implementing the above and you’ll start to reduce your work load, reduce your stress and build a business that performs. You will also build a business that you can walk away from. Wasn't that the original plan? Sounds good right?

ROLL lets you keep an eye on the business, including your opportunity pipeline and work in progress, even when you’re not in the office.

To see how this works, have a look at our quick tip videos or try ROLL Software for free.

ROLL is the simplest way to manage your business and projects.