It’s a sobering thought but it is one of the staple pieces of advice from any business coach – work ON your Fire & Security business not IN it.
Otherwise, rather than owning a true business, all you actually own is a job. 14 hour days, 7 days a week.
I was reading an article on the EOS blog which gave a great example of why. A small business owner wanted to sell up. But a valuation expert told him that:
because he had always controlled everything and had not developed a strong leadership team, the valuation he desired was dependent on him staying in the business. He was stuck!
This was echoed in a post I wrote recently about selling your Fire & Security company.
Why you need to make yourself redundant
A buyer is investing in the Fire & Security business not you, the owner. In all likelihood, you will leave the business at some point after the sale.
So it is a massive risk if you are central to every aspect of business success. And therefore reduces value.
You need to demonstrate that your business will thrive and continue to grow even after you have departed.
Letting go can be very hard but it is a vital part of creating value.
Step 1: Define your role in the business
Consider this honestly, capturing all the areas you’re involved in.
Are you out doing the job of a service engineer every day?
Or performing site surveys and writing quotes?
Or are you in charge of distributing the workload to your various engineers?
All of these are definitely working IN the business. You should train someone else to do everything except the things that only the business owner can do. Be upfront with your people – explain you want to take the business to the next stage of its development and part of that is giving people more responsibility.
Whilst you can create all the organisational charts and areas of accountability in the world.
And document processes and start training and delegating.
If you cannot show a compelling growth story with a plan to create a return in the future, you and the sale of your company are stuffed.
Step 2: Growth? That’s lead generation, right?
Are you instrumental in generating the leads that bring new customers to your Fire & Security company? Are you the rainmaker?
You may think this is working ON the business. But you’d be wrong. There are far better ways of generating leads than your weekly networking events. We know because we have been helping Fire & Security directors to get more enquiries since 2010.
You should look to position yourself as the leader, the strategist and the mentor to your people.
That’s what a buyer really wants to see.
Test how well your new systems have worked by going on a long holiday.
Fire & Security Company Buyers have plenty of choice
The fire protection and maintenance sector is fiercely competitive. So you need to stand out from the crowd.
Taking some proactive steps before marketing your Fire & Security business will secure a higher sale price.
Click the button below to speak to Lollipop about taking the lead generation off your desk.