It’s time to make yourself redundant!

The percentages vary but everyone involved in buying and selling businesses knows that the vast majority (75% – 80%) of businesses that try to sell fail to do so. One common reason is that the owner is too involved in the day to day operation of the business – take the owner away and there is no business left.

If you would like to be promoted from your current role your boss can easily have a similar problem. “How can I promote X, they are the only person who can do that job?”

The answer in both cases is very simple – make yourself redundant!

A good starting point is to look at your diary or even better your “to do” list and create a list of those things that only you can do. That doesn’t mean only you in the sense of there’s no one else in the business who can do it, it means only you with your particular set of skills and experience can do it.

There should not be many items on the only-me list.

Take the remainder of the to-do list and delegate (or dump) each item.

When you delegate something, talk about the result you want and try using language like

“Let me know what you need to achieve this?”

That helps the person taking on the responsibility recognise that help is available and it is OK to ask!

If you can’t delegate it internally, can you outsource it? Sites like Odesk and Fiverr connect an army of contractors to potential customers and many of them are available at very low hourly rates.

The items that appear more difficult to delegate may require some further thought. Can you break them down into steps, and delegate some of the steps? Perhaps some can be solved by training?

Now take a look at the only-me list. What’s on there that you really cannot apply the same process? Yes, it may take time – I have forgotten how many times I’ve been told “I can’t train someone – I don’t have the time!”

Your objective is to come to work, look at your diary and think “Great, now what shall I do today?”

The answer to that is “work on the business, not in the business”

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