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Exit Planning: Can Your Business Run Without You?

You use your craft to start your own business; it lives; it grows. And at some point, you also want it to work without you.

At some point you will want to exit.

Whether looking to leave the day to day completely, or rather focus only on certain activities, at some point the business will have to be able to function without you managing and acting in every single part of it.

Also note: at some point you will want to remove yourself from your business completely: the more the business depends on you personally, the lower the value of the business itself.

Create the Codes

The more you codify, the more you can step back.

So far so obvious.

The trick is to know what to codify.

This is not about writing down what everybody must do when you are not there. This is not about: “Answer the phone within 3 rings, say this greeting, log call into CRM system” or any step-by-step actions of this sort.

While there may be many wrong ways to perform the activities, there is no single right way and the details of how something is done are secondary to a good outcome being achieved.

Set the Standard

This is where all those more “ethereal” parts of a business matter.

The harder something is to define, the more important it is to define it. Otherwise you will find your team is working against your expectations, and they will have no idea they are doing so.

People need to know the goals, the standards, and the company mission. They can then adapt their working practices to match the times and requirements, without abandoning those key principles.

So rather than focusing on tasks and actions, worry to write out your company mission, goals, and guiding principles. The more guidance you give on those, then the more autonomous your workforce will be.

Get these in writing, and share them with your team

Then let them create detailed procedures based on activities, expected outcomes and available resources. Allow people to carry forth your mission and goals using their own strengths and opportunities. This way people will always know the boundaries within which they are expected to perform.


Have you outlined your key goals and roles? Without these, process can’t exist.

Contact me for a half day workshop on creating process that lasts.