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How to Fire Yourself

Let’s talk about the holy grail for business owners: a company that runs without the owner.

Many entrepreneurs would love to get away from the day to day running of their businesses while retaining control and ownership.

We have spent years researching exits of all kinds and often find companies where the owner has exited by planting a manager in charge, only to step back into the business because it is in a nosedive with plummeting revenues, profits, and a boatload of debt.

How do you leave your company and ensure that your company continues to perform while you enjoy sunsets on the beach?

You need to create the right  “No Exit” Exit Plan”.

This has three Stages.

Stage 1: Company Performance Framework.

This is important because you don’t want to be stepping back into your company 3 months after your transition because your company is in trouble. The framework has 3 parts:

  • 1: StrategicWhat Markets will your company target? Which Products will be sold? and Which Strategic Initiatives will be the priority?
  • 2: ExecutionHow Will Things Get Done without you ? and What Systems and Processes Will Be Utilized?
  • 3: PeopleWho Will Actually Do The Work? And Do You Have the Right People on Your Ship?

Stage 2: How You Will Manage the Business Post-Transition

The second stage is How You Will Manage the Business Post-Transition while you are sitting on that beach. This is the back-end of your company performance framework. This also has three parts:

  • First is ControlHow will you control from the beach?
  • Second is VisibilityHow will you gain visibility into early warning signals before your company is run into the ground?
  • And third is Risk- How will you passively manage and reduce risk along the way?

Stage 3: Succession Planning Cycle

And finally the third stage which is the traditional Succession Planning Cycle which includes several steps like identifying and grooming your successor and monitoring progress post-transition.

  1. Identify Successor
  2. Groom Successor
  3. Transition
  4. Implement and Monitor

Effectively transitioning to a successor is a tall order and can be akin to bailing out of a jet at 30,000 feet while your successor is simultaneously parachuting in to take your place. It is not an easy task, so expect plenty of turbulence.

The key is to prepare in advance and leverage the 3 stages in the “No Exit” Exit Plan so you can be free and stay free, and really maximize the value of your business and its ongoing cash flow that supports your lifestyle.

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