When you start a business, it’s easy to overlook this distinction. In the beginning, the main goal is having control of your schedule and earning revenue, but eventually, it’s crucial that your company can survive without you.
So, are you working on your business or in your business? The easiest way to answer this question is to consider taking a vacation.
Say you went away with your family for a week. Would your business still function as it always does? If not, you’re working in your business. But if the business would carry on as usual, even if you are suntanning on a beach with a margarita, then you are working on your business.
Creating a job for yourself
Starting a business can sound appealing for many reasons:
- You control your hours.
- You don’t have to report to anyone.
- You can work as much as you want.
But despite all of these positives, you’ll encounter obstacles along the way.
When you start your own business without long-term sustainability in mind, ultimately, you are just creating a job for yourself. You will have something to chip away at every day for several hours and a revenue stream, but once you stop putting in the hours, the revenue becomes less and less.
This is why entrepreneurs and business owners must think about the future. Business self-sustainability is the concept of creating your business in a way that it can function without you. Even when you aren’t on your phone or behind the computer, your company will still create the profit you need to live the life that you want.
Simply put, a successful business is self-sustaining.
Creating a profitable business that could run without you
Instead of being stuck in “nowhere land” with a business that needs you for eight hours daily, consider focusing on growth. If your company has a solid customer base and decent revenue, your business is surviving, not thriving.
To make your business thrive, you must think of ways to maintain a solid customer base and good revenue even when you aren’t around.
If you want to grow you have to do something different from the majority of people.
So how do we build and cultivate a thriving business as a business owner?
The first step is taking time out of your busy schedule to create a self-sustainability plan. Think about other revenue streams, as multiple revenue streams are key to success, and focus on the money leaving your business. Learning how to manage your cash outflows early on in your business will greatly help down the road.
The most significant part of having a self-sustaining business is finding someone else to handle everything when you aren’t around.
Finding a qualified and trustworthy successor is a challenging task, and it takes a while, so you should start sourcing candidates before you intend on exiting or taking a step back. It could take years before you feel comfortable and confident leaving most of your business operations in someone else’s hands. When searching for a successor, try to find someone that shares your ethics and embodies your company’s values.
Before bringing another team member on board, we recommend meeting with your business’ financial advisor or accountant to ensure room in the budget.
If bringing in another human seems too daunting, consider what responsibilities and processes can be automated or deleted. Spending all your time completing tedious tasks reduces the time you have to complete other things that are a much higher priority. Remember that handling all the processes yourself can result in burnout, even if it feels okay in the moment.
Immersing yourself in a community of like-minded female business owners is also a great way to move toward a profitable, self-sustaining business. Listen to the experiences and ideas of others, ask questions, and always embrace new opportunities.
LET’S BUILD TOGETHER!!!
If you want information on growing your own business and entrepreneurship, attend the Girls L.E.A.P event on February 17th, 2023. This event is designed for women entrepreneurs and small business owners eager to discover game-changing tools and strategies to launch and scale a thriving business.