Can Your Biz Run On Its Own?

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Have you ever thought about needing your business to run on autopilot if you had to step away unexpectedly?⁣ If you’re like most entrepreneurs or small business owners, the answer’s probably a pretty resounding “NO”. Well, I’m here to say you need to be thinking about this and how you can implement at least some aspects in your own business.

Running your business on autopilot has been a theme in conversations with clients over the last year, from needing to step away due to illnesses, pregnancy, travel, or worst case scenarios, having some sort of contingency plan in place is SO important. I was chatting with a client the other day, and like me, she sees how much value there is in removing yourself from having to do EVERYTHING, creating a strong culture and brand standard, and then building a team the right way.⁣ So in the coming months we’ll be spending some in depth strategy time looking at what she can afford and where and who to hire to get this process started in the most effective way possible!

My team at The Freelance CFO has been expanding over the last year for a lot of reasons, but a big part is so that I can do ONLY the things I love - big picture strategy, sales calls, and connecting with my clients, while getting me out of the day to day, tactical tasks that remove me from being the big picture creator and visionary in my business. No one else knows exactly where my business is going to go except for me, so by allowing myself the creative time to think, dream, mastermind, and then have a team execute, means I work less, my profitability increases, and my business and lifestyle keep moving in the direction I want. My first hire was a VA (now my OBM), a graphic designer, and most recently, a bookkeeper to help with clients’ bookkeeping needs.

And it’s been so worth it. This time last year, I was in Medellin, Colombia, but had developed bacterial bronchitis and walking pneumonia because I was running myself ragged doing all.the.things. I realized that I’d become the bottleneck in my own business. I had all of these ideas, and knew where I wanted to drive my business, but not enough time to execute on everything.

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Taking a step back was no longer optional, and I made a list of what I personally didn’t have to do to keep my business running and I started outsourcing those things to my team of competent, amazing women. The list of things I don’t need to do keeps growing (especially as I learn to trust and let go of control), and I use the following criteria to assess what to hand off to my team:

  1. How efficient is it to delegate? (for example I’ve chosen to still write ALL of my own content)

  2. How time consuming is it? The more time it takes, the higher up the list it goes.

  3. Can it be standardized/templatized/systematized to be easily repeatable?

  4. How much do I like doing this particular task?

  5. What value does it provide to my business or clients?

  6. Is it necessary/vital?

  7. Is it a revenue generating activity

My business isn’t ready to run 100% on autopilot yet, and I’m still the sole sales and strategy person (my favorite), but I’m taking steps so that if I need to step away, I can do so knowing my clients are taken care of to the same high standard I require, and my message of financial empowerment continues to be spread throughout the entrepreneurial realm!

How well have you automated your business? You may think this isn't important if you're just a small business or freelancer, but if you want your business to grow and be bullet-proof, you need to make sure it can run with or without you! Here are my thoughts on how to go about it.
Katelyn Stanton