You’re an entrepreneur, and you take pride in your business. Even though your business may be your greatest asset, micromanaging every aspect of it can make it too dependent on you. If that’s the case, the danger is that it can’t survive without you. From lenders to prospective buyers, many professionals may potentially see the down side of your company’s owner dependency.
As was said to be a key strength of Steve Jobs, arguably one of the most effective CEOs of our time, “The mark of a good leader is being able to build a team that can function even when that leader is absent.” That kind of leadership can impact your business for the positive, in ways beyond finances, as well.
When high owner dependence is in place, accurately valuing a transportation business is difficult, at best; it may actually be impossible. From special skills to personality, an overly involved owner can be a main determinant in a business’s continued success. Of course, such a situation is measurable only once that owner is absent. When instead of being overly involved, an owner has effectively communicated vision, philosophy, and core operational policies and procedures to employees, that business stands to benefit from his leadership far after his involvement has ceased. Only when he steps back from the everyday details of the business can such a legacy be measured, though.
Would you prefer to purchase or finance a business that’s thriving, or merely surviving? Businesses with continually over-involved owners tend to limp along, the owner as the only crutch on which to lean. When the leader of a business is constantly bogged down by everyday aspects of business and is the only one to communicate with various outside contacts, pursuing a vision is nearly impossible. Instead of exploring opportunities for greater efficiency, investment, and growth, the micro-manager has his eyes fixed on minutia that others could be trained to handle. The result is a handicapped business that could be thriving.
The process of reducing dependence may seem painful, at first, but it can also be freeing and encouraging to the successful leader. Each area in which you train someone else to work effectively is one in which you have succeeded in providing lessened financial risk and an increased business value. As you passionately communicate your values, you set your business up to succeed beyond the point in which you are involved. When it’s time to sell, you’ll receive the rewarding dollars and well-earned pride in your ability to provide truly valuable leadership.
To learn more about how transportation business owners can increase their business’s value, contact the long-time transportation-industry specialists at The Tenney Group.