A while back I attended a private equity conference in where one of the speakers shared a story in good humor about literally being hit by a bus days before the event.
When asked now what happens if he gets hit by a bus, he simply answers
“I get up and get back to work”.
This humorous exchange prompted me to reflect on our business and the businesses we’ve worked with over the years.
One of the most common reasons why some companies have trouble scaling is because 1 person knows it all and doesn’t develop the people around them.
At times this is because they’re always too busy working in the business or perhaps they fear that teaching their people too much can create a competitor.
Whatever the rationale, without investing in people a business stays stagnate.
From a funding perspective I’ve had the good fortune to work with a wide variety of companies over the years and have found several key traits that HBTB (Hit By The Bus) proof companies have in common.
What business are you in? Everyone on the team needs to know why the company exists and how it makes money.
CROSS TRAINED LEADERSHIP
There are typically one or two additional people that can step in to take over the business with strong internal and external relationships. These people already work very closely with the CEO and understand the day to day operations.
BACK OFFICE STRENGTH
This is a big one. Documented processes, automated internal workflow, digital record keeping (among other procedures) will save the new CEO many sleepless nights.
Tremendously important. A clear process for keeping a finger on the financial pulse of the business is key. Larger companies frequently review financials and perform audits. There is plenty of software available nowadays to help smaller companies consistently manage their books as well.
If you’re just starting out it’ll be nearly impossible to implement all of these measures at once (the one exception is accounting…keep track of your numbers).
As you grow however, you will naturally begin to develop HBTB proof systems.
You will need them if you are looking to attract larger clients, funding partners or just want to create more free time to be with your family.
KEY POINT: IF THE BUSINESS NEEDS YOU TO GROW; YOU’VE BUILT A JOB.
Marcin has been instrumental in building several businesses including commercial & multi family real estate investment partnerships, a consulting practice and a smart home security business serving customers nationwide. Marcin has secured over $100MM in growth capital for various businesses and has collectively spoken in front of thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, investors and those just starting to explore living life on their own terms. Outside the office Marcin can be found at the gym lifting heavy things, skiing or on the road zipping along on an extended bicycle ride.
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