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How To Make Your Business Run Without You


I received the following comment a few days ago. This question hits on a lot of interesting topics pertaining to management, damage repair and marketing.

Because the comment touches on so many important points on running a small business, I felt it best to address the question in a post.


please help me out. I run a private school which has grown to two hundred pupils a few years back.But decline set in when I enrolled for a masters degree in International relations.(full time) Ihad to leave running the school in the hands of my staff while pursuing the programme.

However by the time I completed the degree programme,the population has greatly declined. All effort made ever to revive this school has not yielded the desired result.

please help me out

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Hi Ayo,

First things first–what specifically caused your current student base to dwindle? While I understand that you weren’t there to supervise, there had to be specific reasons for your students to leave your school. This might reveal some bad press your organization might have received and is something you should address immediately.

Before even worrying about how to regrow your student base, you need to fix what had caused your students to leave in the first place. If you can’t fix this problem, you can’t expect new students to stick around that long, either.

Secondly, in order to rebuild your student population (once fixing whatever problem had caused them to leave) you should do some research to determine the best practices for marketing in your industry and do your best to follow those recommendations.

Finally, your school should be able to run without you. If it can’t, chances are this is because you are directly involved in too many of the day to day operations of the school.

If for example, every decision needs to go through you (instead of an assistant to you), this creates a huge bottleneck in your organization and will really hamper productivity.

I suggest you set up systems where most of the school’s operations can work without you. By systems, I mean setting up specific, written policies and procedures for the day to day operations of your business. This way, instead of your staff having to rely on you and ask for permission, they can simply consult the policy guidebook on how to handle a specific situation.

While I can’t suggest specifics for you, you MUST read the book: E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber. The entire book is dedicated to setting up systems in your business so your organization can run without you. It is a must read for any business owner, and if you follow only one piece of advice of mine, read this book.

Best of luck!

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