I sold my physical therapy practice in 2014, and one of the core reasons why the buyers wanted my business was not just because there was business synergy (they are a medical group; we are a physical therapy / hand therapy group), but also importantly, I had created the business such that it would run with little to no input from me.
I still worked hard of course, but I could unplug anytime, go for 2-3 weeks breaks when I want, and the business would still run without me.
7 years later, and the business still runs without me (I’d exited fully since end 2017) – to me, it’s very responsible as the business doesn’t need to me to function…to hear that I’m still right, 7 years later – it’s music to my ears and soul =)
Table Of Contents
- 1 Why outsource, delegate and automate the business?
- 2 How you can do the same for your business?
- 3 Bonus: A common complaint when I share this: BUT NIGEL, I WANT TO BE THE SOLE PERSON!
Why outsource, delegate and automate the business?
#1 – Risk Management
If we’re the only person in charge of the business (or if we’re the business), it’s very risky to the business.
We’re just ONE problem away from zero income.
One accident or a disease can hit you and your business hard if your business is all you. And that’s what that bugs me and makes me worried:
If shit hits the fan and something happens to me or the sole proprietor…then what happens?
Zero income, or worse, business shuts down.
Sure enough, we can have insurance etc – but insurance may not be able to save the business. Or what if insurance doesn’t cover?
#2 We have finite time, energy and attention
Instead of building a business that requires 100% of my time, I’d rather build a business that requires 10% effort of 10 persons, and if they desire to achieve more, it’d be more than 100%.
If we want the business to grow beyond us, then we will need to learn to outsource, delegate and automate.
Ie you’ve got to learn how to hire, train, retain, and fire.
#3 If the business can grow with you…it can grow WAY beyond you
Not dissing solopreneurs who likes one-person-operation, but those are usually limited to the extent of point #2 which is limited to YOUR
Now if you build a business that can run without you, not only your business is automated, more importantly, it means that you can scale your business a lot more than you can do it by yourself.
How you can do the same for your business?
Right now, I speak for physical therapy business in a physical location, and it’d likely be applicable for other services be it
health: GP, podiatry, massage, TCM
home: lawn, electrical, dry wall, fence, broken locks / keys stuck in locks
house call services
I don’t have any formal business education, I mainly just studied occupational therapy and practiced, but I think what I share can be applied to any service / skilled based workers and what I followed was:
build up my client base / cases load to 80% of my capacity, and then hire based on revenue share and pass my entire case load to the new hire
Repeat as this process as the new hire reaches a standard 70-80% of max load, and then bring in another new hire, split the new cases, bearing in mind
not to overhire (eg some places have capacity for 2 full timers, some 1, some 3) – you will know as you operate and manage the business
make sure your legal contracts are fair but firm and tight (engage a good lawyer for this)
pay your people on time (finance function)
take care of your people: hear them out, serve them, fix problems, treat them meals, celebrate together
For the non-skilled eg front desk / admin staff
I show them the required tasks for daily operations such as making appointments, rescheduling, taking payments, dealing with clients and their enquiries, etc
showing them (hiree) how to do it first
then they do it with me a couple of times (up to a month)
then they do themselves without me
This is what I generally do from a sales > hire > retain > manage standpoint.
Rinse and repeat.
Boring stuff…but tried, tested and proven for me since 2010.
What about you? What do you think and how do you delegate out your work?
Yes I understand and I hear you – doing the above, delegating yourself doesn’t mean that you cannot be the main person in charge anymore. If anything, it allows you the flexibility to choose if you want to keep working or not.
Maybe you want to work and all revolve around you, in your 30s. But maybe at your 50s, you may want to sell the entire business off.
Or maybe golf and keep the business as a cash cow.
You CAN choose to work or not…which is very different from you HAVE to work because you have to; instead, you can work or not, because you want to.
It’s about having options in business and life.
It made sense then, it still makes sense today, 2021 onwards.
I’m the founder and writer here at NigelChua.com; as well as serial entrepreneur, therapy business entrepreneur, digital entrepreneur, investor and also happy husband, father and Christian.
Started and sold off a business for 7-figures; built another 7-figure one and growing it further, plus building/investing into other businesses and investments as well as advisory works.
Nowadays I share and teach entrepreneurship, financial independence, retiring early as well as building and living a life you love.
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