Run Your Business Like You’re Going on Parental Leave

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Run Your Business Like You’re Going on Parental Leave


How well does your company run when you’re not there?

The answer to this question has a significant impact on the value of your business.  Suppose your company could survive your absence for a while.  In that case, you will score well on something referred to as “Hub & Spoke,” a driver in increasing your company’s value.  If not, this could be suppressing your business’s underlying value.

To understand the Hub & Spoke value driver, visualise a big airport like Singapore’s Changi Airport or London’s Heathrow.  These airports act as a centralised routing location for the airlines that rely on them.  The system works efficiently enough until bad weather shuts down a hub, grinding the entire transportation system to a halt.

Now imagine you’re the hub, and you run your business with important issues coming through you.  It’s efficient right up until the point you are no longer there to run things, which is why anyone valuing your business will levy a steep discount.

The key to removing yourself is to document your standard operating procedures so your employees have instructions for how you want things done when you’re not around.

How a Maternity Leave Created a Business That Was Built to Sell

Just like many young couples, Ben and Ariel Zvaifler got a puppy and found themselves trying to figure out how to train their new dog.  They also wanted to understand what toys and food they needed.  The couple figured they weren’t alone and decided to launch PupBox, a subscription box for new puppy owners.

Ariel Zvaifler was responsible for operations, among other things.  She took great care in selecting products and merchandising them inside each PupBox.  She even considered details about how each package would be shipped and how it felt when the customer received their PupBox.

When Ariel found out she was pregnant with the couple’s second child, she set to work documenting her standard operating procedures.  She put together instructions for her staff describing how to order products, merchandise each item, and ship boxes.  It took Ariel six months to document everything, but by the time she was ready to give birth, PupBox was prepared to run without her.

These standard operating procedures were a big part of PupBox’s growth and the reason the giant pet retailer Petco ultimately acquired It.

How to Get Your Company to Run Without You

Start by breaking down your job into tasks, and then prepare instructions for your team so that they can follow your standard operating procedures when you’re not there.

Test your team’s knowledge by taking a holiday to see where your processes have holes.  Fill in the gaps with more details and tweak things when you return so that by the time you’re done, your company can handle your extended absence, similar to parental leave.

Take our Value Builder Score Questionnaire to get your Value Builder Score, measuring how your business compares on Hub & Spoke, as well as all 8 key drivers of business value.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to speak to one of our advisors about how you can improve the value of your business, please do not hesitate to contact us or call our office on (08) 6212 7200.

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Our Directors

Chris Mandzufas

Chris Mandzufas

Chris has a diverse range of skills and experience as a result of providing accounting, taxation, advisory board and management consulting services to owners and directors of fast growing businesses.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith has been a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand since 2006, a member of the Tax Institute of Australia since 2013, and a registered Tax Agent since 2018.

Tony Monisse

Tony Monisse

Tony’s key focus is the integration of strategy and financial management. To this end he has developed tools and process that facilitate this integration, including business modelling, target setting and rolling cash flow forecasts.

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All base UI elements are made using Nested Symbols and shared styles that are logically connected with one another.

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All base UI elements are made using Nested Symbols and shared styles that are logically connected with one another.

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All base UI elements are made using Nested Symbols and shared styles that are logically connected with one another.

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All base UI elements are made using Nested Symbols and shared styles that are logically connected with one another.

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