Do your customers always insist on speaking with you directly instead of your employees?  This is a clear indicator that you should consider shifting your structure by “firing yourself” from your business.  Your structure should allow you to build a valuable business that thrives without you.

 

Here’s why: a business that can thrive without the owner at the center of all its operations is more valuable.  That’s because processes can run smoothly with or without you.  When you’re too stuck in the weeds, you’ll have a difficult time improving or evolving.  You’ll be too busy with day to day practices – and your employees won’t have the opportunity to grow and become advocates for your brand.

 

Here’s what you should do instead to maximize the value of your business:  You should set a goal to quietly slip into the background and let your staff take center stage. 

 

man holding phone while also on laptop looking at business value analytics

 

Here are five ways to make customers less inclined to call you:

 

 
middle aged man in button down shirt and slack walking away from an office

Step 1:  Re-Rank Your Staff

If you have staff listed in order of importance on your website or in other places, change it.  You should instead list staff alphabetically.  This allows your staff to be empowered in serving clients without those clients feeling like they need to speak to just one person.

 

 

 

Step 2: Re-Brand 

If your surname is in your brand name, it’s time to think about a rebrand.  Having your name in the brand name makes the customer want to deal with the owner directly every time. 

Instead, drop your name and allow the brand to stand apart from you.  This gives your business value longevity beyond you.

 

Step 3: Hire a President

When you give someone the title of “president,” then customers will look to them for solutions.  This will free up your time and allow you to focus on big picture value-building.

 

man writing out auto email workflow strategy on whiteboardStep 4: Use an Email Auto-Responder

This means an auto-response to EVERY email you get, before you personally respond.  It is another step towards your business thriving with you.

Tim Ferriss, the author of The 4 Hour Work Week among other books, made the email auto-responder famous.  The way you use the strategy is to set up an automatic response to anyone sending you an email explaining that you are traveling or attending to a strategic project and unable to answer their questions immediately.  This will train customers to direct questions to the person on your staff who is best suited to answer them quickly.

However, this strategy should be used wisely.  If you continue to answer customer emails after setting up an auto-responder, it becomes transparent that you’re just trying to hide behind your autoresponder.  This tends to diminish your credibility. When you set one up, you need to be ready to let others step in.

 

 

Step 5: Play Hookey

Do customers visit your business in person?  If so, you need to set up a home office and spend more time away from your location.  This is another way to force customers to trust your staff as much as you do.  

 

Takeaways

For a hard-charging A-type entrepreneur, the steps above can be complicated and feel counterintuitive. They may even have a short-term negative impact o