Why Business Owners Struggle to Sell the Result of their Hard Work

It’s tough building a business. 

As you survey what you’ve created, is your business where you thought it would be when you started it all those years ago?

Has it given you the freedom, flexibility, and financial reward that you thought it would?

Unfortunately, for many business owners, the answer to this question is no.

If you’re feeling a little disappointed that after all your effort and sacrifice over the years, your business hasn’t quite turned out the way you wanted, you’re not alone, and it’s definitely not your fault. There’s a lot of things you never get told when you start a business!

You see, your business has evolved and grown to be reliant on you, the business owner. Until you start giving your business the ability to start operating on its own two feet, you will feel trapped and struggle to get the payday you deserve when you want to sell your business. 

We’ll show you how systemising will enable you to rapidly scale your business, work less while taking on more customers, and quickly increase efficiency and profitability – allowing you to sell your business for more than you ever dreamed.

Despite the Hours You’re Working, You Can’t Take on Any More Customers

You’ve probably come to the realisation that you can’t do everything. You can work all the hours of the day, but there is still more to do.

As the business owner, the more you take on, the harder it is for your business to grow due to one simple fact – there is only one of you.

So, you work harder, trying to look after as many customers as possible to generate the revenue and income you need.

Unfortunately, the longer this goes on, the more you feel stuck, unable to take on any more customers and increase your revenue even further, despite the hours you’re putting in. 

While you’d love to sell your business at some point, how can you when it’s so reliant on you?

The secret to unlocking growth is to systemise your company – enabling you to service significantly more customers without increasing your hours (in fact, you’ll work less!).

Simon’s story

Simon ran a small professional services firm, and while he saw his clients growing as the result of what he was doing with them, he couldn’t work out why his own company was struggling to grow.

His clients were happy, he was getting referrals and providing top quality work, but he couldn’t grow his business bigger than it was. This was a problem because he was relying on the payday from the sale of his company to fund a comfortable retirement.

Like many business owners that come to us, it took a while for Simon to realise what the issue actually was – him!

Starting out as a one-man band, his business had grown around him, and because he hadn’t put any systems or processes in place, the few staff members Simon had could only support and take direction from him. They couldn’t operate key parts of the business – like onboarding new clients – without him.  

Once he realised that he was the bottleneck and the one preventing his business from being able to scale, we helped him identify the business areas in that he didn’t need to be involved.

Going deeper, he also realised how much he was slowing down the business processes that he did have. 

For example, it was a mission to onboard new clients. We helped him identify the areas where he could systemise this part of his business. Putting this into action, he not only freed up his time (because one of his team could now run this process), but with the new system in place, client onboarding was 60-70% quicker.

This not only provided a much better initial experience for Simon’s new clients, but his limited involvement in the onboarding process also meant he could work less and focus on the areas of the business that he enjoyed.

Most importantly, his professional service firm is growing rapidly and is already worth significantly more to potential buyers.

Systemisation equals more customers and less work

Without systems, your business and your team will always rely on you – for everything. 

You’ll feel trapped, and selling your business – the light at the end of the tunnel – will be difficult, and you’ll struggle to get anywhere near the return you’d expect from the effort you’ve put in.

With the right systems in place, your business will start operating on its own, opening up the capacity it always had to take on greater numbers of customers and allow you to work less – just like Simon.

You’re Failing to Scale

Growth is one thing, but for business owners wanting to sell for the figure they’re dreaming of, you need to scale. To put it another way, you want to achieve exponential growth. 

A concept more commonly associated with startups, many business owners we work with don’t realise that their business has the potential for rapid growth – even if it’s only shown modest (or no) growth before they come to us. 

This is particularly important if you’re looking to sell your business in the next few years because it most likely needs to grow before it is worth what you’d like it to be.

The way to fuel your business’s exponential growth and ability to scale is to put suitable systems and processes in place.

Easy to replicate, you can quickly bring on new staff and expand to new locations and markets with little extra effort.

Roger’s story

Launching his residential property development at the start of a property cycle, Roger could see the opportunity to create a company that covered every facet of the process. Marketing to capture the potential investor, mortgage brokering to secure the finance, construction to build the houses, and finally, a property management company that managed the investment properties for the property investors.

Targeting property investors, he knew that he couldn’t only provide one piece of the puzzle – he needed to provide a solution for every stage of his clients’ journeys as they needed it. Therefore, scaling was going to be critical. 

Coming on board when Roger had only three employees, we showed him how systemising was the secret to creating the end-to-end solution that his clients were looking for. 

Working alongside the individual departments, Roger implemented the systems and procedures they needed to scale. This maximised efficiencies, revenue streams and cash flow and enabled Roger to go from three staff to 35 employees within just 24 months. 

The result was he now had a scalable business that he could sell when he was ready for more than he thought was possible.

With the right systems, rapid growth is within reach

Scale or exponential growth is possible for any business.

And, if you want to sell your business in the next few years, it is one of the best ways to increase your business’s value quickly.

Systemisation puts in place processes that are easy to replicate, giving your business the ability to grow and multiply without a proportional amount of effort.

Just like how startups can grow extremely fast and be sold for crazy amounts of money within a few years, you can maximise what your business will sell for in the same way.

Your Business Isn’t Profitable

As a business owner, it is easy to focus on your company’s revenue to measure success.

Unfortunately, many businesses lurch from one month to the next, barely keeping ahead of their bills, and often the owner dips into their pocket to help their business through a lean patch – despite what might appear on paper to be a strong turnover.

Selling your business can appear to be a good way out of this endless, stressful cycle, but revenue is not what a buyer is looking for. Most businesses are valued based on profit, and if your business isn’t profitable, you’re not going to get the payday you were probably expecting.

However, with the right systems and processes, good revenue can be turned into great profit. Systemisation creates the efficiencies you need to cut down your overheads and reduce expenses. Effectively you can provide the same volume of products or services at a dramatically lower cost to your business.

The result is a more profitable business and a much greater payday when you come to sell.

Mark’s Story

Mark ran a network of automotive dealerships throughout the country and was struggling with the vast array of management skills and differing structures across the different sized dealerships. 

And, unfortunately, the one thing they all had in common was they were all less profitable than Mark had hoped.

Revenue across the group was high, but with low profits, the business was not attractive to potential buyers.

Working with us, Mark realised that he needed uniformity and consistency across the group because the dealerships had largely developed their own way of doing things.

Traveling around the different dealerships, Mark rolled out the same systems and processes across the group. This significantly impacted the smaller dealerships, allowing them to compare favourably profit-wise to the larger dealerships despite operating in a smaller market and with less staff.

The larger dealerships were able to reduce inefficiencies and streamline how they operated to dramatically boost their profitability.

Overall, by the time he’d finished systemising the dealerships, Mark’s business was in the top three most profitable automotive businesses in the country. 

Well set up to sell for a significant amount of money, and with many of his headaches gone, Mark decided to wait and enjoy his company’s newfound profitability.

Revenue plus systems equals profit

While strong revenues and revenue growth is important for your business, it is profit that buyers are looking for.

Even if you have a high turnover business, a lack of profitability will stop you from getting a substantial return from the hard work you’ve invested in it.

However, by systemising your business, you’ll reduce costs, increase profitability, and, most importantly, increase the amount someone pays for your business.

Systemisation Unlocks the Value of Your Business
Nine times out of ten, the reason you feel like a prisoner in your business is that you don’t have the right systems in place.

But it goes further than that. Without systems and processes, you can’t scale, and your business won’t be as profitable as it should be.

However, by systemising your company and implementing the other two areas of the Cash Out Catalyst Blueprint – record and replace – you’ll be able to sell your business for more than you thought possible.

Every day I work with business owners who had no idea of their business’s potential and how to unlock it. I love showing them that their hard work has not been in vain and how systemisation is the first step in setting them up for the return they deserve when they sell their business.

As you were reading, you may have thought of a business owner that would find it useful. Please share it with them – I’d really appreciate it.

Finally, I’d love to know which of the three ways that systemisation can transform your business would make the biggest difference to you? Let me know below – I reply to every comment.

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