Ever wondered why many businesses barely continue after the demise of the founder?
While only a few still have the footprints of the founder on the sand of history. The difference is that one was built on the shoulder of the founder while the other rested on the corporate strength of the team. Thus, building a business legacy that outlived you implies that the business is on autopilot.
Such business runs with or without the owner’s daily involvement. What then could be the difference between a business that died with the death of the owner and those waxing stronger with the demise of the founder? The answer is the strong foundation laid by the pioneer.
Below are strategies to build a business legacy that will outlive the founder.
- The world is not about you:Those who held to power, whether in private or public service are those who think the world is all about them. Great thinkers think outside of themselves. They see their role as a fraction of the total process. One thing is common with everyone that has ever built a business legacy that outlived them. They chart the course and lead others in that direction. These sets of entrepreneurs acknowledge that the world of business is not all about them, but the impact they can make in the world. Pioneer of business legacy sees beyond the immediate gain to a lasting profit. They are interested in influencing their generation for better than only living large. They show this in their value system. In that regard, the dream of living a business legacy that generations will remember them for is their concern, than living in affluence at the expense of their workers.
- Tomorrow begins now:A future you cannot picture now, you cannot feature there-in. Building a business legacy is more than a wishful thinking. It takes a concise, deliberate, conscious and passionate effort. To these sets of people, success is not a game of luck, but when preparation meets readiness. They don’t leave their business plan to chance. As these great minds begin their quest for building a business legacy, they factor the next generation into the equation. Why? Because they know they will not be here forever. Apart from that, they realize people will remember them for either of these two things. One thing you ought to do, but, fails to do for your generation. Two, what you did for your world.
So, they daily improve on yesterday and because of that, they kept on building better relationships and adding value to them.
- Investing in people and not structure:As an entrepreneur, your greatest asset is the people. It will be a disservice to your business future when you concentrate your effort on building a business structure without building the people. But, if you build the people, they’ll build the right business structure that will stand the test of time. This you could do with constant training. Cast the vision of your business, test and change it with your team. They factored Internal and external training in their business plans. Workers are at their best when you address their personal interests and concerns. As a leader, be concerned about their welfare and you’re sure the welfare of the company will be their concern now and long after your demise. Building a business legacy that’ll outlive you require, you equip people who will take after you.
So make people see themselves as stakeholders now that you are still around. Then they’ll keep up the tempo of the business after your death.
- Believe in your team:Perfectionism kills dream like no other cause. Apart from wearing yourself out, no one will grow past the point where they were when they join you. If your dream is to build a business legacy, that’ll outlive you then, you must believe in your team. Mind you, nobody is an island of knowledge.
Obviously, any business that will grow beyond the foundation level must repose confidence in her team. That means you believe in the ability of your team to deliver. This you do by committing part of your responsibilities to some of them while you watch them perform. At times, you allow them to take initiative. Apart from that, you allow them to learn through manageable mistakes. Don’t forget you learn by doing. So, their first failure and set back does not imply that they are a total write off. The best of us never started this way.
- Remember, you’ll not be here forever:A wise entrepreneur includes retirement into his plan and schedule. Therefore, your wish to leave a business legacy will be a mirage if you fail to plan your retirement at an early stage of your business. When I say retire, I mean from the day-to-day running of the business. This is so because death has no specific time agreement with anyone. By that, you live as if today is your last chance in business but plan your life as if tomorrow will never come. With that in mind, you must put the needed structure in place through your team. For an example, start by relieving yourself of some activities and allowing your lieutenants take care of these things. Let the business run without you.
Also, separating your personal life from the business. That also includes running your expenses outside the company’s budget. One thing common with those who’ve built a business legacy is goal setting. They set a financial goal for themselves and that of the business separately. Apart from that, they set disengagement goals for them. As a result of that, they know beforehand when they’ll leave active service in the business. So, they grow people who will take over from them.
- Think like a leader: Creating a business is not daydreaming.It is a deliberate plan of action. This is the mindset of the successful entrepreneur. The choice is between being a leader of followers and being the leader of leaders. Hence, you see the latter surrounding themselves with the right-thinking people. This became possible because they are leaders who build sets of leaders that are success and result-driven. Leaders are creative. Therefore, they spur their team to think like them. You cannot build a towering business if you are the boss whose team cannot work without him. But an entrepreneur who is a leader is not afraid of modelling another leader who will take after him. A leader is not power drunk, he delegates authority with a corresponding reward mechanism for a job well done.
Building a business legacy that outlived you is not only a dream but also a possibility that is achievable. So, if it is in your heart, it will get to your hand. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it. All that is required is self-determination and the will to make the world a better place than you met it.