How to run your business on autopilot

How to run your business on autopilot

Almost universally, business owners start running their own business with dreams of prosperity and the freedom to choose their own lifestyle.

However, almost every business owner is going about building their business the wrong way, which limits them to a life of hard work and underachievement where the dreams they started out with in business will never be achieved. That’s because the business model most business owners develop is fatally flawed, keeping them trapped, working for their business.  

Isn’t your real objective to develop a business that works for you, rather than continuing indefinitely to work for the business?  

From my experience across thousands of small and medium sized businesses, I’ve found most of the difficulties in business are caused by five critical mistakes:

  1. Short-term focus
  2. Reactive marketing 
  3. Ineffective delegation
  4. Lack of control 
  5. Doing it all yourself 

If you approach the task of growing your business in the typical manner, making these five critical mistakes, you will have no alternative to ending up with a business that is totally dependent on you because of the fact that your business is being built on a foundation that is fatally flawed.

Running your business on autopilot

The beauty of running a business on autopilot is you have managed to create an entity that not only works without you, but you can now really leverage the assets you have in your business. If you have built your business purposefully and effectively, you can create more leverage because your business is sustainable, scalable and saleable, which is the ultimate definition of business success.

So how do you build a business that runs on autopilot?

Naturally, the process has to start with you. A business will never achieve success without a leader who is able to inspire and lead others to leverage the opportunities the business creates.

The first element of achieving business success and developing it to run on autopilot is to first focus on your own attitude, skills and knowledge, which are all components of your personal power. The level of success in your business will only be the result of your ability to leverage your personal power to the extent that you grow and mature as a person of character, strength and integrity. 

Then, the business development process is all about designing, developing and building a sustainable and successful business model that gives you the ability to scale up without the normal constraints.  Ultimately you want a business you can sell for maximum value because it can be run by anyone and does not need you or your unique set of skills to make the business work.  

A successful business model and successful outcomes require thinking and development across both the conceptual and practical levels. This successful model is what I call VOSETA.  

It starts with V for vision, which also incorporates values and mission as the context or reason why the business exists in the market, not just in the minds of the owners.

Then thought needs to go into the specific objectives (O) or outcomes the business will aim for in a given time frame, which will lead to the development of appropriate strategies (S) and the organisational structure that will achieve the greatest leverage for success.

To activate the strategies, the owners need to make decisions around the execution (E) of business functions such as marketing activities, sales efforts and operational processes.

To enable these processes to be executed effectively, the appropriate systems need to be implemented to assist teamwork (T) and accountability (A). These elements must all come together cohesively in the successful business model that can be run on autopilot. 

Think of these elements as the prerequisites for you to be able to run your business on autopilot. Without developing all of them effectively, most businesses never deliver on the owner’s vision of freedom and prosperity. 

Greg Roworth is the chief executive of Business Success Systems and the author of Run Your Business on Autopilot – How to Leverage Your Business for Maximum Profit in Minimum Time.


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