If you find yourself in a position where your customers always insist on speaking with you directly instead of your employees, then you might want to consider shifting your structure so you can improve the value of your business.

Here’s why: there’s only so much an owner can do and if everything is flowing through the owner then a bottleneck is created which will limit performance.

A business that can thrive without the owner at the centre of all its operations is more valuable because processes can run smoothly with or without you. If you’re too stuck in the weeds, you’ll have a difficult time improving or evolving – and your employees won’t have the opportunity to grow and become advocates for your brand.

To maximise the value of your business, you should set a goal to quietly slip into the background and let your staff have the chance to take centre stage. This isn’t about total abdication from your business but rather delegation by empowering your team and building a business that is less reliant on you.

Five ways to make customers less inclined to call you:

  1. Change your website’s team page [or create one]

    If you display the bio of key staff members on your website, re-order the list so that it is alphabetical rather than hierarchical. This way you’re no longer placing emphasis on yourself as the ‘go-to’ person in the business and customers will start approaching other staff members for help.
  2. Re-brand

    If your surname is in your company name, consider a re-brand. There’s nothing that makes a customer want to deal with the owner more than having the owner’s surname featured in the company name. If this isn’t an easy change for you, perhaps you need to adjust your branding and marketing efforts to distance your image from the business name. An example of this would be to use your middle name on the team page and feature images of staff members on the website homepage.
  3. Hire a General Manager/CEO

    Giving someone [else] the title of GM or CEO conveys the message that they have real authority to solve customer problems. Some businesses already have this person fulfilling the role, but the owner hasn’t taken the leap to appoint them officially.
  4. Use an email autoreply

    Tim Ferriss, the author of The 4 Hour Work Week among other books, made the email autoreply famous, and it can serve you well. Set up an automatic response to anyone sending you an email explaining that you are attending to other projects and unable to answer their questions immediately. Instead, train customers to direct questions to the person best suited to answer them quickly.A word of caution using this strategy: if you continue to answer customer emails after setting up an autoreply, it’s going to become obvious that you’re just trying to hide behind your autoreply, which could diminish your credibility. If you set one up, you need to be ready to let others step in.
  5. Exit the building

    If you have the kind of business that customers visit in person, consider a home office so you can spend more time away from your location.

For a hard-charging entrepreneur, the steps above can be complicated and feel counterintuitive. They may even have a short-term negative impact on your business’ sales, but once you get your customers trained to go to your team, you’ll be able to scale up further and ultimately maximise the value of your business.

we’re here to help!

To learn more about taking a step back and creating a more valuable business, get in touch with the businessDEPOT’s business advisory team at oneplace@businessdepot.com.au or give us a buzz on 1300 BDEPOT.



general advice disclaimer

The information provided on this website is a brief overview and does not constitute any type of advice. We endeavour to ensure that the information provided is accurate however information may become outdated as legislation, policies, regulations and other considerations constantly change. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial, investment or legal decision. Please consult with an appropriate professional before making any decision.