Just like bringing up a child, the success of your business relies on creating something that can survive independently of you. This way, you end up with a business that’s an asset in its own right and which you can sell at a profit when you’re ready to move on.

Here are some tips for helping create a business with a life of its own.

Instead of This Kind of Business . . . Aim for This Kind of Business
A sole trader business structure A company structure
A single bank account that you use for both business and personal expenses Separate business and personal accounts
Your involvement every day A business that continues to operate well, even in your absence
A business that relies upon your specialist skills A business with several skilled employees, and which isn’t dependent on any one particular person
A business that’s inextricably tied to your name and personal reputation A business that has a brand that people trust, but where the reputation isn’t linked to any one individual
A business where everybody mucks in and shares responsibility for decisions A business with clear roles and job descriptions for each individual
A business that exists only in one location A business model that can be copied, and which could be replicated in different locations around the country (or even the world)
A business that’s straggling along, with no clear plan for growth A business with an articulate vision, including goals for the next one, two and five years
A business with few (or no) written procedures A business with procedure manuals and systems in place for all everyday activities
A business that is hard to repeat because of the level of capital or skills that’s required A business that has the potential to be made into a franchise