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How to build a business that runs itself

Business Advice

How to build a business that runs itself

Updated: 18 August 2020

Could you take a six month holiday from your business? Would you be confident to leave it even for two weeks? Don’t worry if the answer is no, you’re not alone. However, you can change the way your business works to make it self-reliant. Imagine a world where you could come back from a break to find your business has not only survived, but grown and thrived. Here’s how you can build a business that runs itself.

Change your mindset

If you are like the majority of my clients, you’re a business owner that’s hardworking, driven and ambitious. You put the hours in to keep your business going and growing – and you’re rightly proud of this. However, far too often my clients believe that owning a business means accepting a high degree of hands-on daily management and all the stress and tiredness that goes with it.

One of the first steps I take in coaching is to challenge this type of thinking. In my view, your aim should be to build a business that’s able to run itself. You then have the freedom to choose how much you want to work and when. You can stay involved in key decisions and the areas you’re passionate about, but don’t have to sacrifice your social and private life to keep the wheels turning.

Learn to let go

The best business people in the world like Richard Branson, Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey all own multiple businesses. However, they certainly don’t spend all their time working in them! This is because they have built solid businesses that are highly efficient and able to run without them.

Afterall, your business is your baby right? As parents you want your baby to grow up strong and healthy, eventually becoming successful and independent. Like most parents, we never want to consider any shortcomings in our parenting skills, let alone be told that we have much to learn about parenting! The relationship with our business is not too different.

This is the primary goal that I help my clients to get to. There’s no magic bullet to building a self-sufficient business. Doing so requires a structured process over time, addressing the key business fundamentals and building the required foundations for sustained success.

6 steps to self-sufficiency

To help my clients achieve this goal, there’s 6 processes that I work with them on:


Mastery is all about getting all the basics into a stable position. This includes having a consistent delivery of your product or service, having full control over your finances and reliable data for how you’re performing. It also includes setting a clear vision for your business, with a defined destination and inspiring culture.


Own your niche by building a powerful and scalable sales and marketing machine. By having a reliable means of delivering sales, you’ll have predictable cash flow that you can build upon.


Do more with less by implementing the right systems. Take a business-wide approach to build efficiency into all your activity. By aiming for 80% systemisation you can create a scalable business that doesn’t rely on lots of manual work.


Particularly for small businesses, every hire you make can change the future of your company. Hire for the business, not just the role. You’ll then be adding long-term potential as well as fulfilling a short term need.


Having established a blueprint for success, you can now expand, franchise and grow to maximise the value in your business.


Your business is now a well-oiled machine. From here on out you can think differently about wealth creation, building passive income streams through smart investments.

Each of these steps is built upon a number of strategies, tools and processes. While the steps are structured in this specific order for a reason, there isn’t a strict chronology to the implementation of the model. What’s important to understand is that you need the right foundations in place (mastery) and the investment and resources available (predictable cash flow) before you take on the other tasks. Once the systems are running the business, the team can focus on running the systems.   

To be successful, you need to start with the right mindset of ownership and accountability. Then focus on a steady and consistent approach to implementation, testing and measuring of the strategies.

Jugal Vansia works for ActionCOACH, the world’s largest business coaching organisation. To learn more, sign up to his seminarTransform your business into a well-oiled machine that runs itself”. Or you can download the ebook.

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