Do you feel like your business relies solely on you, even though you have a team?  Are you constantly worried about the day to day of your business?  If you step out of the office, is your mind still there?  When was the last time that you took more than a day or two off, and truly didn’t work?  Will you ever be able to end the owner dependence in your business?

If you’re stuck in keeping the business going every day, you’re not alone.  Most owners start their business because they want freedom, flexibility, and working on something they’re passionate about.  However, if you own a business, you probably found out quickly that freedom and flexibility doesn’t happen by accident.  Usually, it’s the opposite.  As much as you want this, you started working more and more hours to get ahead, all while feeling farther and farther behind.

This is what we at Business Growth Curator call being the Rainmaker.  You’re responsible for all the money-making activities in your business.  More than likely, you find it difficult to know what to delegate to your team.  This leads to you being stuck in the day to day, repeating the same processes that created the frustration and LACK of flexibility you so desperately want to eliminate.  So how do you change this?  Keep reading to find out…

woman at desk with imac smiling

What Is A Rainmaker?

Most founders make the largest contribution to their company’s success by winning new customers.  This means that you’re either landing clients or keeping them happy.  Additionally, selling is where you make the biggest contribution in the shortest possible time.  After all, closing a significant piece of business can transform your company.  This is why most founders focus on attracting and serving customers.  Because of this focus, we call them The Rainmakers.  (Somewhat less common are founders who make the largest contribution to their company in the areas of finance, HR policy or legal issues. They are out there, but they’re rare.)

The problem founders and owners find is that, over time, their revenues plateau.  This can be confusing, because Rainmakers typically grow quickly in the beginning.  But when the Rainmaker runs out of selling hours in the day, the company plateaus and revenue begins to flatline.  This is a period of frustration for most Rainmakers.  They begin to continuously bump up against the limits of their personal capacity to sell, because their businesses are owner dependent. 

man with umbrella facing cloudy sky

Can a Company That Depends on Its Owner Survive An Absence?

If you’re a Rainmaker, you need to consider the impact of your role on the business.  Ask yourself this question: If you were to be absent from your company for three months, how would your company fare?  Would it suffer so much that it didn’t survive?  On the flip side, would is barely suffer and continue to thrive?  Most Rainmakers would see their company suffer greatly, and possibly not even survive, if they were absent for a full quarter out of the year.  If you draw out that trajectory into Rainmaker wanting to retire or sell their company, there are further problems.  Most companies that depend on their owners do not attract a buyer or successor.  Instead, when the owner leaves, the company eventually closes.  This isn’t very good news, but there is still hope!  You can transition from Rainmaker to Architect of your business.

Are Owner-Dependent Companies Successful?

There are many examples of famously successful Rainmakers.  Hockey player Wayne Gretsky is an example of this.  As one of the best hockey players of all time, he carried the scoring responsibility for his team.  However, without him, the team’s performance was drastically different.  In fact, even though he was ranked the #1 player of all time NHL leaders, his team actually never made it to the playoffs.  This is a powerful picture of how you can be incredibly good at what you do, but this skill may not lead your team (or business) the success you desire.

smiling woman sitting at a table in an office with others

What Does It Mean To Architect Your Business?

There is another type of business owner.  Let’s call her The Architect. She too is good at selling and influencing others, but she invests those skills in building sales and marketing systems.  These systems include sales processes, marketing funnels, and branding initiatives. The Architect is focused building a successful marketing and selling system.  She is not limited to the numbers of hours in the day.  Instead, she can design a marketing funnel and hire and train sales people to do the selling.   These projects have a longer payback time, so they do not provide the instant gratification of quick sale. 

When you begin to step out of the quick sale model of being a Rainmaker, it can feel counterintuitive.  You won’t necessarily get the results you’re used to. However, as you develop processes that include marketing funnels, a true sales process, and branding initiatives, you’ll be able to break through that revenue ceiling.  Instead of your business’ growth being capped by your personal capacity, your system and team will be able to contribute to more growth and success overall.

sticky notes covering a board with strategy steps

How Do You Transition from Rainmaker to Architect In Your Business?

There are nine key strategies you can use to make the transition away from Rainmaker and towards Architect.

  1. Design marketing funnels that work while you sleep.
  2. Document your sales process.
  3. Hire salespeople use to selling products.
  4. Limit complexity.
  5. Avoid customizing.
  6. Set up your salespeople as experts.
  7. Never attend a customer meeting alone.
  8. Create customer testimonials.
  9. Offer guarantees.

All of these strategies will empower your team to take on more responsibility in your business.  Additionally, your customers will know what to expect no matter who they interact with.

group of people smiling and having conversation

Why Becoming and Architect Is Important

Great business owners aren’t born with business knowledge. The successful ones studied, practiced, and mastered the art and science of business leadership, leverage, planning, and measurement.  If you happen to have “Business Owner” as one of the jobs you need to perform, you will need to learn the skills of business ownership in addition to the skills of your profession.  When you add the skill of architecting your business, you’ll be able to stop spending all your time working “in” your business.  This means you will no longer have to constantly think about work, and you can even take time off without bringing work along.  Instead of working long hours and feeling like you never accomplish enough, you’ll be able to finish your tasks with time to spare.  You’ll be able to move from being strapped for time and cash to having more than enough of both.

Need Some Help?

If becoming the architect of your business sounds great in theory, but you have no idea how to make it happen, don’t worry!  Here at Business Growth Curator, we support owners of small businesses in growing their leadership, developing their teams, and scaling their businesses.  If you haven’t already, head over to our Facebook group.  Then, schedule a 10 minute strategy call with one of our consultants.  This free call will help you see how we can partner with you to accomplish your business goals!

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