Get Out of the Owner’s Trap and Get Back to Your Life

Get Out of the Owner’s Trap and Get Back to Your Life

You started your business to be the boss and call the shots. To find flexibility and fulfillment. To create and to help others. But after a while, it started to control you. It sucked you into working around the clock to keep up, sacrificing time with family and friends, your favorite hobbies, and more.

Some recent anecdotes I’ve heard from business owners facing this dilemma include: “I’ve been working until 10 p.m. each night” and “I’ve worked seven days a week for 29 months.” And the worst part is that even though these businesses are growing, staff is ramping up, and profits are strong, they would collapse if you took the owner out of the equation.

It’s a scenario I often find business owners in, and one that brings them to realize they need Kleriti. Because there’s nothing worse than putting in so much tireless work to realize there’s nothing left if you step out. Simply put, a business that relies on its owner to run is unsellable, and all your hard work and sacrifice will be lost. But fear not — there is another way!

Here are 3 practices to get into right away to help build a sustainable business that will allow you to step out for that much-deserved vacation, passion project or eventual exit.


1. Define and Document Your Way

After I had a project returned to my desk no fewer than three times in a past job, I found myself marching into my boss’ office declaring, “I’m never going to get to what’s in your head. So can you please share it with me?” The fact is that people need to clearly understand what’s expected of them to succeed in your organization.

So what is your way? Define it and put it on paper. That makes how you do what you do every day teachable and replicable.


2. Don’t Be the Lynchpin in Your Process

If every document requires your approval, every meeting requires your attendance, or every decision requires your OK, you’re just as stuck as if you were doing all of the work yourself.

Hire right. Train well. Then let the people manage the process and the day-to-day.

Empower people to raise their hand when they identify an issue/lapse/areas of opportunity, and have them propose the solution. This helps you step back rather than be seen as the only one who can solve a problem.


3. Step Into the Role you Really Want and Don’t Go Back

When a long-time client of Kleriti’s first engaged with us, she said, “My ultimate goal is to not to have to be here. I’m working 60-70 hours each week now, and I want this to run without me.” Last month, she looked at me and asked, “What should I be doing now?” With standard operating procedures, checklists and forms, a restructured team, and clear internal and external accountabilities, her business is operating like never before. Employee turnover is down 17 percent, and monthly revenue is up 24 percent — and she’s out of the work she had previously been doing for over 25 years.

She got what she asked for and is now fully stepping into the CEO role, embracing this as the new normal without slipping back into old habits.

Business is an evolution — it’s never perfect, and it’s never 100 percent “landed.” As an owner, you’re constantly learning, shifting, getting closer and closer to where you want to be.

Once you break free from the trap, incredible potential opens up for exploration, creativity, innovation and impact. You owe it to yourself, your team and the world to get out!

If your business is running you and you need help flipping the situation, get in touch with Kleriti Business Solutions today to learn more about how we can help you get off the work treadmill and into your ideal role as a business owner.

Is something keeping you in the owner’s trap? Tell us what it is in the comments below.

Level Up Your Business to Realize Your Future Vision

Level Up Your Business to Realize Your Future Vision

When you imagine your business five years down the road, what do you see? Additional locations? Increased revenue?  More focused service offerings? Maybe you see yourself playing a different role than you play today, with the freedom to step away from your business for vacation.

Now, is your business set up for that dream to become a reality — to get from where you are today to that imagined future?

It’s easy to dream up a future for your business, but making it a reality takes focus and intentional action.

If you continue doing what you’ve always done in the way you’ve always done it, everything in your business will stay the same because all you can see is what’s right in front of you at the moment. You put a ceiling on revenue and potential, continuing to live the status quo.

The hard truth is that you won’t get to the level of success you aspire to if you stay stuck in old ways of thinking and doing. Businesses can only grow and scale to the level their infrastructure will support, and getting to the next level takes real, committed changes in thought and action.

If your business future vision is too tempting to turn down, it’s time to figure out how to get there.

Here are 3 aspects of your business to up-level:


1. Workflow

Maybe there was a time when your client list was so small and your process so simple that you could track everything on a notepad. But that only got you so far.

To successfully and sustainably scale, you need to develop and document clear, repeatable processes that you and your team follow every single time. This ensures that you aren’t relied upon as the only one who knows how the workflow functions and that your team correctly provides your company’s services for every client, every time.

2. Workforce

Try as you might, you can’t do it all, if you want your business to grow. And your business can only be as successful as the talent you hire. So hire well! Get the right people in the right roles, then focus on training and development. With a solid system for effective training, your team members will have a clear understanding of their role and accountabilities, and the company’s goals.

Don’t overlook one important part of cultivating a strong workforce: motivation. If you think your employees are motivated by money, look deeper. Think about what motivates you, for example. Is it just money? Couldn’t you get a job doing something else that would pay you more? Probably. But you don’t, because you’re ultimately after something deeper from your work.

As Daniel Pink suggests, most people are motivated by something internal — the desire to improve lives or create, for example — and not something external like money or risk of ridicule. If you want to build a strong team, learn what motivates each individual and tap into that.


3. Workload

Focus and accountability in your business start with you. Model the behaviors you expect from your employees. Be realistic about your workload and the workload of your team members, and remember that by doing less, you accomplish more.

Clearly define priorities for the organization as a whole, and ensure that each team member is clear on his or her priorities, with focused, achievable goals. Everything you do should support one of your priorities, and if it doesn’t, time, energy and resources should not be wasted on it.

Implement systems for accountability to ensure follow-through. Make sure that your team members each have an appropriate workload and that they manage it well. It should be clear what each person’s priorities are, and they should have focused, achievable goals.

It’s important that team members have accountability too and are held responsible for their workload. Have systems in place to achieve that and guarantee follow-through. Your clients and partners need to know they can count on your team.

Where to Start

If it seems daunting to focus on these business elements, or you don’t know where to start, don’t complicate it!  

Simply observe, ask questions and listen. When you slow down to do these things and open your eyes, ears and mind, you might be surprised at what you learn.

  • Talk to team members: Find out what causes them headaches and what solutions they have to overcome these frustrations.


  • Ask for feedback from clients/vendors/partners: What would they like to see done differently?


  • Evaluate where your inefficiencies are what needs improvement: Look at departments, projects and tasks. What’s inefficient or ineffective and could be improved?


It can be hard to ask for feedback from people close to you or your business, and it can be even harder for them to give you an honest take on what they see and experience though. That’s why it’s smart to reach beyond your circle for advice and bring in someone from the outside get an expert outside perspective.

When you bring in someone with an outside perspective to put fresh eyes on your business, you get the benefit of an unbiased set of eyes to help you see things differently. Our consultants at Kleriti Business Solutions can help you uncover and recognize new opportunities, and and shift your thinking and ways of acting. An expert outside opinion can be a welcome voice of reason and help you implement real change to realize the next level of success that you dream about.


Where do you see your business in five years? What’s holding you back from getting there? Tell us in the comments below!

Bounce Back: How to Rebound After a Business Failure

Bounce Back: How to Rebound After a Business Failure

If you’re an established business owner, you know that business failures are the stuff of sleepless nights. And if you’re a newer business owner who is reading this because you’ve experienced your first failure, welcome to the club! Unfortunately, it’s not an exclusive club, because business failures are far more common than any of us would like them to be. Why? Because humans run businesses and we aren’t perfect — no matter how hard we try.

I have had multiple business failures of my own and even made a mistake that cost the company $17,000 in my first professional job. But you know what? I get better every single time.

Now if you like the idea of being part of an exclusive club, join me in being a business owner who dusts him/herself off, gets back up and tries again. According to Harvard research, there’s an 18 percent chance that a first-time entrepreneur will succeed. But that rate increases to 20 percent after they fail once and learn lessons. And once an entrepreneur succeeds, their chances of doing so with future endeavors increases to 30 percent.

Once you’re convinced that perseverance is the answer long-term success, here’s how to overcome a business failure.


When something goes wrong, we have a tendency to panic and rush into “fixing” mode. Instead, take a beat to get a grip on what happened. Make sure that everyone involved fully understands the situation. When everyone is on the same page from the start, it helps to avoid redundancies or more failures in the future.


Not all failures are created equal, and that’s important to remember. It can be easy to go to extremes and feel like the situation is the end of your world (or business). Be realistic about how drastic it truly is. Make sure the remedy matches the severity of the screw up.



What caused the failure? Was it miscommunication? Confusion? Misdirection? Lack of oversight? When you understand what what broke down, you can better explain the situation to your team, learn from the experience, determine how to move forward and make sure it doesn’t happen again.



It’s likely that the issue can be prevented next time with solid processes in place that make it clear what needs to be done, when and by whom. Standardized processes reduce operational failures because of their repeatable nature. Create a process for anything you do more than twice in your business. It will save you time, energy, money and yes, mistakes, down the road. When you implement strong processes and the appropriate checks and balances to oversee quality and consistency, you help safeguard your business from errors.

If you’re struggling to overcome a business failure or want focused guidance on how you can prevent future problems, Kleriti Business Solutions is here to help. Contact us today.

Cultivating Culture: How to Build Transparency and Trust

Cultivating Culture: How to Build Transparency and Trust

Have you ever worked at a company where you were often in the dark about what was going on? Maybe the head honchos misled you, saying business was great just a week before dozens of people were laid off. Or maybe it was hard to do your job to your highest potential because the boss wasn’t up front with you about all of the goals.

You probably started to feel disengaged from the organization and your job. Ultimately, you left.


Now you’ve got a business of your own (go you!) and you want to do it better. Fortunately, you have the benefit of having seen from the other side how detrimental it is when business leaders are closed off and secretive.


When companies develop a culture of transparency and trust, employees feel more invested, and the business can thrive. Team members are comfortable coming to leadership with questions, concerns and fresh ideas.


You know you want this great company culture. Now how do you go about creating it? Here are 5 practices to get into right away:


  1. Walk the walk. As a business owner, it’s important that you lead by example. Employees look for you to show them what’s acceptable and expected in the organization. So if you say you want a culture of openness, you need to be transparent with your staff in good times and bad — and all the times in between. Starting with you, your company’s leadership should act with intention and in ways that align with the message you want to send.


  1. Follow through. A huge component of building trust is proving yourself by doing what you say you’re going to do, not just talking about it. This is important for every member of your team. Whether it’s an internal or external commitment, your team members need to follow through on what they say they’re going to do, every time. This way, clients, partners, vendors and team members know your organization can be counted on when it matters most.


  1. Knock down walls. OK, not literally! Instead, take a hard look at your organization’s structure. Are departments siloed off from one another? Is there a lack of clear communication paths between team members? If you answered yes to either question, then your company has a transparency problem that’s likely holding you back. Full transparency and an open-book policy are imperative for maximum growth.


  1. Align behind common goals. The best way to reach goals is to put as much focus and power behind them as possible. Consider this: If your sales team is focused on selling a particular service this quarter, and your marketing campaigns are promoting a different service, neither initiative will be as successful as it could be. Instead, pursue alignment. Clearly communicate goals to your whole team, do so regularly and openly track progress toward reaching them. This will help everyone feel more invested in the goal and more driven to hit the target.


  1. Motivate and reward. Do you know what motivates your employees? If your answer is money, you’re certainly not alone, but you are probably wrong — sorry! For ages, employers expected money to get them the output they wanted from workers. But for most of us — think of what motivates you, for example — it’s about something more. It could be any number of things for your employees, from finding meaning in their work to building relationships to solving problems. Tap into what makes team members tick and reward them for behaviors and outputs that align with company goals.


When you hit each of these targets in your business, you might be surprised by how many personnel challenges and growth hurdles fade away.

Do you want an open, trusting company culture but struggle to create it? Tell us about your challenges in the comments below.

3 Keys to a Stress-Free Vacation: How to Leave Your Business and Take the Trip You Deserve

3 Keys to a Stress-Free Vacation: How to Leave Your Business and Take the Trip You Deserve

Does the winter weather have you dreaming about warm, sandy beaches? Or do you long to hit the open road for a month-long summer adventure while the kids are out of school? You might think that all sounds great, but just isn’t doable — that your business can’t survive without you there.

You aren’t alone in that feeling.

According to a 2014 study from OnDeck, only 57 percent of small business owners planned to take a vacation that year, and 90 percent planned to take two weeks or less off — less than the average employee!

Likely one of the big reasons you started your own business was to take control of your schedule and find freedom — and to actually take those dream vacations. Ah, the irony!

Well, you’ve come to the right place. We are here to tell you that it IS possible! You can run a successful business and also take time for those memorable vacations that recharge and inspire you.

Here are 3 keys to implement in your business that will allow you to take a stress-free vacation.

1. Hire right. Train well.


It can get frustrating to hunt for the “right” employee, but hiring the wrong one can cost you time, money and your sanity. Take time to identify the characteristics and skills of the ideal fit, and don’t hire someone who isn’t the best fit because you’re getting impatient. If you make the right hire the first time around, it will pay off big-time.

Not finding the ideal candidate? You may need to rewrite the job posting to accurately reflect your needs, as well as your organization’s culture. Also consider where the ideal candidate for that position looks for jobs. You may need to change up how and where you search for candidates to find the right one.

Once you find the right person, the second half of the equation for success is training. Have systems in place to seamlessly onboard new hires, and get them up to speed and comfortable with their responsibilities as quickly as possible. Make sure training covers the organization as a whole, as well as the employee’s specific piece of the puzzle.


2. Document everything (seriously, everything).

If you want to step onto a plane, train or automobile, the people who are left to run the day-to-day operations in your absence need to know exactly what to do to keep the business functioning as smoothly as it would if you were there. The more you can spell out for them, the better. This way, just about anything can come up and your employees will know how to handle it without panicking or interrupting your beach time. You will also feel more relaxed if you know that they have the tools to tackle anything that comes their way, in the way that you approve of.

But don’t wait until the week before your vacation to start creating your operations manual. Start to document the processes of how your business does everything it does, day in and day out. This includes how to onboard new clients, deliver your service, resolve issues/complaints — the list goes on and on.

3. Drive focus.

When every member of your team is clear on the organization’s goals and the strategy in place to achieve them, it’s much easier for everyone to row in the same direction and at the same speed.It’s imperative to drive time and resources to activities that support reaching these goals, and to de-prioritize anything that does not. Getting into this practice while you’re around helps set team members up for success when you’re not. When the whole team is clear on where they’re headed, they can be confident in their actions and decision-making while you’re gone. Then when you set sail, hit the road or leave on a jet plane, your team needn’t break their stride.

Letting go can be hard. But if you hire and train the best people, create strong, documented processes, and regularly communicate your goals and strategy, you can feel at ease, and find fun and relaxation wherever your travels take you!

Are you a business owner who doesn’t take the vacations you want to take? Tell us what holds you back in the comments below.

5 Ways to Stop Standing in the Way of Your Success

5 Ways to Stop Standing in the Way of Your Success

As a business owner, you typically start the new year with promises to yourself that this will be your most successful year yet. If you’ve made similar promises in past years but didn’t follow through, it’s time to consider what went wrong, so this can finally be THE year — YOUR year. Not sure what’s slowing you down? Here are 5 ways to stop standing in the way of your own success.

1. You delegate responsibility without authority. Delegating duties can be amazingly freeing, allowing you to focus your efforts on other, more appropriate priorities. But delegating work can actually set your business back if the person you assign to do a job doesn’t have the authority to make necessary decisions that go along with the work. This leads to bottlenecks, with the person coming back to you for your OK, rather than being empowered to move forward independently. To keep things moving, be intentional and thorough when you delegate work, and make sure to give the appropriate authority along with the responsibility.

2. You’re staying in the work. As the saying goes, working in the business is different than working on the business. Think about why you launched your organization in the first place. If you want to grow a successful business that thrives even when you’re not around (think beach vacation!), you cannot be the one depended on to manage client accounts every day. To build a sustainable organization, get the right people in the right roles with the right training and the right systems to do the work, and relinquish control to them so that you can serve a higher purpose.

3. You lack focus and defined priorities. Ever feel like your attention is being split in a million different directions? It’s next to impossible to do anything really well in business if you aren’t clear on your specific goals. To maintain focus, take the time to define what you want to achieve, and prioritize where your time and energy needs to be spent in order to get there. Intentional action will always be more effective and efficient than throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.

4. You try to do it all. Success in business means knowing what you don’t know. Do you love brainstorming new services to meet your clients’ latest needs but struggle with sales? Hiring a sales manager or sales coach can help take your business to the next level. Not great with accounting? Hire a bookkeeper to track the finances instead of spending your nights fighting with stacks of receipts. To thrive, surround yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses, and outsource expertise that doesn’t exist in your organization. Do what you do well, and get help with the rest.

5. You’re stuck in the past. Industries change fast, thanks to new technologies, consumer demands and an ever-evolving economy. Sticking your head in the sand and doing the same thing the same way “because that’s how it’s always been done” can negatively impact your company’s competitiveness and prove dangerous for its longevity. To continue evolving, remain open to new ways of thinking and doing, and be brave enough to think big.

If you recognize any of these obstacles in your business, make it a goal this year to get past them and realize the success you’ve been reaching for. Not sure how? We’re here to help! Click here to contact Kleriti today.

What’s holding you back from achieving your goals? Tell us in the comments below.