How to build a business that thrives without you

Home Column How to build a business that thrives without you

build a businessA crucial aspect of running a successful flooring business—or if you’re looking to build a business from the ground up—is transitioning from an owner-dependent model to a system-dependent one. Owner-dependent means that if the owner is absent, things begin to fall apart. System-dependent means that things function profitably whether or not the owner is physically present. Making this shift will have a profound impact on your profitability, scalability and quality of life.

The benefits

By remodeling your business so it’s system-dependent, you create a framework that maximizes efficiency and productivity. Standardizing processes, from sales to installation and customer service, allows your operation to run much more smoothly and consistently. It also reduces stress on you and your team. When your business operates like a well-oiled machine, waste is cut and you’ll automatically increase profitability.

Another key advantages of a system-dependent model is its scalability. When your business relies on systems rather than your direct involvement, expansion becomes much more feasible.

Overwork is endemic among floor dealers, with many working 50-plus hours per week. A system-dependent approach also empowers you to delegate day-to-day tasks to capable team members, freeing up your time and energy. You can confidently step away from the daily operations to reduce your work hours, take well-deserved vacations or develop strategic plans to expand your business.

My philosophy is that the purpose of your business is to fund and facilitate your ideal lifestyle. When your flooring business becomes system-dependent, it becomes a means to an end—a vehicle that provides the exact lifestyle you want.

The way forward

Building a system-dependent flooring business requires a strategic approach and a shift in mindset. Here are some steps to help you on this transformative journey:

  1. Document, standardize processes. If it’s not written down, it’s not a system. Identify key operational processes and document them.
  2. Invest in training, development. Equip your team with the necessary skills and knowledge to execute the documented processes effectively. Do this by holding weekly trainings where you teach and reinforce your SOPs.
  3. Delegate and empower. Identify capable individuals within your team and delegate responsibilities for each area of your business.
  4. Continuously improve.

Conduct monthly evaluations of your systems and processes to identify areas where things are falling between the cracks. Get feedback from your team members and be open to incorporating new technologies and best practices. Foster a culture of continuous improvement.

By following these steps, you can transform your flooring business into a system-dependent powerhouse. Remember, the ultimate goal is to create a business that works for you, rather than you working for the business.

Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For information visit

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