Does your business need you to survive?

May 12, 2022

Exiting your business

If you suddenly had to step back from your business, would it continue to thrive, or would it turn to wrack and ruin?

You’re passionate and you’re busy and you have built this baby from scratch. However unexpected accidents, illnesses, or family emergencies can, and will happen. Your best defense is to be able to step back knowing your systems are robust enough to withstand the impact.

For your business to continue to succeed, you need to make yourself dispensable. Large corporations know this and have plans in place to mitigate what’s known as ‘Key Person Risk’. But when you run a small entrepreneurial venture, what is the back-up plan if you’re out of the picture?

Training and empowering your team to deal with your departure

Means your team can perform the business’s critical, daily activities without micromanagement. Get this right and you might actually be able to enjoy the fruits of a highly desirable lifestyle business.

Establish support infrastructure that is replicable and scalable to run the daily operations and create a team that can handle the load without you. Your staff need to share a common purpose – knowing why they are doing what they are doing, really matters. Along with clear expectations around their roles and responsibilities. It’s by creating an ecosystem where employees are both individually and collectively more efficient, that you’ll breathe easier knowing they have your back (and your business) in an emergency.

Finally, an exit strategy is often thought of as the way to end a business — which it can be — but in best practice, it’s a plan that manoeuvres a business for a smooth transition to a new incarnation. You may need to re-imagine the businesses direction or leadership and be ready to pivot with the inescapable challenges.

A comprehensive exit strategy takes all stakeholders, finances and operations into consideration and details the steps required to sell or close the business. Thoughtful planning recognises the true value of a business and provides the bedrock for innovation and inevitable change.

Top Tips:

  1. Everyone is replaceable – Challenge yourself to step back for a week. Which systems fail? Which procedures collapse? What duties are neglected? Experiment with going cold turkey just in case you ever have to leave your business in the hands of others.
  2. Embrace innovation – Implement simplified, streamlined systems that can be accessed by key team members to assess exactly what’s needed at any time.
  3. Recognise the value you’re creating – A business that doesn’t rely solely on its owner is worth a lot more when the time comes to sell or hand the reins to someone else.

Need help? Talk to us about developing more robust systems for your business to be able thrive your absence.


  • Suzanne Walker

    Suzanne Walker is the founder of one of Australia’s leading public accounting firms, Clear Path Accounting, and has built her results-based reputation as a transformational business advisor over the last 25 years. She holds the philosophy that accounting is more than just tax returns and compliance and believes that accountants can have a profound impact on the lives of their clients.

    Suzanne began her career after completing her degree in Commerce from the University of South Australia. She started out working for a large accounting firm in Sydney before deciding to make the bold move of starting her own practice. Since then, she has helped countless business owners achieve their financial goals through her sound advice and guidance.

    Establishing a career as a young mum of three, in a male-dominated industry has also gifted her with a passion for helping other women in business. Motivating her to co-create courses and business mastermind groups specifically to empower women with the skills they need to find their own version of success.

    In addition to her work at Clear Path Accounting, Suzanne is also the Vice President of the Penrith Valley Chamber. She regularly attends and often hosts meetings, events and seminars, in an effort to support others in her local business community.

    Suzanne is passionate about helping her clients achieve financial success, taking a personalised approach to every engagement. Her dedication to her clients and her commitment to excellence have made her a trusted advisor to many businesses in Australia.