January 15, 2023

How to Be a Business Owner vs. an Operator

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How to Be a Business Owner vs. an Operator

Unconventional Acquisitions

January 15, 2023

Your idea of being a business owner probably involves adrenal fatigue that drives you to natural medicine…  

…or working 8 days a week, with no sign of a Netflix binge, or a Bali flight with your family in the near future.

This comes from the very human assumption that no one can run your business quite like you can. And hey, maybe that’s true. But what happens when you look to add 5 more businesses to your portfolio? 

This mindset won’t hold up.

Here at Unconventional Acquisitions, we teach you how to invest in boring businesses and run them in a way that doesn’t require you to work harder than you did at your 9-5. Instead, you’ll work less while lining your pockets with more cash and have way more time to… rest and relax.

Yeah, I said the R words.

The one caveat is that you have to set yourself up to be the owner of the business rather than having the business own you. 

There’s a big difference. 

You’re sitting in the operator seat when a business can’t run without you. This usually means you’re fully involved in the business’s day-to-day operations.

On the other hand, when you’re acting as the owner, you see the business as an asset in your portfolio. The business is an entity you influence, but it doesn’t require you to be present day in and day out for it to function. 

This means you won’t be working overtime to make sure it’s successful… that’s what the operator is for. 

Don’t get us wrong, being a business owner still requires work. But you’re more focused on the high-level macro aspects of the business (think cash flow and growth strategies), as opposed to getting your hands dirty in the nitty gritty of daily management.  

We get how tricky it can be to stay in your lane, especially if this is the first business you’re investing in. So here are our tips on how to be an owner of your business rather than slipping into operator mode.

1. Hone in on What’s *Actually* Important

Leave the firehose at the door.

Being a business owner doesn’t require you to put out every fire that comes up, and let’s be real… there will be a lot of them. 

Fortunately for you, that job is outside your scope of work as an owner. The responsibility falls on the operator as they are there to deal with the everyday concerns of the business.

Whether it’s managing employees, fixing a broken laundry machine, restocking a vending machine, or dealing with customer complaints… these daily duties are delegated to your right hand. 

You’re there for the bigger vision: Makin’ money. 

Remember, this is why you bought the business… to live out that 10-year fantasy of being financially free.

So, focus your time and energy on how you can continue to bring in more cash flow. 

This might include analyzing your spreadsheets and looking at where you can cut down expenses… or finding ways to add tech to the business’s offerings… or providing additional services to boost revenue. 

Think big picture. 

Don’t spend your time trying to do it all. That’s what your operator is for.

2. Hire an Operator Who Can Get the Job Done

This might seem obvious, but sometimes it can take time to find the right person.  

You want to avoid hiring someone who you end up having to babysit. This only results in loss of your time and money, two resources we never carelessly waste away. 

An operator you can rely on is essential to your success as an owner. 

You need to consider a few things before sourcing and hiring the person who fills this very important role.

You have to find someone who has legit experience within the industry of your business. And I’m not talking about 18 months working part time at an auto shop.  

The proof is in the pudding. You want proven talent. This might look like sourcing talent from your trusted network or finding someone who has done the exact job before. 

Stretch beyond their career experience. Explore what else they bring to the table. For instance, leadership skills are a great quality in an operator. 

Remember, they have to steer the ship when you’re not there. This demands them to step into a leadership role. They need to be able to adapt by constantly learning new skills and navigating any situation that may arise day-to-day. 

Take your time when searching for the right candidate. Finding a person to operate your business is critical in turning it into a passive cash flow stream.   

3. Build the Right Team Around You

Running a business is a team sport. 

You may have skipped the whole sports stage of childhood (lucky you), but even winning fourth-grade dodgeball required you to lean on your team. 

You can only win with a rock-solid squad behind you. 

It’s your ticket to successfully executing the deal and running the business. Especially if you’re looking to fully step into the owner role and become as hands-off as possible.

Similar to finding an operator, be strategic about hiring every single team member. You want the business to function seamlessly, so you can get the hell outta dodge and spend your days sipping pina coladas in Bora Bora.

Depending on the type of business you’re investing in, you want to make sure that every team member’s adding value to the organization and supporting the growth of the business. 

This makes your operator’s job easier when managing employees, which makes your life hella easier too.

Yours Unconventionally,

Codie Sanchez & Ryan Snow
Co-founders Unconventional Acquisitions

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