This article http://www.e-myth.com/cs/user/print/post/delegation-vs-abdication does a a wonderful job fleshing out my last post on on The Cult of Personality No-No. Letting go of your ego and taking the time to build great systems and procedures is the only way to build a saleable company.
Many times as part of the Exit Strategy we help our clients build an Operations Manual. Besides helping systematize your businesses Key Success Factors, it shows potential acquirers how you are a cut above other potential targets.
Is a potential or existing client always treated like you would treat them? How about the management of inventory levels and work in process? Part of the pre-due diligence or pre-mortem is to make sure all business operations are really functioning like you believe they are. Many times there is a disconnect between what owners or management thinks is going on in a business and the reality of the situation.
A great example is my dentist. The back office (where the work is done) pulls together as a team and constantly consults with each other on patients and their needs and if the right doctor or technician is on the right case. I love it there when I get “behind the door”. However, the reception area is another matter. Dark and tight with a small window separating you from a not too friendly receptionist. They over-schedule (apparently on purpose) and constantly have irate clients poisoning the atmosphere. How can a smallish business have such a disconnect between the two main functions? Clearly some abdication is going on here with the owner and the front staff.