Gain independence from your business


July 12, 2023

Getty Images: MiguelMalo/E+

Getty Images: MiguelMalo/E+

As we celebrate our country’s independence this month, let’s also focus on business owner independence. How’s yours? Can you unplug and take a week, or even a day, off? What about taking several weeks, or a month off?

Someone once told me that if you don’t have independence as a business owner, you don’t own the business. It owns you.

Employees will make or break your business. You must surround yourself with the right people who fit your company culture, understand your expectations, and produce the results you want. How do you find these ideal candidates? Your hiring process must spotlight the people who “fit the bill” based on three critical questions:

1. Do they demonstrate the required skills to do the job correctly?

The candidate’s application and resume tell us a person’s skills, but we must test them to ensure they align with our needs. You can accomplish this through simple skill assessments, such as an easy math test to see whether the person can calculate square footage. For office skills, test their abilities on the software you use or show them things in your software to see how quickly they catch on.

2. Do they match your culture?

You determine this during the interview by creating questions about your business culture. Questions should begin with:

  • “Give me an example when…”
  • “How would you…”

Personality assessments can help determine whether a candidate’s values (their “why”) fit the job. While there are many options available, my personal favorites include:

3. How do they problem-solve, follow processes, handle change and accomplish work?

When probing these areas, the Kolbe A Index assessment, online at, is a game-changer. When I implemented it in my business, Kolbe allowed me to assess my people and the positions within my company, so I could “Right Fit” people to positions. It helped me understand how my people worked and how to best communicate with them.

Kolbe prevented me from making hiring mistakes and stopped the loss of good employees to the wrong positions. Once they were in the right “seats,” so to speak, I could empower them to do more.

Understanding their strengths opened the door to constant empowerment to run their departments and make sound decisions.

After this was implemented, I could walk away from my business for weeks at a time, knowing it was being taken care of by my team of the right people. My company no longer owned me; I became a business owner who worked on my business, causing growth personally and financially.

The Game Plan

The path to independence is forged by creating a self-managing company. To do that:

  1. Define your business through its culture and core values. You must hire, fire and hold your people accountable to your policies.
  2. Document the correct way to perform every task through standard operating procedures (SOPs), so employees know what is expected of them. My column on p. 62 of Pest Management Professional’s (PMP’s) February 2023 issue explains how.
  3. Maintain a key performance indicator (KPI) scorecard to track your business performance. For details, see my column on p. 80 of PMP’s March 2023 issue.
  4. Place your people in the right positions, as noted in the main column, to take advantage of their strengths and maximize results.

About the Author

Avatar photo

Spencer Bachman is a second-generation pest management professional, and owner of the Pest Control Business Coach consulting firm based in Canton, Ga. You can reach her at

Leave A Comment

Comments are closed.