Photo: Brooke Lark
Small business owners, do you have a hard time giving up control? We understand the fear. If you do it wrong, it can lead to expensive mistakes, damaged brands, and poorly-managed teams…but do it right, and there are tons of benefits to gain: You’ll free up your calendar and have more energy to focus on high-level, big-picture tasks. You’ll also quickly achieve goals, while allowing your small business to scale.
That said, there are some tasks that should never be taken off your plate. As a small business owner, you should be laser-focused on creating the best business plan, workplace, and community that you can. Here are five things you should never delegate:
1. Call the shots for every major business decision
It’s your company. Never assign high-level moves or major business decisions (significant changes to the business, investments, partnerships, etc.) to anyone but yourself. Even when you hire a strategist or consultant, you’re still the person who should have the final say. It’s your business—own it.
2. Don’t delegate anything you don’t understand
You can’t effectively manage what you don’t comprehend. One area where business owners often fail is understanding finances. Many think it’s time-consuming and tedious and therefore want to hire it out right away—but how can you make important decisions for the future without knowing how and why to allocate resources? How can you make informed business moves without comprehending the state of your finances? Understand your finances and the scope and extent of each of their roles, then consider hiring an accountant, bookkeeper, controller or other support.
3. Do all of the hiring and firing yourself
The strength of any small business lies in the strength of its team. When you do all of the hiring on your own, you’ll be sure prospects fit with your vision. After hiring, build relationships with all key personnel and take charge of motivation, inspiration, and employee morale. Make sure employees feel like important contributors to your team.
It’s equally vital to handle firing. Of course, a manager can fire an employees on your behalf, but it’s your job to share the value of their contributions and to make sure their exit is a fair and professional one. Your business’ reputation lies in your hands.
4. Create a strong company culture
It’s imperative that the boss personally cultivates and sets the tone for their company’s culture. If they don’t, it will organically come into being by way of the words and actions of their employees. Set a culture that encourages others to speak up, share ideas, and voice concerns; motivate others to “own” their areas of the business; and look for the right fit (in terms of personality and in values) in every new hire you bring aboard.
5. Personally welcome all new employees
No matter how great your managers may be, nothing can replace the feeling of being personally welcomed by the CEO on day one. Your employees will start on the right foot and have an easier time acclimating to your company’s culture when standards and expectations come straight from you.
When you’re a small business owner, it can be tempting to want to do it all alone. It’s crucial to spend time on these five vital strategies and tasks, but when it comes to the rest of your work, take a step back and think about how you can delegate to make it easier to focus on the big picture. What can you delegate this week?
Syama Meagher is CEO and chief retail strategist of Scaling Retail, a boutique retail consulting firm working with clients around the globe. The agency advises startup, growth stage and enterprise CEOs on everything from the art of negotiation and industry best practices to mental frameworks and capacity building for new hires. Discover what Scaling Retail can do for you at www.ScalingRetail.com.