There are five things you should never delegate as a business owner, at least as a startup business owner. I like to delegate, still, there are some key decisions you should never delegate. Why? You need to keep an eye on where your business is headed.
Your finances are important. Hopefully you have a great bookkeeper, accountant, even a controller or someone within your business who is managing the finances. However, you have to understand exactly where the money is going, what the profitability is among your products, and what you’re selling on a seasonal basis. You need to understand how your marketing is impacting sales and how your marketing is impacting your merchandising. Your finances are a huge piece of the pie, because this is what allows you to grow your business. You must know what’s happening in your books. Only then can you make good business decisions about allocating resources.
A bookkeeper is great, but if you’re getting your books 30 days after the month is over, you can’t make decisions that way; that’s only effective for tax-keeping purposes and tax planning. However, you need to reconcile and understand your accounts payable and accounts receivable so you know what’s happening internally. You need to make sure you can pay your employees and be able to reinvest your surplus capital.
2. Hiring and Firing
Do the hiring and firing for your company. If you’re in the beginning stages of your business, and you don’t do the hiring, you won’t be able to test if new hires are a good fit. Remember, for a small business, it’s very important that everyone on your team is on board with your vision. No hiring manager – or anyone working for another headhunting company, is going to be able to convey exactly what it is that you do.
It’s also important that you do the firing. Even if a manager is doing the firing for you, be present and participate in the process. Let that employee know just how valuable they were to your business, for whatever period of time they were there. Remember, previous employees – as well as current employees – are going to be able to spread the word about your business. Businesses earn reputations, so make sure you’re cultivating a good one.
Employees also have to be good personality fits. What does that mean? If you’re hiring someone very vital to disseminating the information about your brand on social media, this person should understand the core values of your business. It’s a relationship. You don’t just hire people to do tasks; you’re hiring a team to be with you for a long period of time.
3. Company Culture
It’s critical that you develop the company culture, otherwise, the company culture is going to dictate you, meaning your personnel are going to dictate the internal working environment. If you set the company culture, the trustworthiness, the ability for people to speak freely and develop ideas, to make people’s voices heard, you’re going to create a company culture that people want to practice because it feels good. This all starts with you.
4. Big Business Decisions
Never delegate big business decisions, even if you’re a small business. Big or small, corporate internal changes are important- even if you hire a consulting firm. If someone comes in, they’ll tell you what they think you should be doing and what they think would work. You need to be the one to say, at the end of the day, these decisions make sense for the business. At the end of the day, you need to be the one to say whether or not you’re going to incorporate their recommendations. You need to fully understand the ramifications. You don’t truly ever want someone else to make those big business decisions, unless you understand what they mean. Take ownership of your big business changes.
5. Onboarding New Employees
Finally, this goes back to the idea of who is doing the hiring and firing. There’s nothing better than the CEO of a company being the person to welcome new staff. There’s nothing better than having that person there, no matter how big the company is or how small. You need to have the CEO setting the tone and vision to really be able to communicate directly with new employees. That’s true even if you’re a huge company and the CEO is coming into a meeting and going to meet 5-10 people. It’s great when I hear people like Gary Vaynerchuk say he makes time to spend a few minutes with each new hire to get that face-to-face connection. It doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to be about big, esoteric ambitions or ideas, but it needs to be meaningful.
Achieve all five points. Understand your finances, hire and fire your staff, greet your staff and make that one-on-one connection. Understand your company culture, which is just so valuable and important. Last but not least, be the person to make those major changes within your company. I love to delegate but these are simply things I don’t think I’ll ever be able to delegate. Why? They’re so integral to cultivating the right team, making the right decisions, and really setting the business forward on the most ideal trajectory.
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