Some days it may feel like your business is running you. You’re reacting and you’re…
Are You Getting in the Way of Your Business Success?
I’m sure many business owners would think they are doing the best they can to ensure the survival and success of their business.
But did you know that many business owners actually get in their own way, and instead of letting people help their business, they interfere and ultimately hinder their own bottom line?
Although this can occur with sole operators, I see it even more apparent when staff are involved.
So, I would like to talk directly to those business owners who have employed a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/General Manager (GM) to run their day to day operations.
If this is you, then I would like you to consider the following 7 questions:
- Do you go into the office every day?
- Do you approve every payroll payment?
- Is there an approved budget for each financial year?
- Is there a Delegations Register outlining what each position in your business can and can’t do?
- Do you have set weekly or monthly meetings with your CEO/GM?
- Do you manage staff issues?
- Have you clearly documented the work you want to do and the work you don’t want to do?
The reason I ask you to ponder these 7 questions is because these are some of the issues staff talk to me about when they explain how frustrated and hamstrung they feel in their roles.
Now let me share with you why:
1. Do you go into the office every day?
Why? If you do, what is the purpose – to do what tasks? Are you there to fill in time or are you generating income for the business?
2. Do you approve every payroll payment?
Why? Because haven’t you delegated this authority to either a Finance Manager or if your business is still quite small the person (CEO/GM) you’re paying probably a lot of money to, to run the day to day operations of your business?
3. Is there an approved budget for each financial year?
If yes, then why do you need to see and approve payroll and general expenses?
If no, then why not because how can someone run your business without one?
4. Is there a Delegations Register outlining what each position in your business can and can’t do?
If yes, then are you letting people manage their own roles and responsibilities in accordance with this Delegations Register or are you changing the goalposts by interfering?
If no, then how can people know what they can and can’t do in their positions if it’s not documented?
5. Do you have set weekly or monthly meetings with your CEO/GM?
If yes, are these high-level strategy meetings looking at the overall financial viability of the business and how it will continue to grow, or are your discussing nitty gritty details that again you are paying someone to deal with so you don’t have to?
If no, then how are you ensuring they are on top of their agreed outcomes and key performance indicators?
6. Do you manage staff issues?
If yes, why because aren’t you paying someone to do this for you?
If no, then great, if this is being done by someone else. Not great, if the answer is no because staff issues are being ignored or dismissed in the hope they will eventually go away.
7. Have you clearly documented the work you want to do and the work you don’t want to do?
If yes, then are you following this or are you digressing into other functions which you’re paying people to do?
If no, then why not because don’t you want to build a business where you do the work you love (however much or as little that is) and let other people do the rest?
I realise for some business owners my comments may be hitting a bit too close to home or may seem a bit harsh. However, if you choose to gain help and choose to divert money from your own pocket and instead invest in employing staff, then surely you would want them to have all the resources they need to do the best job they can for you and your business?
Yet unfortunately, I see many business owners employing staff in the head honcho role (CEO/GM) because they ‘think’ they want to hand over the hassle which can come with managing the daily running of the business. And this sounds great in theory, but if the practice is to give someone a role but not the responsibility and the appropriate delegation because you don’t want to let go, then what is the point of employing someone to run your business? You’re just setting them up for failure, stress and frustration.
So why does this happen?
My belief is too many business owners feel if they are not ‘seen’ in the office every day, if they don’t check the little things, if they don’t have long chats with their CEO every day, then they are not a great business owner.
When in fact the opposite is the case. Think of the most successful business owners you know or admire? I’m sure Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington and all of the Australian Shark Tank judges come to mind.
- Do you think they are spending their time checking amounts on a payroll payment to ensure it is correct?
- Do you think they are checking every expense item and questioning ‘why have we bought this stationery?’ etc.?
- Do you think they are constantly bothering their staff with questions or lengthy discussions not linked to a specific outcome or decision?
Of course not.
They put in place the required systems as well as conduct rigorous recruitment and induction processes to ensure they get the right person to do what’s needed. They also gain the confidence that they can trust the person to follow the documented procedures and systems so they can get on with what they’re good at – thinking up new ways to deliver great products and services as well as building and maintaining relationships which continue to bring in business ($$$).
There’s no point in employing staff to help you run your business if you haven’t documented what you want them to do (systems) and/or if you won’t give them the true delegated responsibility which comes with their position.
If you can’t let go in a measured way, it is a waste of time and money in both wages and productivity. Not only will it frustrate your staff who feel they aren’t empowered to do anything which results in performance and organisational culture issues; the worst case is you’ll lose great staff to your competitors.
So, the choice is yours:
- Run every component and detail of your business which will mean you won’t be freed up to work on your business and thus stagnate your business growth; or
- Put in the necessary checks and balances (systems) to minimise risk and ensure financial viability whilst allowing staff to flourish.
Do the latter with the right people who want to help you and your business succeed and wow –watch your business go gangbusters.
Best of luck.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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