Overwhelmed By Small Business Responsibilities?

Dear M & M: I am a small business trying to do everything sometimes it seems to be overwhelming, HELP!! – Bill

Dear Bill: 

As business owners you are ultimately responsible to make sure everything gets done. However, delegation of duties allowing others to do what they are good at can free you up to do what you do well. It is time to draft an organizational chart.  Every business has to do three things (Finance, Operations and Marketing) and most of what needs to be done can fit under one of the three categories.

Start with those three headings (Finance, Operations and Marketing) and start filling in who you can use to help. Using the first one “finance” as an example; unless you are an accounting firm or a large organization that can afford to hire an accountant does it make sense for you to do your own books?

I am not saying to not pay attention to it. However, does it make sense for you to be doing payroll, TPT quarterly reports or year-end corporate tax filings? Maybe time spent entering weekly payroll or expenses into quick books or whatever software you may be using might be better spent selling a few more widgets or connecting with suppliers negotiating better pricing working on the second part of your organization called operations.

Are you banking with the right people, are you using the right insurance person, who does inventory control, are employee evaluations being conducted, do you even have an employee handbook? Operations aren’t just about making sure all the lights work or that the floors are clean.

What are your return policies, when was the last time you did a competitive analysis? Do you currently have employees that can take on some of these responsibilities? Maybe part of Joe’s job could be making sure all the old signs posted on the front door or windows are current and that the front door and windows are clean.

It might be time to re-write job descriptions and have some one-on-one conversations with everyone. Taking a look at the third part of your organizational chart “marketing”, have you taken the time to sit down with someone skilled in marketing to do a marketing plan?

Is there a web designer, graphic artist, social media person you can bring into your organization as a consultant? You are not alone. Identify some additional people that have skill sets that can help. Put them to work making your job easier. They do not always have to be employees. Hire people to do jobs that will make yours easier.

There are many professionals out there with skill sets in specific areas you might not have. Remembers you make the final decisions. Spend some time listening. You might be passing up some good ideas you might not have thought about trying to do everything alone.



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