Delegating a Small Business

Do you spend most of your day fighting “fires”? Rather than working on your business, have  you become a crisis manager?  Do you sit in your offices and wait for someone to come through the door with a problem that needs attention or resolution — now?

The number one mantra every small business owner hears is “Work on your business not in it”

If you are like me when you hear that, the crabby voice in my head says” I bet you have never run a business or made a payroll”. Fortunately, I do not let that voice speak very often.

I know from experience that is easier said than done. For a variety of reasons (control costs and outcomes, ego) as the owner we want to make all the decisions.  The potential for business growth comes when we can separate what should be the owner’s responsibility and what can and should be delegated.

Here’s how I decide what can be assigned to someone else and what needs to stay on your plate.

  1. What is the long term effect on my business?  If we buy copy paper at Sam’s instead of Office Depot will this change the course of our business? 
  2. What is the financial impact?  If I have a definite budget amount or it is a small dollar amount then I delegate.
  3. Am I knowledgeable about this area?  No one knows everything.  We do a Haunted Truck every year. I love the idea, I budget for it, and find locations to invite the public.  Scaring people is not in my talent pool, but I have 2 staff members that are awesome at creating a scary Haunted Truck every year.
  4. Is there collateral knowledge about my business I will be missing?  I could assign a number of the routine accounting tasks to a staff member, but I keep track of a number KPI for our businesses by doing it myself.  I weigh the time for the task versus the time it would take me to find the info in another manner.

There is another reason to delegate. Employee engagement. Everyone wants to feel needed and that they matter. This is probably a reason small business owners don’t delegate. We like being the center of everything. But if you want to grow you must delegate. If you search the internet for “delegating tasks to employees” you will find an overwhelming number of articles and blogs.  I have read most of them. The one thing I have learned is make sure you do not set your employee up to fail.  Not only will the task not be completed but you could lose an employee over it. Then you will have more things to do.  Make sure they understand the process, the goal and have the skills to finish.  

A number of years ago I was on the volunteer leadership team for a church downtown.  Another volunteer installed a doorknob on one of the classrooms. When the Pastor saw the doorknob, he decided that volunteer should be head of maintenance.  In about a week we never saw that volunteer again.  I learned then not to confuse aptitude with competency.

We understand the needs of small business because we are a small business too. You can delegate your heating, cooling and plumbing issues to us. We will always offer the most cost effective solutions to your business.  To show you we understand your challenges, we offer a complimentary residential maintenance plan for the owner or manager with the purchase an annual commercial maintenance plan.

I would love to hear your tips and ideas on running a small business.

Beth Rovazzini

President of B&W Plumbing and Heating Co.

If you would like to discuss ways we can help you find more time to work on your business, Brock Carson bcarson@bplusw.com , 317-809-0339 is waiting to assist you.

You deserve better heating cooling and plumbing service.

You deserve a professional in a Big Black Truck.

We repair, We replace, We educate.