Some things should be reserved for you, as a leader.
As a business coach, I am a firm believer in focusing on the things that you do best and outsourcing the things that you struggle with. For instance, unless you are an accountant, hiring a controller or bookkeeper is probably a good idea for your business. If you don’t have the slightest clue how to write a sales copy piece or put together a marketing campaign, your return on investment by hiring an outside firm would be well worth the effort. Same thing goes for website design, IT work, etc. If you aren’t good at it, chances are someone else is.
But there are three things that I think you should never outsource. And if you struggle with any of these listed, it would be worth the time and effort to improve your skill set or seek out the help from a mentor or business coach who is successful at these items.
As a business owner, there is a lot to be said for working on your business, not in your business. This distinction is an important one, and will help free up your time to focus on the bigger picture items. You shouldn’t be going on sales calls or answering customer service questions, those are easily done by someone else. But the big stuff, the strategic planning, should be something that you look at at least every quarter, if not every month. Where do you want your business to be in a year? In five years? Next quarter? What steps can you take as a team to get there? Are you meeting your goals within the time frame allotted? These are things that you as a leader should be focusing on and spending your time on. Don’t hand it off for someone else to do or ask a third party vendor for a map on where your business should be going. Your journey is unique, and where you take your team depends a lot on how you strategically plan for the future.
Company Culture and Traditions
Another important area in your business that deserves your time and attention is your company culture. This invisible guiding hand is the backbone of your company, and if handled properly could mean the difference between exponential growth and ultimate failure. Don’t pass it over to someone else to do and don’t expect it to happen overnight. What you do as a leader, how you handle victories and challenges, and how you communicate those with your team will pay off tenfold down the line. Company culture is built through a series of small but important choices. It is how to interact with your customers, vendors and employees. The key is to devote attention to it on a regular basis.
Another crucial task of a leader has to do with the communication processes within your business. How you define expectations, build relationships and provide clarity for the group as a whole is a very important task that should be reserved for you as a leader. Building processes and communication channels across departments and employees is another ongoing process that will take time to develop, but it is one that is certainly worth the effort. Train your key team members to practice effective communication, and review and revise your processes often for the best results.