You can do Anything, but not Everything

By . Posted in Accountants and Business Advisors.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing three key rules we learnt about becoming a Xero based modern accounting practice.

The first lesson is to admit that you’re time poor and to delegate, especially if you have big growth plans like we did.

When you start out in business, you often need to wear a lot of hats – sales, marketing, administration, support, production, coffee maker, cleaner… You name it, it’s probably going to be your responsibility. A few months or years down the track and the business has grown up, and yet a high number of business owners struggle to move on from this ‘hands on everything’ stage. Although we’re all smart enough to realise this approach is neither the best use of our time or sustainable in the long run, business owners still struggle to delegate.

As a business owner, you need the time and the headspace to continue driving towards your goals. We’ve all heard the saying ‘the more time you spend in the business, the less time you can spend on the business.’

Without good delegation in place you’ll find your growth potential is restricted, as if it’s being smothered by an old clunky small business straitjacket.

For us, delegating meant:

  • Freeing up the owners time to focus on more exciting things, like growing the business and planning for the future.
  • Being one step closer towards creating self sufficient offices that managed themselves, without the owners day to day input.
  • Letting our staff specialise in what they were good at, which would create more efficiencies across our internal procedures.
  • Gearing us up for good scalability and sustainability, so that we wouldn’t burn out in the next phase of growth. Taking the highly time consuming and administrative sales process out of the busy owners workload, by delegating this task to a Business Development team member.
  • Not losing out on any quality or managerial control, as long as we maintained good training, systems and communication. (Being supported by integrated cloud systems was a big part of this, as they gave us good online connectivity, communication and collaboration as a team.)

  • Delegating may seem easier said than done at first. But once you’ve done it, everything is easier. It’s not rocket science, so here are a few simple suggestions to get you started:

  • Write a to do list and ask yourself – Is each task the best use of my time? Could I add more value to the business elsewhere? Is someone else in my team better at doing this than me?
  • Surround yourself with a good team who are well trained and resourced efficiently. When delegating to someone, clearly define their new responsibilities and expectations, and what sort of ongoing reporting you would like from them.
  • Simplify your accounting services into easy to sell and understand bundled packages (more on this next week), so you can delegate this process out to your new sales team. Unlike you, they will actually have the time to make sure that follow up call happens and that new business enquiries don’t slip through the radar.
  • Make a real effort to stay available to your team for assistance and guidance, especially in the early days. Remember you’re not abandoning them, you’re empowering them. Communication is key.
  • Ensure you’ve got in place the best cloud based business systems. Not only will this provide you with automated processing and online integration, but keep you connected and in control wherever you may be (because now that you’re delegating, prepare to be out of the office more!)
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    We assume you didn’t get into business just to tidy up the paperwork after you’ve put the kids to bed, and we hope you’d prefer to be working towards a self sufficient business model rather than working all weekend.

    So go on, admit you are time poor and start delegating.

    David Jessep,
    Managing Director of djca.

    *This article was originally posted on AccountingWeb.