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When can business owners let others help out?

Bruce Croxon

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About Bruce Croxon

Bruce Croxon is a digital pioneer and owner of several successful small businesses, including one that sold for 180-million dollars. He currently helms Round13, a company dedicated to incubating and investing in start-ups. He’s also an investor on CBC Dragons’ Den. He’s partnered with Sage to help provide advice and expertise on getting small businesses off the ground.

If a small business owner were to ask him or herself “Who knows this company better than I do,” unless they have a partner, the answer is likely going to be “no one.” After all, that person came up with the original vision, product designs, name and general direction. Essentially, it’s the owner’s “baby.”

That being said, as all entrepreneurs know well, they cannot go it alone, especially if they ever want the company to grow. This is exactly why startups bring people aboard. Luckily, within a small business, the leader tends to be very involved in the hiring process and can cherry pick those individuals who have similar goals and personalities - someone they know can adapt quickly and do a great job. No matter how many staffers are hired, though, relinquishing some control can be a little tough for startup owners. So, many ask themselves when the right time is and what responsibilities should be doled out.

If you can’t handle it, don’t do it

As small business expert Bruce Croxon explained, if there are any tasks that are outside of the concrete priorities of the owner, this is a task that can - and should - immediately be given to an employee.

“As the owner/operator of a business, I don’t think you should have any more than three to five major priorities that you’re working on at any given time,” he noted. “The more time you find yourself doing things that are outside of those three to five priorities, that’s a significant opportunity cost, in my view, so maybe it’s time to get somebody else to do the things that aren’t as critical.”

What tasks lend themselves to help?

There are a number of responsibilities that company owners could dole out to their staff members relatively easily.

Perhaps the most obvious is number crunching, which is definitely a necessarily evil in all businesses. Simply put, keeping track of numbers, whether the money is entering or leaving the company, is critical to ensure success. Luckily, there are plenty of programs that allow employees to do this, and it’s a task that can be taught and subsequently picked up quickly. Thanks to expanding technology, this responsibility is nearly automated at this point.

Especially when sensitive information is being considered, it’s always important to place this task on individuals the owner can trust.




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