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To delegate or Not to delegate


October 12, 2020 / fbcadmin

Kerrie Sheaves
Foundational Business Centre


Getting overwhelmed in business is common for most business owners.

How much do I need to know about everything before I can delegate?

As a small business owner, you wear a hundred hats fulfilling many of the important and not so important roles in your business – and that can get very overwhelming at times.

The desire to outsource and delegate some of that work is ever present. As you pick and choose what parts of your role could be handled by someone else it’s a challenge to get your head around all the acronyms, details and expertise required to make that happen without it failing apart.

Before you delegate, it’s important to understand how much you need to know and stay across, as the business owner, to be able to get a good return on the dollars and time you put into handing over responsibility for execution of those key tasks to another person or company.

If you don’t understand what a term or process is, ask for more detail or take a few minutes to google what it is and how it works, until you have a clear idea of what it is and how it will help your business. It can save a lot of pain later.

Here’s some tips to consider when delegating tasks in your business


It’s ok to delegate financial admin to a bookkeeper, and or admin person to do your day to day processing of accounts payable and accounts receivable. However as the business owner you will need to have a good understanding of your financials at a reporting and cash flow level. That will ensure you can make decisions and give direction to those resources.

Risk Management

It’s not the job of your insurance company to mitigate risks in your business. They insure your business on the presumption that you will put in place appropriate risk management strategies, like contracts and OHS procedures.

As the company owner/director you are liable. Therefore whilst you can get help from people and systems to manage your risk, at the end of the day you need to know that the risks are managed.


Always own the relationship with your customers, even if you use sales reps or sales admin people. Put in place a good simple CRM (sales and customer pipeline management tool) and communications process with your sales teams and customers, that includes you in the process at various points.

By doing that you’ll feel more comfortable letting other people manage the day to day work load without out loosing connection to your customers.


Do your homework, understand what the different marketing methods are and why each method or tool applies to your business needs. Learn how they fit into your business processes for service delivery and sales.

Find out how they work (at a high level at least), and what the full costs are, (eg setup fees, ad creation, reporting, platform/ad budget) so that you don’t get bombarded by experts sprouting acronyms and vague cost models.

IT & Telecoms

Make sure you understand what the business process logic and system map looks like for your business – including devices, applications, backups, cloud storage, email and hosting, mobiles and how they fit together and where your information is and how it moves between these devices.

Make friends with IT terminology and ask lots of questions so that you understand in plain English how it works at a high level and that it’s the right structure for your business now and in the next year.


Admin people should be using your template processes and staying consistent with your brand/culture. Everything they do needs to be visible to you (use shared drives to help you). You don’t need to be an expert in admin applications and programs.

However, you need to know how to do some of the basics (eg invoice a customer). You need the ability to find a document quickly, and transfer work to another person should that person leave or go on holidays.

A great way to start delegating is to get them to document and template your processes as you develop them, so you can keep delegating and systemizing over time.

So how much do I need to know about everything?

To avoid getting overwhelmed in business by all the things you need to be across, you need to know just enough about everything to be able to determine whether the service/person you are intending to delegate to has the right skills, products and approach to help you in your business growth.

That takes time and research and asking lots of questions. Which is why having a good business community around you that you can reach out to is so important.

When you’ve delegated, it’s your job to create chains of accountability that help you to continue to learn about that process and deepen your trust in that person/company as they are doing the work for you. Manage your business by delegation not abdication.

Need help to identify the areas of your business that can be improved? Give us a call today 1300 765 249 (1300 SML BIZ)


Photo by Pascal Swier on Unsplash

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