Home Business Insights 5 Things You Should Never Delegate As A Small Business Owner

To inspire your employees and ensure your company’s growth, there are some critical leadership tasks you should always handle yourself.

The other day, I was heading out to Atlanta with two of my employees. We were chatting throughout the trip, and something they brought up really got me thinking.

“Hey, Tommy—you know what we admire most about you?”

“What?”

“Well, the fact that you show up to work every single day. We know some entrepreneurs don’t do the same, and we respect you more for that.”

That is true: At my business, I try to be one of the first to arrive at the office, and the last to leave. It’s all about leading by example. The truth is, if you want your employees to love your business, you have to show them that you are the first to care.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you need to do everything by yourself. Delegating and building systems are important, but here’s what I realized after more than two decades of being an entrepreneur: There are just some things you never delegate as a leader.

Here are the top five things you should always do, as the head of your business:

1. Sell Your Vision

If the only time you mention your vision is during those annual speeches, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, you should talk about your vision on a daily basis, and rally your team to help you turn that vision into a reality.

For example, I reach out to my employees regularly for meet-ups over lunch, or even just a quick phone call. All you have to say is, “This is where we are going, and this is how you matter.” Even a few minutes of your time is enough to fire people up to do their best work for you.

2. Invest In Your Company’s Culture

A business’ success depends on whether its employees are happy, whether their skills are being utilized, and whether they’re empowered to grow and learn. That means you want to constantly think about your culture: how to hire the best people, how to empower your teams, how to give your teams a great working environment, and so on.

One of my HR employees recently suggested that I buy a more comfortable office chair for her. I thought it was a great idea—so I did it, and also bought the same chair for everyone else in the business! Now, I’m not asking you to spend a fortune. A small bit of appreciation, such as a $20 gift card, goes a long way.

3. Champion Hiring Decisions

If your business is rapidly growing, it might be hard for you to sit in on every hiring interview. But you should absolutely make time if you can, because the right or wrong people will decide your business’ fate. (And I’d argue that, yes, you can definitely make time. If Elon Musk—who runs four companies—can find the time to interview every SpaceX candidate, what excuse do you have?)

In growing my business, and ensuring that we hire only the best customer-facing employees, I’ve personally interviewed hundreds of home service technicians. If you’re really squeezed for time, make sure you at least interview the candidates for the most important positions in your business.

4. Step Up During Crises

When hard times come, be the one in the front row. Never delegate firefighting to your senior management, or worse, get a PR person to step in and communicate with the public. There will be haters, but at the very least, you will gain respect for owning up to your business’ mistakes.

When an Airbnb host’s home was trashed by irresponsible guests, CEO Brian Chesky wrote a sincere letter apologizing to her, and also extended a $50,000 property guarantee to protect her and other hosts from property damages. Airbnb didn’t tank after that one mistake—far from it—they course-corrected, moved on, and have been a phenomenal success ever since. In short, when you have a business crisis, get everyone in the room, ask for their opinions, but be 100% responsible for the tough decisions.

5. Keep On Hustling

At the end of the day, you want to be working the hardest in your business. When you’re down in the trenches with your team, working your ass off, they will appreciate it.

As a leader, recognize that you have huge influence. If you only arrive at your office just in time for lunch, and don’t bother to work closely with your team, you can bet that even your best-performing employees will start letting their standards slide. On the other hand, if you show your team that you’re all in, they’ll adopt the same attitude, and give 100% to your business.

Tommy Mello started A1Garage with $50,000 in business debt and today he is about to cross the $30 million mark in revenue with over 200 employees in nine states. Tommy’s advice has been featured in top publications like Forbes, The Huffington Post and Inc. He also shares what he’s learned at HomeServiceExpert.com to help fellow entrepreneurs scale their businesses.

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