Sink Handle Podcast Ep 12

Episode # 12 - Delegate, Not Abdicate

I have encouraged you to delegate things in your business to help get more efficient. But, I don’t want to see you abdicate those responsibilities to someone else.  You are the leader, you need to know what’s going on in your business.

So now that we’ve talked about finances, focus, mindset, growth, and all of those amazing things, this week’s episode focuses on how to effectively delegate in your business while maintaining the appropriate level of control.  I discuss how business owners can seemingly “delegate” but actually abdicate essential business tasks that can turn into a complete nightmare and how to avoid that downright scary path altogether.  


Topics Covered:

  • Establishing clear expectations and scope for your team
  • The importance of SOPs and ownership of work
  • Being intentional about your business decisions

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Episode 12. We have been focusing lately on getting help if you need it to grow your business, and also protecting your business from chaos, right, all of the crazy apocalypse happening, jobs being lost businesses created different kinds of businesses not being able to open all of those things. It's just a kind of crazy world out there right now. So we've been really focused in the last couple weeks on getting the help we need the tools, the systems, maybe even hiring some help in the form of people, actual people.


And today I want to warn about some of the pitfalls of what happens when we give too much of the control in our business away. And that's so easy to do, especially when you're overwhelmed and you just want someone to help. So I want you to really remember, you are the boss, right? This is your gig. This is your business. You are the leader.


Don't forget that. That's the first thing I want you to remember.


Don't forget that. Harry Truman, the whole, the buck stops here thing that is true. You are the leader and you need to lead. And I know that that can be so hard when you will feel overwhelmed. I remember, I mean, in my own business, I don't have it as much. But I do remember having a tiny baby and not knowing what to do and having to go to work and all the craziness, that massive overwhelm when you just want someone else to take care of something, but I and I get it. But I don't want you to give away so much control. I want you to be the leader. you're meant to be the owner of this business. You're the visionary, you're the person who's going to say where this business is going. I don't want you to forget that part.


I see too many people giving control of their businesses over to other people, either in desperation or because they don't know. A lot of people are like, I don't know what to do with my books here. Can you just fix this?


There's a lot of that kind of thing. Like I just need you to do it because I don't know how to do it. But I want you to understand that. Yes, they're experts and they should advise you, but you should still be making the decisions and know what's going on. What are they going to do that kind of thing. The reason for all of this is because I've seen so many people, abdicate their businesses, instead of delegate their businesses. When you delegate, you know what's going on, you give the work to certain people, you check in, you make sure the work is done, whatever the consequences of that are, what's going on, managing it, abdicating is just giving it away. Not thinking about it and hoping like hell, that it's all taken care of. And I understand why you'd want to do that. But that's not the way you're going to run your business effectively. Even if that person is the most trusted person ever. Because what happens if something happened to that person, none of this has to be malicious. When people don't show up or they don't do a thing or they they've let you down in some way. It doesn't have to be malicious. It could just be that they got sick. They could get into a car accident, the proverbial like if you get hit by a bus, right? So when you think of that person you think, oh god, what would I do without them? What would you do without them? What if they get sick? What if the real apocalypse this whole apocalypse of COVID, everyone getting sick and then being in the hospital on the on a ventilator like your whole business should not be tied to one person. Even if it's you, your business should have systems in place to fix this. So I want to go over some of these things, so that you're not abdicating control of your entire business away to other people.


Want you to be the leader here, abdicating everything makes a big mess that you then have to clean up and you have no idea what happened and in the middle of all that, you have really pissed off clients and that's not good for your reputation or you know, for them paying on time. Okay, so we want to delegate things. We want to hire people and delegate Not abdicate. The first thing I want you to think about. We talked about scope creep a couple weeks ago, that is important here, too, not just for when you have a relationship with a client, and you want to say, Okay, these are the things I provide. But I want you to remember that the people that work for you should have clear scope as to what they should be doing as well. Do they have clear job responsibilities? Is there a project they're working on? Should they... are there boundaries? Well, all of the things that we've been talking about for ourselves, it's really important to do with your team as well.


They're not going to do good work if they don't feel appreciated. And if they feel like they're being run ragged, because you're texting them at 2am, or all the other things, right. Clear scope, what is the project? When are we going to do it? How are we going to do it? And then boundaries of like, when do we work? How do we work? something that's really important, I think that a lot of people don't consider until it's too late and it gets messy: How do you break up? Is this a project At the end of it, what happens? Who gets the documentation? Is there a certain thing that has to happen for it to be over? And then how do you get paid? Or how do you pay them? These are the different things, whatever you want in your business with your clients, the people that you hire and bring on to help you are going to want the same things. How do you get paid is it all lump sum in the beginning, that's a lot of people I know where some people are 50% and 50%. When something's delivered, or there's all those different things, maybe it's a retainer model where it's every month that needs to be clear,  then they can be very helpful. Everyone knows what's expected of them. Next, a lot of these are going to sound a little familiar because they come up over and over again as really important things SOPs and system setup. So vital to protect not only your business from only one person knowing how to do anything and then them not being there anymore. But also, so that if something does happen, other people can jump in, right? Like if I have my right hand person who knows how to do everything, but there are systems and SOPs, so that if she gets sick, or she, you know, something happens, she disappears. Look, people disappear, right? People flake all the time in lots of situations in the world. And I hope that never happens to you. But if it does, I don't want your business to have problems because of it. So if you knew that she gets sick, and you could go in to your system into your Drive folder where all your SOPs are, and you could pull out the thing that says pay the rent, or whatever the thing is, it's really important that you have to get done. You pull it up, you're like, Alright, I got this, I can figure it out. And you can muddle through. That's the importance of systems in this scenario. You can delegate to people, but not abdicate all of your knowledge away so that when something happens, you don't know how to run your own business anymore. We want to have redundancies as well so that it's not just one person Who knows how to do it.


But maybe a few people, maybe you just know what the backup or you know where all the systems are. There's videos, there's SOPs, that kind of thing. This is another really big thing that I didn't know was a thing until I got into online business. Because when you're in corporate, like, the Lehman brothers just owned everything, right? They owned our emails and our files everything. When you're online, especially if you're using independent contractors who have their own businesses. They provide a service and maybe they use software and all that. You need to know who owns everything. That seems silly. But when I saw this online, once, I thought, there's no way this could be possible. And then I've read the comments. And there is like, a bunch of people I knew that were like, Oh, yeah, I've seen this a lot. Whoever the person the subcontractor was, they were not, let's say aboveboard. They set up someone's QuickBooks on their account, and then never give them the passwords. So this business owner is letting them do their books and everything's running well. And then they decided they had grown and they were going to move on to somebody else. And that person who had control over their entire history financially decided that they weren't going to give it to them. And because everything was on this person's account and not the business owners account, it was quite a big deal. The business owner didn't have control over their own financial books. They didn't even technically own the account. That subcontractor owned the books, and then just charge the fee to the business owner. It was a big struggle.


And when there can be some people that are not so nice, they can say, well, you have to pay me a lot more money to get your books. Same thing with files, right, like you're working on spreadsheets and things like that. Now if you are working in just like a Gmail account, a regular gmail account and your Drive thing. And you asked them to create a spreadsheet for you, and they create it in their personal Gmail account. They own it. Even if it's yours, you've paid for it. Now legally, I'm sure you could go and get a lawyer to get that spreadsheet back. It's an enormous expense to go fight all this legally so you can you can argue who owns what on all this stuff, but you don't have access to it.


And your business depends on these spreadsheets, let's say it's a whole water system. And this person has it on their their personal email, you can't get it back. They can just literally unshare from you and that's it, it's gone. I want you to remember the things that you should own for your company need to be under the company's jurisdiction. That is why I suggested last week with the favorite tools going and getting a G Suite account that's six bucks a month is so such such a good deal. So when you go in for your $6 a month, I have mine, my own email under Reynolds OBM and then all of my team members Have a you know, Mary and Sue at Reynolds OBM. When they leave, that is all under my company's domain, they leave, I can shut off their access, and all of the files that they've created under that email under my domain, then revert back to me. I don't have to have to worry about, I don't have to worry about them, you know, just taking things and leaving. Now I have a great team, I would never even worry about that with them. Right. I mean, that's we all think most of the time these are instances where people took advantage of others that didn't know what they were doing. I want you to be aware of them. I want you to own your things. So when you have a QuickBooks account, you sign up for it, you pay for it, it's in your name, you have access. So I'm not going to just give them my passwords, everything. You create a user account for them and then you can undo it when they leave. People get to leave you know, it's That's totally fine. I'm not saying this has to be a malicious thing. I'm saying that, We just want to make it easy to off board people as well. And I think a lot of people, especially when they're new, do not think about that. They don't think about how you break up, how you get your stuff, what happens there, and it gets really, really messy. So knowing these things, and that's part of your system, you can have an onboarding system and an onboarding system for your team. You should have these things, right. I want you to think through the whole process. I think a lot of us are so overwhelmed when we get to the point where we're getting help, because we should have gotten help like six months ago, but we didn't because it was scary, or you had something else going on, or you don't have the cash or whatever the reason is, right? You're like I should have totally hired someone six months ago, and now I'm doing it. And now I'm so overworked. And I don't have time to write this whole system out. I don't have time to figure this out. So I'm just gonna hire someone that was recommended to me and hope to God it all goes well. I think that's where a lot of us end up. I get it but Little thought beforehand, leads me into my last point. I want you to make decisions in your business. I don't want you to let life happen to you. Because this is where some people let life happen to them. They don't deal with the things they need to deal with. They don't lead. They deal. And then when things happen, they go, Oh, it's not my fault that this is a disaster. It's not my fault. But it is. You are the Harry Truman here. The buck stops here, you are the leader. You need to make the decisions. Now you can ask for help. Obviously.  I don't know how to do everything I don't know how to do this podcast. That's my my go to example these days, but I don't know how to do these things. I asked for help. But I don't just give it away and then never check back in.


I want you to consciously make decisions. I want you to say this is what we're going to do. This is what we're going to hire and it's not going to be perfect. And you're We're gonna learn, you're going to learn either good things or bad things. But I wanted to just come on here today and kind of give you some ideas of like things to watch out for things I don't want you get hung up on, I want you to do so well in your business. I want this COVID thing to be a distant memory. And I want you to come out of this stronger and better and streamlined and making money and taking care of your people, and happy what you do all the things you want to do. And these things will make it easier. same things over and over again, right scope, no scope creep, getting clear on what you want, getting clear what you're gonna do. And then systems, it's the same thing. And we'll probably have the same conversation 1000 times in different ways, because those are the basics here. make decisions as the business leader, set up the system, and then let the people help you.  So I don't want you to think that this is a negative. Oh, everyone's going to screw you over. Kinda podcast. That's not at all, I think the vast, vast majority of people are going to take care of you. And I know from my point of view as the service provider for so long for different businesses, I am so invested in making sure that our business is growing and I'm trying so hard to keep that going. I want to help them grow their businesses. And I think the vast majority of service providers, especially in the online world, like this, or that kind of person, right, but these are a couple things to think about. So that you're not like, holy crap, this is a mess, because no one wants to do that.


Okay, everyone, get out there and make some decisions, get some help, but just protect yourself. I'll see you next week.