Response feature A13 India Abroad May 22, 2015
Which tasks should you take on yourself and which should you delegate? Check out these common business owner responsi- bilities and decide. As a business owner, you can spend almost half of your time dealing with administrative and non-revenue-generating tasks. Whether you're just starting out or reassessing your current role, think about the responsibilities you have to take on — or outsource — to be successfulful. Then decide which activities you should spend your time on and which you can delegate to someone else.
1. Writing a business plan The first duty is to develop a business plan: l What will you sell and who will your customers be? l How will you produce and distribute your products or services? l How will you make money? Answering these questions is just the beginning of business planning. As you develop your idea and create your business plan, be prepared to leverage your industry knowledge, do market research, and con- duct a competitive analysis. Should you outsource? This is a tough
task to outsource. As the business owner, you'll want to be part of the planning stage to ensure your strategy is sound. But if you need guidance, a business coach can help. 2. Managing finances You're in business to make money. That means financial management is critical for you to take on or assign to someone else. This involves managing daily finances — including accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll — as well as longer- term tasks, such as filing taxes. If you need extra capital to start or grow your business, you'll also have to identify potential lenders and submit financing applications. Should you outsource? Hiring a bookkeep- er or an accountant can help you maintain careful records, avoid mistakes, and identify opportunities to save money. A bookkeeper can help with recording transactions, paying bills, sending invoices, and completing other operational tasks. An accountant can advise on big-picture financial strategy.
3. Hiring employees If your business has employees other than you, human resources is another important duty that includes: l Interviewing and hiring new employees l Determining salary and benefits l Managing payroll l Handling complaints and dismissals Should you outsource? If you only have a
few employees, handling human resources yourself may be best. When your staff starts to grow, hiring an HR consultant or professional employer organization (PEO) can save you time and ensure your business meets all legal requirements related to labor.
4. Responding to customers In small businesses, responding to customer phone calls, emails, and questions often falls to the owner. You'll deal with product questions, quality concerns, and even delivery issues, depending on your product or service. Interacting with customers frequently can also help you under- stand their needs and direct your products or services accordingly. Should you outsource? Delegating cus- tomer service depends on your size and industry. If you run a small manufacturing firm, you may not need the extra help. But if you own a business centered on service — a restaurant or retail shop, for example — you might hire a customer service representative to help you manage the workload and guar- antee an excellent customer experience.
5. Creating marketing and advertising campaigns Any successful business has an established marketing and advertising strategy to con-
nect with customers and reach its goals. Popular approaches include: l Digital marketing and social media l Grassroots or word-of-mouth marketing l Traditional advertising, including print, radio, and television Should you outsource? If you know your customers and have conducted market research, you may feel comfortable handling your own advertising. If you're looking to expand your reach and target new markets, though, an expert may be helpful. (To be continued)
Information courtesy wellsfargoworks.com
Top duties of a business owner (Part I)