A consultant who does post merger integration work contacted me recently. He forwarded a long article about business owners trying to do too much and the need for delegating responsibility. The article was focused on the need for balancing responsibilities across the organization to grow a business. There is another reason to delegate responsibility, you must do it if you are going sell your company.
We have a couple of clients right now who are hard to reach. They are working very very hard and certainly trying to sell their companies isn’t making their lives any easier. The problem is that at this stage they may not be doing either job very well because they don’t have enough time for either their regular work or selling their company.
What’s the answer? Delegate. Why is this so critical? It is generally the only way your company can get any scale. Think about it, even Steve Jobs, a famous micro manager, isn’t involved in every decision at Apple. There are only 24 hours in a day and you can’t have everything cross your desk. As the leader of your company you need to focus on strategy and big tactical issues and let the other stuff go to your employees.
The other less obvious reason to delegate responsibility is to prepare to sell your company. Selling your company is like having a second job, so you need the time to dedicate to the process. You will be busy with your advisor and prospective buyers and gathering data. Buyers can see it quickly when researching a company. An owner who isn’t responsive during the sales process causes a red flag to go up. If the owner is too busy then the organization is not going to function without him. It is an easy way to chase away buyers.
Start today. With the economy soft, this is a great time to get you and your employees used to taking on more responsibility and authority. For many, workloads are a little lighter now so pushing down some decision making may be easier then during very busy periods. The sooner the better so your company is a smooth running machine before you go to market.
You may also be pleasantly surprised that now you have the time to plot out the strategic path that will allow you to grow. Nothing makes your company look better to buyers than growth in sales and earnings.
Want to learn more? I’ve organized and categorized my blog posts into a free online guide: www.sellbusinessguide.com