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How to break the micromanaging cycle

As an accountant and a virtual CFO, I work with a lot of small business owners and one of the most common mistakes they are often guilty of is micromanaging their team and working ‘in’ the business rather than ‘on’ the business.

These owners tend to get stuck in the “I’m the only one that can do the job properly” mindset. As a result they don’t take a step back and give themselves any objectivity on the performance of the business. This would allow them to be more strategically-focused so they can concentrate on growing the business and taking advantage of new opportunities.

Let me give you an example. A business owner I know had a lifelong dream of owning and running a golf driving range. After much hard work and dedication, he made his dream come true and built a profitable business.

However, he became too focused on the day-to-day running of the business, tended to micromanage and did not allow his management team to take responsibility for their roles. As a result he could never really focus on the business strategy and he missed out on many opportunities that would’ve enabled him to grow the business even further.

It can be hard to take a step back and trust other people to run the day-to-day aspects of your business. However, it is rare to hear of a successful company run by a sole entrepreneur. Take Richard Branson for example. Many people have the perception that he single-handedly runs the Virgin empire. The reality is he has a strong management team that has worked with him over many years helping him make decisions to run the business.

The best way to ensure you build a winning management team is to bring in experienced people with varied skill sets. For instance if as an owner you are vision-focused, bring on board managers who are process-focused and/or are creative allowing you to segment certain roles and responsibilities depending on their strengths.

It’s also important to have clearly defined roles for your managers and empower them to take responsibility. Setting key performance indicators is an effective way of establishing accountability for a management team and creating a positive environment focused on achievement and performance.

Building and empowering your management team will provide you, as a business owner, an opportunity to focus on the bigger picture allowing you to steer your business towards success rather than getting bogged down in the day-to-day grind.

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Michael Derin

Michael Derin

Michael Derin is the founder and managing director of accountancy firm <a href="http://www.azuregroup.com.au">Azure Group</a>. Derin is passionate about helping small and medium-sized businesses reach their financial and business objectives and achieve success. He has developed sophisticated ways in which SMEs can compete effectively with larger organisations that have more resources. Each fortnight he can be seen on Sky Business News’ Trading Day program.

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