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Do you need to know everything about your small business?

By Samantha Garner | February 22, 2014

Depending on the size of your small business, you might have a few employees you hired to take over certain tasks. Some of your employees may even be specialists in one certain field, like accounting or investor relations – a field you might not know much about. Do you ever feel like you should know more about what they do?

Should you know everything that goes on in your business?

Not necessarily. You hired these employees because you were confident in their knowledge and their ability to think critically and come to educated decisions. You probably saw that your business was growing, and needed help in a specific area. You understood two very important things: 1) You can’t do everything yourself in a growing small business; and 2) Even if you could, certain things are beyond your skill level.

You don’t have to understand every aspect of your business, but the important thing is that you have faith in the skills of your employees and resist the urge to micromanage.

How to manage and oversee employees without being controlling

  • Consult trusted business advisors if you’re in doubt about an employee’s performance or skill set. Ideally, this would be someone whose experience aligns with that of the employee in question.
  • Even if you don’t understand some of the more technical aspects of your employees’ roles, you’re still the one in charge. Have regular one-on-one meetings to make sure you and your employee are on the same page.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask when you need clarification. It won’t make your employees think less of you. It’ll show you care about what they’re doing. It’ll also help you understand the way your business works.
  • Educate yourself about the field your employee specializes in. Talk to people in your network, take a course – even ask your employee what they love about what they do. You don’t have to be an expert, but even a little knowledge will go a long way to understanding a part of your business you may be unfamiliar with.
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