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Delegation Must Be A Key Part Of Your Growth Strategy

Written by: Greg Weiss

As a business founder, you’ve spent years carefully nurturing your enterprise from the first spark of an idea all the way to where you are now. If you’re anything like most owners, your business isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life. You know every single facet of your work, and you know exactly how you want things to be done.

However, you’ve grown to the point at which you can’t do everything personally, and now you’re at a plateau. If the business is to grow further, you’re not going to be able to have full oversight, and systems are going to have to be put in place.

That can be a scary moment. You might be concerned about whether your personal high standards can be delivered by new staff. Or maybe you’ve got a good team and have tried briefing them on a project, but by the time you’ve called a meeting and explained the objectives you feel like it would have been quicker to have just done it for the client yourself.

You’re not alone.

Hiring A New Account Manager Is Not A Growth Strategy

Many founder-owners like to have personal relationships with each of their clients. Some of those relationships will have been nurtured over many years. But as business expands you’ll find yourself stretched further and further, giving up personal time to make sure each client gets the gold star treatment and your staff aren’t called upon to work out of hours. That’s unsustainable.

It’s also not good for staff morale. Your employees will want to show you what they’re capable of. If they’re not given that chance and the opportunity to grow in their role, they will quickly become despondent.

Often people assume that the solution is simply to hand off some accounts to their account managers, but that strategy is beset with pitfalls.

For a start, it may feel like a slight to the client, who almost always wants to deal with the ‘big boss’, i.e. you. I’ve witnessed those raised eyebrows when a new account manager is introduced – the unspoken message is always clear: ‘We don’t want a new person. Our relationship is with you.’

It can also be a problematic strategy from your side of the fence. If your account manager or managers are relatively inexperienced you may find yourself struggling to juggle the demands of clients with the need to train your staff – and then we’re back to: ‘It would have been quicker to do it myself.’

‘Delegation’ Is More Than Handing Off Tasks

As with everything worthwhile in life, growing your business’s capacity won’t be achieved with one quick fix solution. Your business is as individual as you are, and so there are multiple answers to this problem. Knowing which ones to use requires taking a step back and asking a few questions.

These will vary depending upon your specific situation, but some examples might be:

  • What account management systems do you have in place?
  • How are these structured within your business?
  • How are KPIs set?
  • What metrics are being recorded to ensure they are achieved?
  • If you have to be client facing as the owner, how are you delegating the work upon your return to the office?

Knowing the best answers to these questions can be very difficult if you’re in the thick of it, especially if you’re used to handling your process yourself. 

For this reason, there are two fundamental questions that must be addressed:

  • Do you have someone in your organisation asking these questions of the business?
  • Do you have someone who can answer these questions inside the business and who can operationally adjust the flow of work to answer them?

As an entrepreneur who has grown a successful business, you are clearly great at what you do. Your talent lies in working alongside clients to deliver value, and in bringing in new business.

Your time, then, will be wasted if you hide yourself away to work on KPIs, systems and training. What you need is a person alongside you who can trust with the crucial task of integrating your business’s operations, giving you the time and space to get on with the equally crucial task of delivering excellent value for your clients.

What you need is a business soulmate.

Greg Weiss

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Greg authored 3 practical Career Books, and 1 Book helping Visionary leaders scale their businesses. He is one of Australia’s most experienced HR consultants and leading career coaches. He is the founder and owner of Soulidify and Career365. As an entrepreneur/business owner, Greg has experienced first-hand the joys and frustrations of starting and growing one’s own business.

You can find him on LinkedIn or Linktree.