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What responsibilities should you hand over to the president of your business?

What responsibilities should you hand over to the president of your business?


Business owners can face a continual stream of new challenges as their enterprises grow and change over time. What may start as a relatively small business venture that is manageable by the sole owner can one day be in need of additional management help.

When this happens, the owner must decide what responsibilities to hand over to other personnel. For example, internal legal counsel may be useful for some companies if the risk of litigation is of high concern.

The Houston Chronicle ran an article that outlined three areas often targeted as appropriate for a company president to oversee. These include the development of company strategies. Help to clarify a vision and goal with appropriate plans to execute those can be an ideal use of a business president. Such strategy and plans can be evolutionary and must be managed closely. As part of this, allowing the president to also oversee the performance of the business that maps to those goals is important.

Tracking financial results as well as costs and other factors that affect the ultimate bottom line is required in order to identify whether or not the stated goals are being met. It is also the way to identify problem areas and potential solutions. Public relations can have a direct and dramatic impact on a company’s ability to achieve its goals and should therefor also have input from the president for proper reputation management.

Just as important as identifying some key responsibilities that a company president should handle is identifying some responsibilities that should continue to remain in the hands of a business owner. Critical business conflicts can arise when this delineation is not called out and the National Federation of Independent Businesses suggests three key areas for which final decisions should continue to rest with owners.

Human resources or mentorship of critical employees may be best suited to the owner who really holds the vision the most closely to heart. Decisions that affect all aspects of the business should also be made ultimately by the founder or owner. Certainly a president will have information that should be taken into consideration but that person should not be the one to make the end choice in such a matter. To do so could find a business going a very different direction than intended by the person who ultimately has the responsibility.

Careful planning up front and honest discussions between owners and top management personnel is always important to help ensure smooth operation and avoid problems down the road.

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