IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

SOP: Wearing Three Fewer Hats

We always talk about the small business owner wearing multiple hats. As you grow, you need to give up some of those duties. If you don't, then you (the owner) become the choke point for everything in your business.

I have often given the advice that your first hire should be an administrative assistant rather than a technician. Today I posted a video to explain some details on this.

Three of the "busiest" hats you wear can be grouped together as the "Front Office Staff."

- Administrative Assistant
- Bookkeeper
- Office Manager

The reason for this is simple. Those roles consist of very important tasks that have to be done by someone. And when a business is very small, that someone is naturally the owner. The tasks can be as simple as copying, filing, and entering bills into QuickBooks.

All those things have to be done. But you're not going to pay a technician to do them. So they end up being taken care of by the owner. That's a huge waste of time for the owner. Your time is too valuable to spend it dealing with the security company or balancing the checkbook.

Eventually, as you grow, you'll end up hiring three people to fill these three roles. But you can certainly start out hiring ONE person to take on these three chores. You will probably give them the title of Office Manager or Bookkeeper.

When your company is very small, all three roles can be handled by one person. As you grow, you'll naturally hire others to take over the various roles.


About the Author

Karl W. Palachuk, is a technology consultant, author, speaker, trainer, and coach. He is the author of fifteen books. He has built several successful businesses, including two managed services companies. His books include Managed Services in a Month and The Network Documentation Workbook. Karl is a frequent trainer and speaker in the SMB Community. His popular blog can be found at He has more than twenty years experience as an I.T. professional and serves on advisory panels for several hardware and software companies.

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