As a small business owner, you likely wear a lot of hats and put a lot of hours into your business. However, you can’t sustain that forever, especially as you grow.
I define a business as a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you.
This means if you want to run a truly successful enterprise, you can’t work in your business forever; you have to reach the point where you can work on it instead.
It may surprise you, but this all starts with a seemingly simple task: writing your own job description.
That’s why I’m going to show you how to write your own job description so you can get clear on what you need to be doing and what you can pass off to someone else. I’ll also teach you the key to achieving more with less effort.
Why You NEED a Job Description as a Business Owner
I know what you’re thinking: “Do I really need to do this?” Or maybe, “I’m too busy for this and I already know what I do every day.”
But to be perfectly blunt, that kind of thinking is going to limit not only your business’s potential but also your own potential as the owner.
You see, in order to develop a business that works without you and eventually be able to step away from the many jobs you’re doing now, you have to first understand what your role as a business owner actually is.
Having a clear vision on what your role as a business owner is (or should be) is incredibly helpful for many reason, but here are my top three favorites.
1. It Helps You Delegate
When you understand your current role and the role you want to take on in your business, you can eventually replace yourself and scale.
As I’ll show you later in this post, being able to understand what you are best contributions are to the company with help you understand where your expertise is really needed – and where it’s not.
Often, just because you can do it, doesn’t you should be doing it.
2. It Helps You Systemize
Have you ever caught yourself saying “If you want the job done right, do it yourself”?
I used to think this way too. But then I discovered the magic of systems. Now, I say, “if you want the job done right, put the proper system in place.”
A SYSTEM is something that Saves You Time, Energy, and Money.
If you want to achieve something massive, you can’t do all the little jobs that end up taking up big time. Systemization, though, can allow you to scale.
In fact, you need systems in place and you need people in place to run the systems in order to scale.
When you take the time to develop systems and hire the right people to run those systems, you can ensure the job is done right every time and make space in your schedule for larger priorities.
3. It Helps You Prioritize
But before you can develop the systems to replace the little jobs and save you time, you have to know what it is you’re spending all your time doing.
This is why you need a job description.
When you learn how to write a job description for your own job, you will have a clearer picture of what you are spending most of your time on. Then, you can define what it is you’re going to work to do and set out to systematize the rest.
Until you know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, though, you can’t develop the systems. So, if you haven’t given thought to the overall vision for your business and its mission, go back to the beginning.
Develop your vision and mission statement before you do anything else—this is the start of any great business and any business that hopes to scale.
How To Write Your Own Job Description
There are a few simple steps you can take to learn how to write your own job description as a small business owner.
Make a List of Your Tasks
The first step is pretty straightforward. As you go about your day, make a list of the routine tasks you do and how often you do them.
Track everything from responding to emails and hosting meetings to organizing your calendar, reviewing expenses, and fielding questions from your team.
You may be surprised at how much of your time is consumed by things that you don’t actually want to do. Albeit frustrating, this is important to realize and key to creating a job description for the job you want.
Analyze and Refine Your List
Next, I want you to take a good hard look at this list and ask yourself a couple of things:
- Do I like doing this task?
- Am I truly the best person to be taking the lead here?
- Is it feasible for someone else to take ownership of this task?
The goal of this step is to identify the responsibilities you don’t want or need and get them off of your plate.
Describe the Role You Want
And then finally, describe the role you eventually want to have in your business, and what responsibilities you want to own.
This will set the foundation for the tasks you can systematize or pass off and the tasks you want control over.
This won’t happen tomorrow, and likely won’t happen for a while, especially if you’re running a one-man operation or a small team, but identifying your future role will help you hire people to take over the hats you can’t or don’t want to wear.
Plus, it will shift your mindset to working toward this position and help you set and accomplish goals to get there.
Elements of a Perfect Job Description
Now, every great job description has a few consistent elements. To ensure yours hits all the right points, I’ve broken it down into four parts.
Use these as checkboxes as you write your own job description, for both your current role and the role you want, and alter them as necessary when you want your role to change.
Your job description should start with a summary of your position. How does what you do support your business goals?
Remove yourself from the role for a moment and describe the ideal person for the job; what it is they do, and how does their role fit into the overall vision for the company?
Now you will get into the tasks that you are responsible for. Think of tasks you need to accomplish on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis, to meet the company’s goals and move toward your vision.
- What would be regularly expected of someone else in this job?
- Are there any unique roles that you take on that wouldn’t typically fall under this job title?
Be detailed and thorough to give you, and anyone replacing you or some of your duties, as much clarity as possible.
It’s also important to include under responsibilities what it looks like when your job is done successfully. On what basis is your performance measured? Having concrete Key performance indicators (KPIs) will be extremely beneficial down the line when you need to hire the right person to replace you and evaluate their performance.
If you were hiring someone for your job, what qualifications would they need?
List any special training, technical skills, education, certifications, and experience they should have in order to be able to perform this job exceptionally.
Finally, you need to include competencies to complete your job description.
- What are the skills required to do the job successfully?
- Are there certain personality traits that someone in this role needs?
Keep this list to must-have or strongly preferred competencies.
These components of your job description will not only help you get clear on what it is you want to be doing on a day-to-day basis but also help you find someone to replace you when the time is right.
This doesn’t mean you’ll kick yourself out of the business. No, it means you’ll be able to step away from the day-to-day activities that take up your time and free up space to focus on the business from a larger point of view.
Writing your own job description is a critical step to eventually scaling your business and reaching this point, but your own role isn’t the only job you need to describe.
You should also use the framework above to write job descriptions for every role in your company. If you want your people to support your goals and help scale your business, this is crucial.
When you provide clarity around what the job is, how it is measured, and how it fits into the organization, your people will perform better and your business will move in the right direction.
This starts by creating an organizational chart.
Create an Organizational Chart
This describes how your people fit into your organization and how they help you accomplish your mission. Begin by creating an organization chart that depicts what your organization looks like now.
Then, create one for the future. This needs to include every employee you think you will need at that given time and a detailed job description of what each one will do.
When you have this future organization chart in place and future roles outlined, you will know how many people you need to reach your goals and be able to hire the right people to do so. Remember, in order to get the right people, you have to run the right business and be the right leader.
Start Scaling Your Business
Once you have accomplished these tasks, you have already completed the first six steps to scaling your business. This means you are leveraging systems to produce more output with less effort. When you do this, you will be well on your way to creating a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you.
If you’re not sure you’re at the point in your business where you can begin hiring a bigger team, or phase out your role, that’s ok. You will get there. Discover what step you are ready for by taking my free Entrepreneur Quiz. When you know where you’re at, you can create goals that will get you where you want to go.