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Starting a business is sort of like getting a job that requires you to run every department of the organization.

As the owner of a new business, you wear all the hats.

Wearing all the hats means you step into just about every role across the business. You are the founder and the sales, HR, and marketing manager. You manage payroll and accounting and make the legal decisions.

You do a little bit of a lot of things, and this can be a positive — until it becomes a negative.

The Problem with Wearing All the Hats

Many business owners start a company because they have specific expertise. For example, a hairstylist may open a salon, or a designer may launch a business selling t-shirts with their custom designs.

These business owners have a special talent, skillset, or expertise. But as the founder of their company, they also end up taking on tasks they don’t have experience or expertise in.

Jumping around from role to role can be necessary and even valuable at first. You can learn how each department in your business operates. But at some point, you need to take off a few of the hats, because trying to do it all can lead to a variety of problems.

When you try to do it all, you can:

  • Create financial errors and cash flow problems
  • Fail to create legal protections and lead to legal liabilities
  • Waste time working in the wrong areas of your business
  • Slow down progress and growth
  • Fail to attract and retain talent
  • Fail to attract investments or acquisitions
  • Create more and more work for yourself without making any progress

If you are still doing it all at your business, let’s consider what roles you should and shouldn’t do if you want to grow your business.

What You Should & Shouldn’t Do as a Business Owner

Consider all of the roles and tasks required to run a small business. As you go through the task lists, consider which tasks you should or shouldn’t be doing.

The tasks you should be doing are:

  • Aligned with your skills and expertise
  • Tasks you enjoy
  • Integral for company growth
  • In support of team members so can do their jobs effectively

The tasks you should not be doing are:

  • Not aligned with your skills and expertise
  • Tasks you don’t enjoy
  • Require a lot of time
  • Require following complex laws or guidelines
  • Leave you open to legal liability

The types of hats a business owner should and shouldn’t wear will be different for everyone as business owners have unique skill sets, interests, and goals. For example, a lawyer who opens a law firm might be able to manage their legal tasks, but a florist will likely want to hire an attorney to manage their contracts for their business. Choose what’s right for you.

60+ Small Business Tasks

There is a lot to do in a small business — and you don’t have to do it all (and you shouldn’t). Go through this list and make a note of what you should outsource or assign to a full-time or part-time team member.


Production tasks are related to anything that needs to be done to create the product or deliver the service a business offers.

  • Creating output
  • Managing output
  • Delivering output

Office Manager

An office manager is responsible for creating the workplace environment, maintaining the workspace, and ensuring that team members have what they need to produce their work.

  • Managing office supplies
  • Coordinating cleaning and maintenance
  • Managing record-keeping systems
  • Managing calendars and conference spaces
  • Ensuring office safety
  • Coordinating emergency management

Human Resources

The human resources department is responsible for managing employees.

  • Managing employee data
  • Onboarding and offboarding
  • Managing compensation and benefits administration
  • Addressing employee concerns and issues
  • Conducting performance review processes
  • Conducting exit interviews


The hiring process is a part of human resources needed if you are growing or looking for new team members.

  • Creating job postings
  • Interviewing candidates
  • Conducting background checks
  • Checking references
  • Negotiating job specifications


IT tasks include managing and monitoring the technology that runs a company.

  • Maintaining servers, networks, and storage devices
  • Procuring IT products
  • Setting up computers and new software
  • Managing email systems
  • Installing antivirus and firewall software
  • Providing help desk support

Customer Service

Customer service tasks are activities that involve keeping customers happy, offering support, and building customer loyalty.

  • Responding to customer inquiries
  • Managing order processing
  • Resolving customer complaints
  • Managing returns and exchanges
  • Maintaining customer records
  • Managing customer feedback
  • Providing customer support


Financial tasks include action items categorized as bookkeeping, accounting, and CFO tasks.

  • Setting up financial systems
  • Maintaining financial records
  • Recording income and expense transactions
  • Reconciling bank statements
  • Paying your vendors timely and collecting payments from customer
  • Managing credit cards
  • Generating financial reports
  • Managing cash flow
  • Financial forecasting
  • Budgeting
  • Tax planning and filing
  • Monitoring KPIs
  • Managing payroll

Related: The 8 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Accounting


Marketing tasks promote your brand and showcase what you do and how you help customers.

  • Managing communications and branding
  • Managing websites and digital presence
  • Managing social media
  • Email marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Graphic design

Related: How Much Should Your Business Spend on Marketing? 9 Questions to Consider


Sales tasks drive revenue by moving interested prospects into paying customers.

  • Prospecting
  • Qualifying and following up with leads
  • Conducting demos
  • Submitting proposals
  • Negotiating deals
  • Managing existing accounts


Legal tasks ensure that a business follows local, state, and federal guidelines and protect the company (and its employees) from liability.

  • Business entity formation
  • Managing business licenses and permits
  • Creating contracts and agreements
  • Ensuring employee law compliance
  • Ensuring tax compliance
  • Ensuring data and privacy compliance


Leadership tasks involve creating the plans that drive the company forward and increase profit and revenue.

  • Creating the strategic company plan, vision, and mission
  • Defining long-term goals and objectives
  • Identifying marketing opportunities
  • Creating new products and services
  • Managing teams and delegating tasks
  • Creating partnerships and business development opportunities

Get Support to Run Your Business

As you went through this list, you probably identified some tasks you should and should NOT be doing.

For low- to mid-level tasks, consider if you need full-time, part-time, or contract support. For high-level tasks, look for fractional experts who can support you on a needs basis.

Remember: You don’t need to wear all the hats in your business. 

Your business will be stronger and run more efficiently and effectively when you begin to delegate tasks.

If you’re ready to delegate important financial tasks related to bookkeeping, accounting, and CFO roles, let’s talk. CFO2U offers fractional back office accounting services that allow you to take off the finance hat — and get back to the tasks you SHOULD be doing in your business.

See how we can help. Learn more about our monthly accounting and bookkeeping services, and schedule a discovery call with our team today.

Susan Nieland