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Answer from our Guest Expert Peter Hupalo of Hupalo Ltd.


Handpick a Part-time Manager

To help you reach your business and personal goals, consider hiring someone you trust on a part-time basis. That way, you could slip away a day or two away a week from the business, and have someone you've handpicked on-site making those important decisions. Perhaps your current assistant manager would do an excellent job in this part-time role?

Chew Over Your Manager's Fate Well

You say you don't trust the manager to make competent decisions, and you question his leadership ability. This could mean so many things. For example, if his behavior is in any way inappropriate to a business setting, get rid of him. Likewise, send him down the road if his decisions might be in self-interest, and not the good of the business. However, if he has the business's interest at heart and is beneficial to your bottom line, perhaps you'd want to retain him as a salesperson and seek his advice on increasing your customer base. This is your call since only you know the exact details here. Just remember, as human resource author, Harvey Mackay, says, "It's the employees you should let go, but don't, who ultimately cause you problems."

Restructuring: A Small Business Fact of Life

As you mentioned, you only kept your manager on to help you learn the business. Once you know the business, you can simply eliminate the position and assume the duties yourself in an effort to improve profitability. That was the plan from the beginning, right? That's entirely fair. If you restructure other positions down the road, that's a different issue. It's important to note that you can always restructure your operations if you find you need people fulfilling other roles. No decision in how you operate is ever final, so don't let it feel like the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Regarding your excellent assistant manager, you might want to consider that some people are very good when given direction, but aren't self-starters. They do well as long as someone is telling them what to do. Yet, I'm a fan of giving someone a chance! So, I like your plan. Restructure, as you describe. Increasing profitability is always a good goal, which helps strengthen your business, and you might find that the assistant manager does fine as the new sales manager. To help get some feedback, you might want to survey your other employees to see how they perceive the leadership of the manager(s). In fairness, sometimes the more effective manager isn't as well-liked as someone who is more easy-going, but keeping this in mind, you may find their input useful.

Lastly, I'd like to suggest a few resources for you to consider. continued

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