Have you thought about delegating more to your staff, but you have been too scared about what might happen? Or maybe you have tried delegating to your team in the past only to have it fail miserably. If you fall into one of these buckets, then this episode is for you.
Our guest today is Tina White, and she shares with us how empowering decision making to your employees becomes the fuel to your future growth.
Start with small decisions to build confidence for you and your employees.
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ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Tina White, founder of Panoramic Academy, is a dynamic entrepreneur, accountant, and coach. With a CPA background and hands-on AC business experience, she offers a unique mix of financial expertise and practical insight. Her mission is to empower home service and technician-turned-business-owner sectors. Tina’s journey began with childhood curiosity in numbers, driving her to become a CPA. In 2010, she launched Panoramic Business Solutions, leveraging 20+ years of experience for business owners’ financial independence. Tina’s 2015 venture into an AC company gave her valuable entrepreneurial insights, transforming it into a prosperous enterprise. Her focus includes true profitability, finance, and systems.
ABOUT BIG SKY FRANCHISE TEAM:
This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):
Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week, we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team. And as we open today, I’m wondering if you have ever thought about delegating more things to your staff, but you’ve been too scared to do it because you’re not sure about what might happen. Or maybe you’ve tried delegating in the past, only to have it fail or not go nearly as it should have. Well, if you fall into one of these buckets, then this episode is for you. Our guest today is Tina White, and she shares with us how empowering decision-making to your employees becomes the fuel to your future growth.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:46):
Now, Tina is the Founder of Panoramic Academy. She’s a dynamic entrepreneur, accountant, and coach. She has a CPA background as well as hands-on business experience, and offers a unique mix of financial expertise and practical insight. Her mission is to empower home service and technician turnarounds, owner sectors. Tina’s journey began with a childhood curiosity in numbers, driving her to become a CPA. In 2010, she launched her Panoramic business solutions company, leveraging over 20 years of experience for business owners financial independence. Her focus includes true profitability, finance, and systems. You’re going to love this interview with Tina, so let’s go ahead and jump right into it.
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (01:29):
So, my name is Tina White and I’m the owner, founder of Panoramic Academy.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:35):
Wonderful. Well, just to get started, give us an overview. What’s Panoramic Academy and what do you all do?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (01:40):
So at Panoramic Academy, we are a financial consultant and trainer where we really help business owners kind of go beyond the tax deadlines. We really help them use their financial information to really answer that question, what’s working, what’s not working, why is it not working, and how do we fix it? So where we kind of position ourselves in more of that consultant and trainer where we partner in the detailed role with the bookkeepers, but then higher level with the business owners and leaders where they can actually use the information in the business.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:13):
What you talked through this higher level, some of these other things that are part of this process is this idea of delegation. And that was one of the things that really stood out to me about some of the things that you are doing and supporting your clients and have expertise in. So as a starting point, what are some of the myths business owners believe about delegating decisions to employees?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (02:36):
Well, when you’re thinking about delegating decisions, we need to separate that a little bit from delegating task. Because when you think about delegating a task, that’s really common in the job description where when the person starts, you hand over a checklist, maybe a procedure, training manuals, and you’re telling them how to do the job. And if they’ve got questions, they come to you. Well, delegating the decision is an advanced type of delegating, where you’re actually helping them better understand what is involved, why they’re doing it, how it fits into the big picture. So that way you can actually teach them when you run into a problem, when you have a special request, these are kind of like the guidelines to make that decision. So that way, they’re not texting you or emailing you every time they run into a problem.
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (03:28):
So when we first start thinking about that, one of the biggest myths that business owners kind of… they start to get a little bit of resistance is, they start to think, “Oh no, I’m going to have to share a lot of the financial information. I’m have to pull back the curtain and give way too much information to my team.” But in this scenario, I’m not talking about sharing a balance sheet or an income statement with them. Just sharing those pieces of information to where you can help them better understand how they affect sales, profit, and cashflow. Now, keep in mind there was a study performed across 212 industries where the general public believes that your bottom line, your net profit is 36% of sales.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (04:19):
Average folks think that a business’s bottom line is 36%. Did I understand that right?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (04:25):
Yes. But in reality, it’s only about 6%. So when you invite your employees into the conversation, you have the opportunity to bridge the gap between their perception of 36%, and the actual reality of your business might be closer to 6%. Not that you’re sharing all the details, but you can help them better understand, how much does it cost to run a truck per hour? When you say yes to a discount, how is that affecting the bottom line? Just really help, depending on what their position is, really help them understand how that affects the business. And their ability to grow in the business, the company’s ability to grow, all of that.
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (05:07):
The second myth is most business owners believe that all the money stuff belongs in the accounting department. But when you think about it, all the employees are making financial decisions. They’re making money commitments throughout the day. You’ve got a salesperson that is giving a discount to close the sale. You’ve got a supervisor who approves overtime. The office manager brings lunch in because the team is working late at night to close the books. You have got a lot of financial commitments made by everyone in the company every day, long before the paperwork comes into the accounting department. So really understanding that all of this is happening, so why not go ahead and empower your team to use that information and better make decisions?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (06:01):
And the third myth that I’ve really seen pop up is, business owners feel like they’re giving up control. I really want to make all those decisions because I want to maintain control. But you’re going to have a hard time growing, if you do not relieve the reins just a little bit. And think about it, you’re not allowing them to spend a million dollars on equipment purchases, you’re going to start off small. You’re going to give them boundaries and guidelines on how to do that.
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (06:30):
Because when you think about it, business owners have four primary responsibilities. They are responsible for setting the direction of the company, helping the employees understand where are we going so we can all row in the boat together. And then the second thing is you are responsible for creating an environment for building a great culture. You also need to make sure the business never runs out of money. And then also, if anything is new or broken, like you are adding a new revenue stream, upgrading software. Not that you’re involved in the details, but you probably want to touch base with your leaders to make sure that they are making those changes with your vision in mind. So, you want to be able to delegate everything else so that way you have the time to focus on the bigger picture items that you need that only you can do as the business owner.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:25):
Tina, one of the things I’ve observed in our clients, and just that I’ve noticed in myself, to put that out there, is that when you start thinking of delegating decisions, while some of it might be driven by control, I think part of it at least for me has been, well, if I delegate this, there’s the fear of what if. What if the person who’s making that decision, they don’t have that same level of maybe experience in this role or in the industry, or whatever it might be. And so, there’s a fear of what if. So what do you say to your clients or to me, for some free coaching here, on what that might look like?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (08:03):
Definitely start off small so that way you can see how they are making the decisions. So, you don’t want to throw everything to the one employee at one time. You can start off small. And also, when you teach the employees what your mission is, what your core values are, you can use that as a safety net so that way, as long as they did right by the company and they use these types of checklist types of things to make the decision, you’re most likely not going to have a huge mistake. And then when you go back and…
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (08:41):
It’s just like if you were delegating a task. You cannot just give them a baton and just never talk to them again. You’ve got to go back to them, provide a little bit of mentoring. “Okay, when you made that decision, were you nervous? Did you not have enough information? What could we have done to make that easier? How could we have made that decision a little bit more aligned with what I would’ve made in that decision, in that opportunity?” And so, it’s a little bit of safety net and mentoring and coaching. And just assuming that you’re going to have to invest a little bit of time. But I promise you it’s worth it in the end because you’re making it to where you’re copying and pasting yourself in the business to where you’re not the bottleneck anymore.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (09:26):
That leads me to the next question is really, what are some of the benefits? It sounds like you started going through a few of those. But what are the benefits when these decisions or some of them are being delegated?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (09:37):
It’s really awesome when you start to have employees joining the conversation. So that’s one of the things, you’ve got empowered employees. They don’t feel like they are just, “Got to go in, do my time, and then go home.”, they actually feel a part of the team and the growth opportunities. And so, it’s also really cool when they start to identify problems before they become emergencies.
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (10:04):
When I owned an air conditioning company, a few weeks before, I taught the employees, how much does it cost to run a truck per hour? I was having a little bit of a problem with buying into the prices we were charging. And so, I taught this to help them better understand, it was a little bit of that gap between 36% and 6% that we talked about a little bit earlier. And it was really cool how a few weeks later, one of the employees used one of our calculators to calculate a price for a customer. And they started thinking about, “Wait a minute, we need to spend this many hours times the cost per hour to run the truck. The price that we’re going to charge is going to be less than our cost. Something is wrong.”
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (10:49):
Well, when you only delegate the task, employees just assume that the calculator’s right, the boss has to be right. And they just blindly move forward. But when you bring those employees into the conversation, this employee actually stopped what they were doing before they gave the price, called the office. We were able to fix the calculator. Price was way too low. And we were able to fix a problem before it became an emergency because the accounting department may not have found that for maybe 45 days, by the time it became big enough to create a problem like that.
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (11:26):
And so, it’s really cool to have that buy-in with the employees. They start to anticipate needs with the customers and with the vendors and their coworkers. And it creates better communication, improves efficiency, profitability. And one of the best things is, it’s a competitive advantage. Business owner can actually work on the business and take a real vacation. So, there’s a whole lot of benefits built into providing this type of training to your employees.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:00):
I’d like you to add a little bit more to this, really how someone can get started. And I see this for small business leaders and even large organizational leaders. As they rise up and their company grows, new decisions need to be delegated, as the company grows and needs. So, what’s a place for someone to get started and really start digging into this?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (12:23):
So the three steps to help you get started would be, the first one is to think about all the questions that you’re asked on almost a daily or weekly basis. Start off with that one so that way you’re really freeing up your time and your energy as quickly as possible. And then when you’ve identified what you want to delegate, identify who to delegate it to. We’re usually pretty tempted to just go down one level to the manager or the supervisor. But I encourage you to think about, “Who is that person that receives that first request, that question from the customer?” And really look for ways to delegate, push the decision all the way down the organizational chart. So that way you’re not just shifting it from you to a leader, let’s go all the way down and just make it really easy for that employee. It’s going to speed up the response time from a customer standpoint. That’s going to improve customer experience, all of that. So, just really push it all the way down.
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (13:26):
And then also provide that safety net. Just give them the opportunity to, when in doubt, stick to the mission statement and the core values. And if you’re not a hundred percent sure, tell the employee. Make a note, and when we circle back in our next meeting, we’ll go back through. And let them know that you’re going to help them feel more comfortable down the road. And you don’t expect it to be perfect during that first round of training with them.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:54):
Tina, this is a great time in the show where we make a transition and we ask every guest the same four questions before they go. And the first question we ask is, have you had a miss or two on your journey, and something you learned from it?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (14:06):
Definitely. So one of the misses that kind of sticks out to me is when I bought an air conditioning company. Even though I do have an accounting background and I thought I’d figured it all out during the due diligence, there’s still a lot of things that you don’t know. And so when we bought the business, we actually lost money for six months straight, which is a little bit of an ego bust, when you’re buying a business. But part of it we planned, part of it was weather, but then part of it was just going through that employee transition. Some employees didn’t care for the changes we were making, some needed extra training. There was just a lot of things from an employee standpoint that we did not anticipate during that due diligence process. So, that’s definitely something that I’ve learned. It definitely takes twice as long and it costs twice as much.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:57):
Let’s talk about a make or two.
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (15:00):
So to continue that story, spoil alert, we were able to turn the business around. We were profitable year round, which is very unusual in the HVAC industry. And the best part was we were a balanced business. So the financial side was great to watch the numbers, but it was also great to see the culture that we built from an employee standpoint. We were actually voted Best Places to Work. And then our customers compared our customer service to Chick-fil-A. I actually have a five star review that compared to Chick-fil-A. So, it was really awesome to see how we were so balanced from a financial employee and a customer standpoint.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:42):
Let’s talk about a multiplier or two to grow yourself personally or professionally or any of business you’ve been involved with.
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (15:48):
Definitely teaching the employees how they affect sales, profit, and cashflow. And this might sound counterintuitive, but slowing the hiring process down. That was a big deal for some of my businesses as well. And then on a personal note, hiring a business coach. That was a big deal for me, just giving me that opportunity to step away from the business and just have someone to really think through, “Where are we going? What do we want to accomplish?”, without having my employees riding that rollercoaster. Because whenever I talked about ideas with my employees, if they loved it, they thought it was going to happen next week. If they didn’t like it, it was a little bit of attention in the office. So hiring that business coach really helped me really think through those ideas, before I talked to the team about them.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:44):
Tina, the final question we ask every guest is, what does success mean to you?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (16:48):
Success to me is having the freedom to choose how you spend your time, money, and energy. Having that freedom, regardless of how much money or how much time, just having that contentment in your life. Where I’m all for chasing the goal, but there’s just a lot of freedom and joy and success in that mindset, when you’ve got that in your world.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:12):
And as we bring this to a close, is there anything you were hoping to share or get across that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (17:19):
So business owners, when you think about your business, I want you to think of it like an airplane and money is the fuel. And so if the business runs out of money, the crash will be devastating to everyone on board. So, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the business does not run out of money. The great news is, you’ve got a lot of people on the plane with you, and so you don’t have to do it alone. Help your employees help you. Because when you empower your employees to make those decisions, you can just sit back a little bit, relax, and watch your business grow.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:54):
Amazing. Well, Tina, what’s the best way for someone to get in touch with you or learn a little bit more about what you’re doing?
Tina White, Panoramic Academy (18:02):
So, I’m on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook. You connect there. And then also on my website, panoramicacademy.com, you can find tools to support the ideas that we’ve talked about, plus online courses, and subscribe to my blog. And if someone’s looking for more specific support with their finances, I offer a financial health checkup service where I actually help identify what’s working, what’s not working, and most importantly, why it’s not working. And as always, I’m on a mission to help business owners not run out of money. So if you are stuck and you’ve got a question, email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:46):
Tina, thank you so much for a fantastic interview. And let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. Takeaway number one is when she talked about delegation decision myths. And I liked how she broke things down between task delegation compared to decision delegation. And the two are very different. And task delegation, as she described, is much easier because you’re just delegating something to do, versus how to think and make a decision on behalf of your company.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:17):
Takeaway number two is, she talked about three steps to help get started with decision delegation. Number one, she said, “Think about the questions you’re asked every day and regularly. Make a list of those.” Number two, think about who you can delegate those to and to get a base and to try to get as close to the end employee, the person that’s actually going to be making those decisions. Get as close to that final person as possible that’s going to be doing it. And number three, create a safety net for people just to help guide them to help them through that process.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:50):
And takeaway number three is when she said that business owners have four responsibilities. Number one is setting the direction of the company. Two is creating an environment for building a great culture. Three is making sure the company does not run out of money. And number four is making sure that anything that’s new or that’s breaking and has attention from your team and leaders is that all of these changes are in line with the vision and direction that you want to go as the company leader.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:20):
And now it’s time for today’s win-win.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:27):
So today’s win-win has really spurred from my question about these what ifs. What if you were to implement this decision delegation process, and it doesn’t go right? Or what if, what it. Right? And I can say for me, that has always been one of my hesitations in wanting to actually turn things over, more decisions I should say, to staff and team members over the years. And I think that her suggestion was excellent. And she just said, “Just start with something small. Start off with just some small decisions and build from there.”
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:00):
And so, I think that’s the win today. If you start with something small, it’s a step for you, that’s a win. And it’s also a step to begin to empower your employees to make their own decisions on behalf of the company, which ultimately will help fuel the growth of your business.
Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:16):
And so that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone might be ready to franchise their business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at bigskyfranchiseteam.com. Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to having you back next week.