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The roles my business fulfils

Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market

It often happens that I wake at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up and remember that I am the Pope. – Pope John Paul XXIII

I am sure that we can all identify with the above quotation. Business-owners are “chief cooks and bottle washers”. Like people our business also has different roles to fulfil. It is important to know exactly what those roles are, because someone (a person or a team) in our business must take responsibility for this specific aspect, otherwise it is not seen to.

The first step is to list all the roles that your business currently performs. Here are a few examples to stimulate your train of thought:

·            Business-owner

·            Employer

·            Marketer

·            Manager of people

·            Product Developer

·            Distributor

·            Financial Manager

·            Procurer

·            Deal Maker

·            Wealth Creator

·            IT user

·            Compliance Manager

·            Legal Expert

·            Sales Manager

·            Trainer/Coach


The second step is to select eight roles that are most appropriate to your business.

The third step is to rate your results (how well you perform the role in your business). Allocate a point out of ten for each of the eight roles.

1 = no results
5 = average results
10 = no room for improvement – we are perfect

Now choose one role out of the eight. It does not necessarily need to be the one allocated the lowest mark, but should be the one that can result in the most progress for your business if your performance here improves on this rating. Keep a twelve-month horizon in mind.

This exercise is very useful for allocating responsibilities in a business. It often happens that a business team is under the illusion that “somebody” – usually not them – takes care of marketing, for example. However, if this area of work is scrutinised more closely, they discover that “everyone” is giving inputs, but nobody is actually being held directly responsible for this specific role and function.

This exercise enables you to set targets per chosen role, knowing that it is possible to allocate responsibilities and also that you have not missed out on an important area of work.

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straight forward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success

Go to to download your free copy.

Sanlam is a proud Partner of the NSBC.