We’ve all heard of imposter syndrome, and most of us have experienced it through feelings of self-doubt or inadequacy in our businesses or careers.  In many cases, it’s just a state of mind.  Other times, the reality is that we’re pretending to be someone we’re not or to have skills we just don’t have. And we don’t always realize it.

As a business owner, you know your business better than anyone. But do you also have expert skills in the areas of governance, risk management, compliance, HR, contracts administration, and records management?  If you’re not sure, assess your expertise with these questions:

✔ Is the company’s minute book up to date with all governing documents, material business registrations, ownership records, and meeting minutes?

✔ If the company does business in more than one state, are the required qualifications and licenses in place and is someone tracking those expiration dates and renewal requirements?

✔ If more than one person within the company has authority to make decisions and commitments that bind the company, are those parameters defined in a written Delegation of Authority Policy?

✔ Does the company have a comprehensive compliance program, including a Code of Business Conduct, Compliance, and Ethics that communicates expectations and reflects company culture?

✔ Is the company’s 401(k) plan reviewed throughout the year to assess the performance of investment options and the reasonableness of plan expenses, including fees charged by the plan’s financial advisor, recordkeeper, and third-party administrator?

✔ Has the employee handbook been updated with new work-from-home, time off, infectious disease, and other policies adopted in light of the pandemic?

✔ Is someone tracking key dates and deliverables from the company’s contracts with customers and suppliers, and do the insurance certificates you’re supposed to be receiving from those business partners comply with contract requirements?

✔ When are the company’s trademarks and tradenames scheduled to expire, is someone monitoring these dates, and is there a process for renewing them?

✔ Are policies, procedures, and systems in place to safeguard and properly dispose of the company’s records and data?

If you can’t confidently say that these areas are being taken care of in a masterful way, then there are gaps in the administration of your company’s business that an expert should fill.

Wondering whether your company’s business is in order or exposed to unknown risks is an unwanted distraction, and pretending to be a business administration expert when you’re not is stressful and potentially dangerous. There’s no shame in hiring “real” experts to dot the I’s and cross the T’s for your business. Doing so will give you more time and energy to focus on the things you do best and enjoy most, provide the greatest opportunity for personal and business growth, and ease your mind.  Plus, it just makes good business sense.

Halloween is right around the corner, and donning a costume and impersonating others is expected. But when it comes to taking care of the business administration details for your business, don’t pretend to be an expert, even on Halloween. Put that costume on the shelf and hire a business administration professional to take care of your business instead. The impersonator in your back office will disappear, and you’ll be in for a real treat.