The Power of Delegation
“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate.” — Richard Branson.
Small business owners wear many hats. In the beginning most prefer to handle all their daily tasks themselves, but as their businesses grow it becomes more and more difficult to devote the amount of effort they’d like to each ‘hat’.
Those who have achieved great success all agree that delegation is one of the most important skills for small business owners to master and is an essential leadership and entrepreneurial skill, especially if you wish to have a life outside of your business.
Many entrepreneurs still experience barriers when it comes to delegating however. Ironically some feel that they are too busy to delegate, they feel that they haven’t got the time to figure out what to pass over and to conduct training.
It’s true that some time needs to be assigned to the division of and subsequent handing over of tasks, but in the long run the time saved by delegating is much greater.
Why is it so difficult for entrepreneurs and small business owners to delegate?
Fundamentally, most entrepreneurs are reluctant to give up control. Trusting others with vital business tasks is hard. Furthermore it appears easier to deal with everything yourself, since delegation requires effort. However, in the long run, you simply won’t have the time to do it all yourself. Delegating will enable you to make the most out of both your time and skills.
“One person, or even two or three people, simply cannot shoulder the load of all the tasks that go into keeping a small business thriving, and trying to carry the world on your shoulders isn’t good for you or your bottom line. We know it can be hard to let go of certain tasks that you’ve been handling since the beginning—delegating means giving up control, and trusting someone else with your baby. But as with any skill, it’s one that can be learned.”
What are the benefits to small business owners of delegation?
- It frees you up to work ‘on’ your business not ‘in’ your business
- It significantly improves your work-life balance
- It allows you to focus on planning, strategy and the growth of your business
- It lowers your stress levels and improves your well-being
- It allows you to build solid relationships with skilled professionals who could have a very positive impact on your success
- You always have someone from whom to seek a second opinion
- If the particular task you are delegating isn’t your forte, it may get done better and quicker by someone else
- It allows you to take down time and holidays all the while having the peace of mind that your business will continue to run smoothly.
- It saves you masses of time
- It saves you a lot of money in the long run
- It supercharges your productivity and efficiency
STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL DELEGATION
1. Adjust your mindset
The first challenge for entrepreneurs is to acknowledge how essential delegation is to their business, if they’re new to delegation there will be a learning curve, but it will be worth it. Realise that your time is better spent focusing on the ‘bigger picture’, so strategising, growth planning, developing products and services, networking, conversions and new client acquisition. Once you start enlisting the help of others you’ll soon realise that there are many people who can carry out these tasks just as effectively if not more effectively than you.
2. Make a list of all business-related tasks
The easiest way to begin is to make a list of all the tasks that need handling for the effective running of your business.
3. Decide what you need to keep
Highlight all the tasks on your list that you absolutely have to handle yourself or the tasks that you love and are passionate about doing.
4. Decide what to delegate
Pinpoint which tasks out of the ones remaining are taking up most of your time, this is likely to be repetitive yet vital tasks. It’s highly likely that there are many functional and administrative tasks that you really don’t need to be doing yourself. The key to figuring out what to delegate is not to consider what you are not capable of doing, but to consider what you’d prefer not to do. Usually business owners started up their companies to turn their passions into profits, it’s the reason they left their 9 – 5 daily grinds. It doesn’t make all that much sense if they end up spending most of their time on tasks they don’t love.
There are several easy ways to deliver work to someone.
- Arrange a Skype call to deliver the brief.
- Relay the brief into a Dictaphone and send the audio file by email.
- Place the brief into bullet points and send the document over email.
- Create a form or template for the brief to document the instructions and send via email.
- Log the brief into a project management tool such as Trello or Asana and share with your virtual team member.
“To see the bigger picture, an entrepreneur needs to learn how to delegate effectively. It’s a fairy tale to think that you can do everything by yourself – it’s vital to the success of your business that you learn to hand off those things that you aren’t able to do well.” Richard Branson.
Stuck for ideas?
If you’re still not sure what to delegate, here’s some ideas:
1. Social media management and sharing
Having a strong online presence is crucial for all businesses, it results in more traffic and more customers. So many owners feel that they must manage their accounts themselves, but is the time that goes into this really worth your while? Effective social media management can easily become a full-time job. Fast moving platforms such as Twitter and Facebook need to be updated constantly for your efforts to be effective and to see results you need to be sharing, posting, liking and engaging with your audience daily and across multiple platforms.
If you logged every minute you spent researching online, how much time do you think this would equate to? Give yourself back this time by delegating your research to someone else. This person will present their findings to you in a clear and comprehensible format.
3. Content Generation
Sourcing and/or creating quality content and graphics to share on your website and across your social media platforms several times a day takes an enormous amount of time. It’s not only the generating of content that’s crucial, but the planning and scheduling of it too. If you’re not delivering interesting and engaging content each day however you will be losing traffic and potential opportunities. So, it makes sense to delegate this all important task.
Delegating can really help your business and personal life, you’ll be less stressed, happier and have more time to think about your future goals. Whilst finding quality professionals to support you and your work will incur expenses, it’s important to remember, that in business, to make money, it’s necessary to spend money. We’re in an age where entrepreneurialism is becoming a choice of many, and the virtual workforce is growing at an incredible rate. Therefore the decision to delegate really is a no brainer.
To end this post I’ll leave you with a longer list of tasks worth delegating for any entrepreneur:
- Blog management and marketing
- Blog writing, proofreading and publishing
- Article writing and editing
- Social media management and marketing
- Web design, maintenance and updates
- Online marketing
- Proofreading and copy-editing
- Event planning and marketing
- Business card design
- Email marketing
- Newsletter creation
- Online research
- Travel planning and hotel reservations
- Email management
- Scheduling and diary management
- Arranging interviews
- Booking speaking opportunities
- Creating forms, templates and surveys
- Content generation
- Creating graphics
- Preparing PowerPoint Presentations
- Asking for testimonials
- Invoice chasing
- Database management
- Running online ad campaigns
- Contacts management or management of a CRM system
- Moderating social media groups and blog comments
- Project management
- Sending thank you notes, holiday cards and gifts
- Creating new social media and email marketing accounts
- Transcribing audio recordings
- CV writing and proofreading
- Handling business communications
If you’d like to discuss how I could give your work-life balance a boost by taking a few of the tasks above off your plate feel free to contact me for a free consultation.