Letting go: How to delegate effectively
Posted on 8th December 2019 at 18:55
Delegation is key to the growth of your business, we both know you can't do it all.
There are people who can do some of what you do better than you! I know it's YOUR business, but you can't be a social media whizz, IT genius, customer service mogul, data entry specialist, web building master and across all of the numbers, stock, listings, appointment bookings, email inboxes, PR, enquiries, updates to this and that, can you? Really?
How is your time better spent? In front of your clients or adding up your receipt expenses? Have you missed a few emails lately? Is your diary getting the better of you? Let's talk about delegation.
I often hear “I’ve been doing it all myself”
Every entrepreneur has a winning formula and a losing formula – an attribute that helps them to succeed, but also one that slows them down. Often it’s the same adaptable attribute, which changes depending on the time and situation.
For example; often, in the early days in their business, entrepreneurs enjoy being in control of everything, they become the best at doing something and no one else can do it better, faster, more effectively or in that specific way.
They enjoy the significance and satisfaction that it provides them. This is all well and good if you are focusing on one area of your business, but not across the board. There’ll become a time when the winning formula of being in control, turns into being a control freak.
One of the big lessons in entrepreneurship is learning to let go of tasks and activities that someone else can do better than you. Yes, I said it, you need to have people on your team who can do things better than you can.
The number one lesson in creating winning teams is ‘learn to let go’.
Let go of the tasks and activities that you don’t enjoy or take you a long time to complete.
But what do you let go of?
Try this simple exercise: stick a blank note on your laptop and whenever you do a task that someone else could do, write that task down on the note. Within a few days you’ll have a list of tasks and activities that someone else could do for you.
Who will be your team?
When we think of building a team, we think of employing people at our premises, whilst this is an option, it’s not right for everyone and every business.
If the tasks you need support with require the presence of a team member e.g. covering a reception desk or greeting clients, taking and dispatching orders then a staff member is possibly the right option.
There are many options for building a team, not just this one. If you need flexibilty, seasonal support or project support, maybe you have a budget to stick to until you experience more growth, consider outsourcing.
Think of it like your tax return at the end of the year when you need your accountant the most. There might be short term projects such as a website build or an IT project for which you need an expert on board to set something up.
You might have a short term or a longer term need. This could be a project in stages, something that needs revisiting regularly.
- Freelance Graphic Designer or Web Designer.
- Virtual Assistant (often described as a Virtual PA, with skills from admin to marketing, bookkeeping to website maintenance)
- Creative agency or brand consultant.
- Associate with a similar skillset, to cover holiday, busy peaks, illness, parental leave.
Outsourcing might offer you the flexibility of a few hours per week that you need. Still part of your team, you can build mutually beneficial relationships with freelance business owners, offering a product or service just like you.
Top tips for delegating (letting go)
1. Delegate the task to the right person - choose carefully
2. Delegate the whole task, start to end, with all of the information and access needed to get the job done
3. Set clear goals and outcomes for the task
4. Delegate the responsibility behind the task, share it's value and significance
5. Keep the communication channels open (don't drop a task and then be unavailable)
6. Discuss the task afterwards, follow up!
If you have been very busy, finding it hard to let go you might like to take a look at my series of blogs on burnout and how to make sure you avoid getting there!
Have you seen my last blog "What makes a high performing team?"
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