Delegate To Grow
In a startup business or small company, it’s not unusual to wear lots of hats. In my early days in business, I would work with clients during the day, spend time on the finances at night, and spend as much time on sales and marketing as I could squeeze in. However, you’ll hit the ceiling and never grow beyond a certain point unless you learn to delegate so you can spend time on your highest and best use (HABU).
Think about your business today. There’s likely some aspect of the business that you excel at and love. This is your HABU. In fact, if you can have every employee working in their HABU, there’s no end to what you can achieve. But to spend more time in your HABU, what are you going to give up? When I see someone who regularly says, “I don’t have time to teach someone so I’ll just do it myself,” I know that this person may never get to their HABU.
You only have as much time as you have. This means you’ll have to give something up to spend more time in your HABU. Begin by making a list of everything you do in your business. I recommend keeping a simple notebook or timesheet for a few weeks to make sure you’ve captured every task that you perform around the office. Once completed, divide this list into tasks that you enjoy and excel at versus tasks that you don’t like and aren’t good at. The don’t like/not good section of the list is a good place to start delegating.
Now that you have your list of tasks to delegate, what’s next? First, take a hard look at the list and determine if any of the tasks can be stopped altogether. We do many things because “we’ve always done it that way”…even if they aren’t delivering the results we need. I once realized I was spending a substantial amount of time on marketing efforts which yielded zero results. These are the things you stop.
If you can’t stop the task, can you automate it? It’s 2019. Software tools exist to help us automate a significant number of sales and marketing tasks, inventory control, accounting tasks, and even operational duties. For a jumpstart on automation, check out www.zapier.com
If you can’t stop or automate the task, it may be time to hire someone. This can be an internal hire or an outsourced person. If you can find someone who can perform the task 70% as well as you, outsource it. Chances are, the new hire will be able to focus on fewer tasks (than you) and with the proper training, ultimately perform the task better than you can perform it (check out www.upwork.com).
You’ve decided to hire someone, and you’ve found the perfect person. Don’t pull a “dump and run.” This is where you’re so excited to have help that you dump tasks on the new person without spending time to document and train the person properly. With any new hire, expect to spend a considerable amount of time working with the new person while they learn how to perform the new task. Don’t worry, this investment of your time will pay dividends in the long run. (BONUS: If you have your core processes documented, training becomes much easier).
Your new employee can’t read your mind. Remember to provide regular feedback as your new employee is getting their feet under them. And be open…they just might find a better way to do the job!
Having trouble delegating or “letting go of the vine”? Let’s talk! The Entrepreneurial Operating System® (aka Traction®) can help!