Delegation is a skill shared by all successful business owners and entrepreneurs.
While it may feel like a badge of honour to wear many hats and be rushed for time, the often repeated line of “I’ve been run off my feet all day” isn’t a sign that your business is successful.
It’s a sign you’re running yourself into the ground.
With 24 hours in the day you can’t get ahead of your competition, or set your sights on scaling up, by trying to do more yourself. There is only so much you can accomplish in one day.
By adequately delegating aspects of your business not only will you free up your time to be a more productive person. But your business will also benefit through a more efficient process.
These may include:
- The fear of losing control
- The concern that training will take too much time
- The worry you’ll lose control of your business
- The distrust of someone else working to your standards
- The thought of someone getting all the credit
Finding a way through these mental roadblocks is key to your future success.
Find joy in watching others do what you taught them. Or pass your marketing efforts to an entire team. Ultimately, you need to lose any ego about others doing your role. Especially when the end result is the upward trend of your business.
Instead, create the conditions to save time and increase productivity. We all have too much to do, and not enough time to do it. In the words of billionaire entrepreneur, Richard Branson, “If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate”.
7 Signs You Need to Start Delegating
#1 – You commonly say things like “I have no free time” or “I’m drained by the decisions I have to make”.
#2 – Your time away from work can only be measured in hours. Not in days or weeks.
#3 – You’re hesitant to delegate because a part of the task is complex or requires training.
#4 – You’ve delegated in the past but the results were underwhelming so you’re taking on extra work yourself.
#5 – You’re paralyzed with indecision which stops you from moving forward.
#6 – You don’t feel happy or fulfilled by your work.
#7 – You spend more time marketing your own business than you do providing your products and services.
How delegation can grow your business by 20%
The struggle to delegate seems to have grown into a chronic condition.
Many of us wake up every morning to immediately dive into our ‘to do list’. And in spite of our best efforts we never seem to get everything done.
Are you the type of business owner who thinks adding more responsibility will help you be more successful?
Studies have proved this to be an ineffective way to grow.
Believing in your abilities is paramount for success. But it’s impossible to do everything yourself.
Science has demonstrated the point where productivity suffers for business owners. If you’re working across a 40-hour work week, you will actually lose productivity and get less work done once you cross that 40 hour threshold.
This principle is known as the law of diminishing returns.
A recent study found that 53% of business owners believe that they can grow their business by more than 20% if they delegate 10% of their workload to someone else.
That’s a considerable growth for moving just one-tenth of your workload to someone else. To be more efficient and effective you need to empower other people to accomplish a task.
It’s essential to free yourself up to focus on the key issues that will contribute to your business growth.
How to start delegating today
Delegating seems straightforward, yet it can be easier said than done.
It’s challenging to instill trust in another person to complete your tasks. Especially if you are protective over your work.
According to Search It Local’s Jeremy Rorich, the resistance to change is one of the most important obstacles to overcome to get the most value from delegation. He notes “if you’ve settled into a routine with your marketing, using a new digital avenue of attracting traffic and generating leads can feel confronting – even if those digital avenues have proven ROI. Separating yourself and leaving your ego behind to let others succeed for you is key.”
If you’re unsure what tasks need to be reassigned, here are a number of ideas to streamline your delegating process.
#1 – Hand off work which you aren’t able to do well
If someone on your team can do it better, let them.
Don’t be hesitant to hand responsibility out. Another employee may have more knowledge or niche experiences with the task, not just saving time overall but providing a more effective outcome.
This added responsibility will enable your employee to do a great job for your business through stronger results in less time.
#2 – Save time, energy and focus by delegating minor tasks
It is unwise to spend your time doing tasks that your team members are capable of doing themselves.
The days of letting your precious work hours evaporate into busy work are over.
Remedial tasks which require a lot of legwork, like research, data crunching, content creation or social media management can often be delegated.
Use delegation to free your time, energy and focus. This will enable you to optimise activities that make a big difference for your business.
These may be the kind of tasks that only you can do. Or they may simply free up time for you to focus on other aspects of your business, like lead generation, admin, or networking.
#3 – Time-sensitive tasks can be completed by others
Instead of falling behind on time-consuming tasks, decide which can be completely finished by someone else.
This will allow you to get down to the nitty gritty of your more important activities and not miss out on major opportunities by being distracted by minor time-sensitive jobs.
Start small. Let’s say you own a small printing company.
Here’s an example of a small move in the right direction of delegation…
- After establishing yourself in the market and growing clientele, you hire your first customer support employee.
- You train this employee over-time and they begin completing tasks you would have been doing 3 months earlier.
- You continue to monitor your customer support employee, and provide assistance when necessary.
- You’re now free to focus on other more important aspects of your business while smaller, urgent tasks are completed by your employee.
That’s the definition of two heads being better than one.
Delegating in this sense means leads are generated, without draining your time, and without obstructing the day to day activities of your business. By delegating you prioritise the important tasks. These are the tasks that generate the best and biggest returns.
You’re no longer time-poor and pulled towards the low return items that populate most of your ‘to do list’ if you’re delegating correctly.
The benefits of empowering your employees through delegation
Both business owners and employees benefit from delegation.
To empower is to enable your team members to become experts at what they do, even if they surpass your ability. As founder of advertising, David Ogilvy, said;
“Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine”.
By encouraging personal development of team members, you’ll be contributing to the overall success of your business.
Once you empower your staff to upskill, take on more responsibility, and increase their ownership in the success of your business, they will see 3 broad benefits.
#1 – Development
Individuals will gain key skills and have the opportunity to develop themselves. This will enable them to be more versatile and useful to your business.
#2 – Self-esteem
Delegating a task shows you have trust in someone. Having interesting work feels good, and being trusted to complete a job raises the self-esteem of your staff.
#3 – Job enhancement
People who have more responsibility begin to use more initiative and imagination. This may lead to new solutions and ideas which you would never have thought of.
It’s important that your employees or marketing team understands the impact they have on your business.
By delegating tasks you show them that they are valued.
In the words of American author and speaker, John C Maxwell;
“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”
Do Less to Grow More
Failing to delegate hampers both employee and company growth.
Delegating means less is more. Less time trying to work on your website. To publish blogs. To create social media posts.
But in return it means more leads coming in. More website traffic. More work in your inbox.
Free up your packed schedule and move low-priority, time-sensitive or low-skilled tasks to others. Doing so will boost their morale, their skillset and create more effective employees.
In turn, your business will benefit from a streamlined approach that frees you up to focus on growth. And you don’t get trapped in the minor details that hold you back.
Proper delegation is an art.
Once you find the right balance, you’ll see happier employees, more satisfied customers, and a healthier business overall.