Small business owners often find themselves taking on every task in their company.But, as a business grows, this hands-on approach becomes harder to maintain.A business’s ability to evolve depends on its leader’s ability to let go of that death grip on… everything… and learn to delegate without micromanaging.But, despite the fact that hoarding tasks is exhausting and detrimental to business, it’s still a hard habit to break.You have a finite amount of mental, emotional, and physical resources.
And, while we like to believe that we can do anything and everything, the truth is that you can’t.As a leader, you have to make smart use of the resources that you have. Your valuable energy and time must be focused on working on your business rather than in it.
- Your business is only as strong as your team.
The future success of your business relies on the talent of the people you hire and their ability to grow.Your employees cannot grow if they are not given the opportunity to take on a wider range of tasks and more responsibility. If your employees can’t grow, neither can your business.Your employees will become more reliable, more skilled, and more valuable the more tasks they can do. And, they can only gain new skills if you trust them to take on new tasks.Restricting your employee’s growth restricts your business’s growth.
On the other hand, delegating and mentoring your team can lead to limitless growth.Build a strong, well-rounded team to create a stable foundation for your business.With all of that in mind, where should you start?You may want your first hire to be a part-time assistant. Look for someone who is a jack-of-all-trades, eager to learn new skills, with a strong work ethic. You’ll sleep better if you have someone in the trenches with you that you can rely on.If you’re new to marketing, a marketer can help you strategize your business.If you’re not confident with the manufacturing process, hire a manufacturing liaison. If you’re finding it a challenge to keep up with orders, a fulfillment manager might be just what you need.
- Ensure your business’s ability to function without you.
We all like to think that we’re infallible.The daunting fact that injury or illness could strike at any moment could seriously derail our peace of mind if we let it. So, we don’t think about it.But, if you were out of commission for a while, would your business continue to thrive in your absence? Or would it collapse like a house of cards?Failure to delegate is not just a failure to share tasks in the present. It’s also a failure to invest in your business’s ability to function in the future.Delegating tasks and important responsibilities to your employees means that they will have the ability to keep the business running if you can’t be there. It means that you won’t have to be shackled to your business as the sole voice of direction and forward momentum. It means you can take a vacation and not have to worry that things are imploding at work.
How to incorporate delegation into your leadership process:
1.Choose the right tasks.Delegate tasks that you don’t need to do.There are crucial responsibilities that are best handled by you. What are they? Anything else should go to your support staff.And, be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. Tasks that you’re just not good at they should be handled by someone else.
2.. Choose the right employees
Choosing the right employees to assign tasks will be key to your success.Before delegating a task to an employee, ask yourself these questions:
- Does the employee have the time/capacity to take on more work?
- Is the employee skilled enough to perform the task well?
- Does the employee show the potential to learn to perform the task well?
Some people aren’t great with numbers. Those aren’t the employees you should assign billing duties to.Use your common sense and your knowledge of your employees’ strengths and you’ll delegate more effectively.And remember that delegation doesn’t mean the employee has to perform the task directly.For example, small businesses and startups always need help with branding and design.
But few entrepreneurs and small business owners can create professional designs for their own company. They’re typically too busy running their businesses and solving dozens of other problems.And it’s rare that a small business will employ an experienced designer or even a marketer who is competent with design and who can expertly craft a strong brand identity for the business.You can ask one of your trusted employees to leverage the crowd to get help. Over the past decade, crowdspring has helped tens of thousands of the world’s best entrepreneurs, small businesses, agencies, and non-profits with everything from professional logo design to Product design, packaging design and even naming businesses and products.
3. Bake it in.Every extra decision you have to make is an extra drain on your resources. Decision fatigue is a very real threat. So, make it easy to delegate by creating your delegation plan ahead of time.
4. Document company knowledge.Create task manuals and information guides that equip staff members to take on new tasks.Is that an investment of your time? Yes. But, it’s one that will pay off every time an employee reads that manual rather than coming to you with their questions.If you are the sole source of truth for all company knowledge, then others will be unable to function without draining your time.Now, some high-level questions will always come to you. But, you can save time and delegate more effectively by documenting lower-level knowledge in guides that will continue to perform long after you’ve moved on to more important things.Work on your business instead of in it.