Running a busy company or team takes a lot of time and if you want to grow the business you’ll need some of that time to focus on development. If you work on your own, your time will have to be split between sales and marketing, finance and communications along with all other aspects of running a business and that’s on top of delivering the actual product or service. You need to master the art of delegation.
If you’re good at what you do, you will be in demand and it always makes good business sense not to turn work away. There is only so much you can do however, there are only 24 hours in a day, but if you can’t do it all, you can delegate.
Question: What can you delegate?
Answer: Anything that doesn’t have to be done by you, especially repeat tasks, things that you do every day, week or month. When you think about it there is very little that absolutely must be done by you. As Harvey Mackay said, “The most successful managers aim to make themselves unnecessary to their staff.”
Question: What do you want to delegate?
To answer this takes a little more thought. You might choose to keep things that you want to be close to, for example, business development, or things that are new so that you can create a process that works for you (before delegating it in the future) and of course you probably want to keep doing the things you love to do, why would you outsource something you enjoy doing yourself?
Essentially you probably want to delegate things that you don’t have the skill to do, don’t have the time to do or just don’t have the inclination to do. You could start making a To Don’t List rather than a To Do List. Keep a notebook on your desk and note down everything you do that you could delegate to someone else. You might be surprised when you add up the time it would save you!
How to Delegate
Before you can delegate you need to find people that you can delegate to. You will want to know that the person you delegate to has the skills needed and that you can trust them. It is important they understand your business objectives so that they can represent you accurately. Be sure to clearly define the task and be available to provide support. Make time to keep up to date with progress and once the work is complete, give recognition and feedback. This will help build your relationship and improve the process for next time.
Why People Don’t Delegate
Well, delegation takes time and effort to initiate. Consider the deadline for your work, is there enough time for you to communicate the task, for the work to be completed and for you to check if any amendments are needed? If there is someone else who can carry out the work, it could be worth the effort to delegate.
Another reason people don’t delegate is trust. Do you feel you have to do everything to know that it is done properly? This is completely understandable, especially if it is your own business, your reputation, your livelihood. Take time to build trust and you’ll have a team you know will represent your brand as you do.
Do you know what you are worth? Now, I am not an accountant. I know that I could work my way through all of the HRMC forms to enter my Self-Assessment tax return but I also know that by outsourcing this work to a qualified accountant it will be done faster. It is not the best use of my time to make the submission when I can delegate the task and get on with doing work for my clients, the things that I do want to be doing.
How to Delegate
Delegation best practice:
- Clearly state what is needed. Help them to understand why they are doing what they are doing, as this insight may influence the way the work is carried out.
- Communicate your deadline, not the actual deadline but the date you need the work completed for checking.
- Set a process for reporting back, put check points in place to check progress.
- Be available to answer any questions. Make sure they know they can come to you to check they are on the right track.
- Build a team, have different people with various skills to outsource different tasks to.
- Become a teacher. Show others what you want done and the way you want it done.
- Consider using a project management system, there are many available. Tools such as Asana, Trello or Basecamp can help with assigning, monitoring and reporting on tasks.
- Learn to let go. Free yourself by finding trustworthy people to outsource to.
At times, we all need help and if you want to grow and develop your company you’ll struggle to find the time and the skills to do it all. Outsourcing work can take the pressure off. Delegate to give yourself back the time to do what you love.
If you have tasks to delegate, Contact me to see how I can support you.