It sounds counter-intuitive to have greater profits while putting in less work, but there is a way. It starts with delegating.
As a small business owner with so much personally invested in your business, handing over any part of your process is difficult. According to Dave Roos in his article 10 Common Problems for New Businesses, “A common problem for many new business owners is that they think they can do everything on their own. This “one-man band” strategy might be a great way to keep costs low at first, but it’s not the smartest way to ensure long-term success.”
Even if you have a few employees, you’re probably still doing the bulk of the work. Think about what you currently have on your plate. Chances are there are tasks that you could pass on to someone else.
WHAT DELEGATION IS NOT
Delegation is not passing on tasks that you hate just because you dislike doing them. Delegation is not washing your hands of a task and leaving it entirely up to someone else. Delegation is also not passing on a task and staring over the person’s shoulder the whole time.
WHAT YOU CANNOT DELEGATE
What do you do best? What is your contribution to the business that no one else can do? These things are what you should focus on. Responsibilities of a CEO or manager usually include planning, decision making, supervising, analyzing and organization. Those are important tasks that can determine the profitability of your company. If you’re bogged down doing all the leg work, there’s no one to focus on the bigger picture. The actual busy work needing to be done doesn’t have to be part of your job description. Routine tasks like preparing reports, filing, social media marketing and data entry can be handed over to a capable employee leaving you with more time to spend on the tasks that only you can do.
PICK THE BEST PERSON TO DELEGATE TO
Now that you have your task in mind, which of your employees has the skill sets to take it on? Don’t let their current job title get in the way. Play according to their strengths. Perhaps you will uncover an unknown gem this way.
TRUST YOUR EMPLOYEES
You hired them for a reason. You saw skills in them that you valued. Trust them. Prepare yourself that there will be mistakes made here or there but it’s all on the path to success. What’s the trick for letting go emotionally? According to Leslie Ungar, president of Electric Impulse Communications: “The mind-set needs to be that your value is in the what, the vision — and not the how, the tactical. If it’s not vision, you need not be doing it. Emotions change. Let go first and the emotions will follow. If you wait until you feel like letting go, it will never happen. It is behavior first and then attitude, not vice versa.”
GIVE CLEAR ASSIGNMENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS
To help you put trust in your employees, be very clear with your expectations of the delegated task. Is your end goal in delegating this task the process or the results? If it’s the process, like bookkeeping, explain how things should be done with step-by-step instructions. If it’s the end result, like revamping your social media presence, allow freedom for new ideas that your employee may have.
HAVE A CLEAR DEADLINE AND FOLLOW-UP PROCESS
Let your employee know ahead of time when you expect tasks to be completed (process oriented) or what advances you expect to see (results oriented). If appropriate, make known different milestones along the way, that way instead of just asking, “How’s it going?” you have tangible markers to measure success by. At each milestone, you can have a brief discussion and make adjustments if necessary.
DELEGATE BY OUTSOURCING
Perhaps your employees are already busy focusing on important projects, or what you need to delegate doesn’t mesh with your current employees strengths. This is not a good reason to put off delegating. You could hire a new employee but perhaps outsourcing these tasks would be a better use of your time and money. Whatever you need, Agents of Efficiency most likely has a team for that. We take on those routine, boring, but oh-so-necessary tasks and free you to focus on your passions. Why hire one new employee when you could get a whole department for less? Schedule a free consultation with one of our Efficiency Agent today.