Because you really can’t do it all, all the time…you need to delegate! If you’re not convinced, here are just three reasons to delegate that apply to almost every entrepreneur:
1. Delegating can be a major time-saver, allowing you to finally focus on what you do best. No one person can possibly excel at every single task – and besides, if your passion is developing new products, do you really want to spend forever doing repetitive tasks like scheduling meetings?
2. You can actually save money. Think about this: assume your hourly rate is $75. Each week you spend 3 hours on basic administrative tasks that you could delegate to someone else for $20 an hour. Enough said.
3. It’s a win-win: you can inspire others to discover their true talents and grow their skills. Plus, you get the opportunity to further develop your own leadership and communication skills.
The bottom line: Delegating opens up time for you to focus on the important activities that accelerate your business growth…like funding your company, building great relationships that lead to increased sales, and reviewing your metrics so you can make sound decisions – rather than flying by the seat of your pants.
5 Tips to Make Delegating a Success
Try the five suggestions below to increase the likelihood that delegation will be successful for you:
1. Recognize that you might be a work-hoarder. You know what they say: the first step in tackling a problem is to acknowledge that there even is one! We entrepreneurs can be pretty dominant when it comes to our work. HBR even gives some classic warning signs that you might be needlessly keeping those piles of tasks all to yourself: you tend to think you’re indispensable and the only one who really “cares”, your team is keeping regular hours while you’re sweating the small stuff, and you’ve noticed they don’t seem particularly motivated or willing to take responsibility.
2. If you’re not delegating (or doing it enough), figure out why. Is perfectionism keeping you from handing off more tasks? Do you believe that no one can do it as good as you, or that it’s just easier to do it yourself? Are you convinced that someone you see as a subordinate might try to “steal your thunder”? Would you feel less important? Does it make you feel guilty? There are tons of reasons why we don’t hand off all the work we could – to make delegating a success, figure out what’s holding you back first.
3. Pick the right people for the task. This seems like basic common sense, right? It is, but too many people still make the mistake of say, asking the inside sales rep to freshen up the company website, or hoping that the bookkeeper will moonlight as a social media strategist. The key is to match the task(s) with someone who has the needed skillset, personality, and willingness to get the job done effectively.
4. Don’t wait until you’ve hit overwhelm to delegate. Your proposal was due yesterday, you’re supposed to board a flight overseas tonight, your regular admin is gone unexpectedly for two weeks, and if you’re stuck for even a single millisecond more in traffic trying to get to your next meeting, you just may explode. Whoa…rewind. If you’d had the infrastructure in place before all this craziness, maybe everything wouldn’t have become so crazy to begin with!
5. See delegation as a skill. Because really, it is a skill – and like anything else, it takes practice to do it well. Delegating isn’t a do it once and you’re done or a one-size-fits-all process. This means that there will be times when your team actually needs more involvement from you – and other times when you need to let go and let your team run with it.
And here’s a final tip that shouldn’t be overlooked: don’t forget to be supportive of the people on your team who help make your business run every day! A little gratitude goes a long way and can be an excellent motivator.
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