Being a small business owner comes with both advantages and challenges. On the one hand, you get complete control over decision-making processes, a flexible schedule, and the ability to choose whomever you want to work with. On the other hand, however, it’s not rare for entrepreneurs to overwork themselves and eventually reach burnout striving to juggle neverending work tasks with private life.
Needless to say, this isn’t a healthy approach neither to running a business nor being a productive person. In fact, taking it upon yourself to do everything on your own will more likely leave you drained and exhausted rather than allow you to achieve your full potential. That’s when the art of effective delegation comes to the rescue.
Yes, entrusting your work to strangers can seem intimidating, you might even feel like the whole success of your venture depends on it. However, proper delegation tactics can help you free up a lot of valuable time you can dedicate to working on more critical and creative tasks, which your business will benefit from more substantially.
Besides, there are so many outsourcing companies that can help you with anything from accounting to marketing efforts to product engineering services – you will definitely find something you’d be comfortable delegating. So, here is how to work smarter, not harder:
Learn to Let Go
One of the most common reasons people refuse to delegate their work is their inability to let go of it. Some may be so dedicated that they unconsciously reject any help they could get along the way, while others might be sure there is nobody as skilled or knowledgeable as they are to be able to do the same tasks on the same high-quality level.
Whichever is your case, this is a road leading to nowhere. As a business owner, regardless of the size of your company, your mindset should be oriented towards development and growth, and getting bogged down in a pile of never-ending mundane tasks won’t let you evolve.
So, start by delegating some of the tiniest tasks and gradually work your way up. After all, it’s better to take baby steps rather than not move at all.
Establish a Priority System
Developing a firm priority system for all the tasks you’re trying to handle on your own will allow you to categorize them and move your letting-go process forward. You can divide the tasks either by the skills needed to perform them or by their importance level. Then, you can graciously keep all the top-priority tasks to yourself and delegate the rest to your team members.
If some of the tasks require skills or knowledge outside of your expertise but are still of high importance, you should consider finding a reputable outsourcing company and entrust it to them rather than trying to develop a new skill from scratch. The latter can be very enticing for every small business owner operating with a limited budget, but nonetheless, it’s essential to realize that not all things are worth the effort or your time.
Establishing a priority system will also help you understand the nature of most of your business tasks and operations, which can also be helpful when looking for new team members and identifying their positions.
Delegate by Type
Speaking of categorization, there are a few tasks you can delegate to your employees without feeling anxious – the tasks that are not related to strategic planning and do not affect the brand’s reputation.
For instance, tactical tasks do not require long-term solutions so that they can be assigned to other team members. This could be collecting information on the project’s status, creating reports, or collecting customer feedback.
Routine tasks appear regularly and can be delegated even to junior employees. However, you should provide proper training to ensure that the work is done well and does not require constant audits. For example, if you’re issuing monthly invoices to customers, you can explain to a new employee how to do it, monitor the result a few times, and then hand over the responsibility to them permanently.
As mentioned above, for highly specialized tasks, you need to look for people with the appropriate expertise. You don’t need to try to figure out all the problems on your own – that way, you will only waste time and still end up not solving the problem.
The Bottom Line
Your productivity as a manager or business owner is not measured by the number of tasks you complete or the number of calls you make. What is more important is how you manage to get the team to work and how effective it is. Delegating helps you build a system that will work smoothly even if you or the team manager fall ill or go on vacation.
However, the quality of tasks performed independently depends on how the process of delegating them is set up. If you approach it thoughtfully and without delving into micromanagement, the risk of deadlines being overdue and the overall number of errors will be significantly reduced. So, don’t be afraid to delegate and get more things done!