Entrepreneurs with a growing business sooner or later must give up control of certain aspects of running their business by learning how to delegate tasks. Business owners who try to hold on to control of everything not only risk burn out, but also take the chance of curbing the potential for their business.
What Delegating Means to Your Business
Giving up authority isn't easy. Those who build a business from conception to profits know the business operations inside and out. They are right to think that no one knows the business like they do. However, that's no excuse for not letting go of some of the work. Learning how to delegate tasks eases your load and lets you concentrate on what you need to do without worrying about everything else that needs to get done. If you want your business to continue growing, look for the right person or persons to add to your team. Getting the help you need, will allow you to focus on using your own strengths to benefit the company.
Learning How to Delegate Tasks
Learning to delegate is a process. It's not just a matter of getting so frustrated that you dump the responsibility and authority of demanding unfinished business onto someone else's desk. You've spent a lot of time building your company, and learning how to hand over that authority in a responsible way is an individual process that depends on your own strengths and weaknesses along with your company's needs.
Steps to take toward delegating tasks:
Identify Your Strengths
The first step in deciding what to delegate is to identify your own strengths. These can include things like:
- Your work experience
- Strong technical knowledge related to your business
- Communication skills
- Team Player
- Leadership skills
- Strong work ethic
- Good contacts
When you look at this list you can see that some of these skills are easily transferable, such as communication skills, leadership skills and being a team player. No one else can have your personal work experience related to your business, but they may have a similar background. Education may be another common factor. The person or persons you are looking for may hold some strengths in common, but remember, they also bring new skills to the table. For example, as you delegate authority to another, they will get to know your contacts but they will also have the benefit of knowing contacts outside your current network.
Identify What You Do
Another step in the delegating process is to know what tasks need to be done and when. When life is busy, it's easy to allow the urgent to claim our time while letting other less important tasks fall through the cracks. Learning how to delegate will take care of these missed details.
Write down what you do each day. This does not have to be detailed at the outset. Record enough to make it clear to you. It's your list. It will provide an overview of what you do daily and monthly so that when it comes to delegating work-related tasks, you'll have an idea of not only what needs to be done, but when and how it should be handled. This makes delegating the work easier, because it isn't a vague expectation, but a focused, detailed task.
Identify What Can Be Eliminated
Take a close look at the tasks you perform. Sometimes outdated, unnecessary tasks eat up time. Study your list. As long as you're making changes, it's a good idea to streamline the workload to include only items that are really necessary and beneficial.
Choosing Tasks to Delegate
Once you've recorded what you do and when you do it, it's time to determine which of these tasks you can hand over to someone else. Things on the list that rest outside your area of expertise can easily be surrendered to someone else more qualified. The key is to determine which tasks are essential for you to do and which ones can be effectively taken care of by someone else.
Hiring the Right Person
Creating a plan of which tasks to delegate is half of the strategy necessary to successfully hand over control in limited areas. Not only do you want to identify what needs to be done and when, but you also want to hire the right person to perform the tasks. Whether you're hiring someone from outside, or changing the job description of a current employee, when considering candidates for the work you have in mind, you'll want to search for someone with the skill sets and experience needed to perform the tasks you want done.
Once you delegate the selected responsibilities and authority to the right person, it's important to make clear what you expect and to follow through. Communicate goals and time lines. Effective communication is key to optimally delegating tasks successfully. Stay in touch and let the person know you are available to answer questions. Also, schedule regular updates so that communication goes both ways. This way there will be no surprises on either side, but be careful not to interfere with the work-it's no longer your responsibility to do it, only to be sure it's getting done.