If you’re like a lot of the entrepreneurs we work with every single day, you struggle with delegation.
And there are plenty of reasons why.
- Maybe you believe you can do the work better or faster than your team members.
- Maybe you’re not sure who to trust with an important job.
- Maybe you feel awkward asking.
- Or maybe you pride yourself on being the kind of team leader who pitches in wherever necessary.
But whatever your reasons, if you want your business to succeed, delegating is essential to your company’s future.
Delegation is the single best thing you can do to grow your business. Period.
No matter how hard you work, you only have a limited amount of time. At some point, you run out of hours! And if you’re doing all the important tasks, that’s the moment when your business’ growth stagnates.
In most small businesses, the business owner’s capacity is the limiting factor in the growth of the business. So it becomes imperative that you not only delegate but, delegate well.
When you delegate, you spend more of your time, talents, and expertise on work that truly moves your company forward…by freeing yourself from work that doesn’t.
Your people appreciate your delegation too. When you hand off tasks and trust others to do them it tells them that, well, you trust them. It implies that you believe in their skills and abilities. People feel validated when the boss asks them to take over a duty.
What Should You Delegate
First let’s figure out exactly what you can delegate. Start by taking inventory of the tasks you do on a day-to-day basis. For one week, write down every task you do, no matter how mundane (yes, this includes those “two-minute” tasks that might seem small…but add up fast). If you’re like most of our clients, the results will be pretty eye-opening!
Once you’ve got your list of tasks, categorize each task considering two criteria: fun and skill. The tasks you want to delegate are those that don’t use your skills and knowledge. And just as importantly, you also want to delegate the tasks that you enjoy the least. You can delegate those to someone who will enjoy them. The tasks you want to retain are those that utilize your particular skill
Low skill/low fun tasks are no-brainers to delegate. Hand them off immediately. They’re sucking your energy and wasting your time.
Low skill/high fun tasks should probably be handed off, too, as much as you might want to keep them. You can always schedule in a little time each month to go back to them for fun, but don’t retain ownership of these.
High skill/low fun tasks are those that require your particular knowledge and skills. Even though you don’t necessarily enjoy them, they need to stay with you. This is where you need to assemble a team of executives, leaders, advisors, and/or mentors who can expand your influence and expertise.
High skill/high fun tasks are in your ‘wheel house.’ They represent your strengths and passions. Focusing more of your time on these will drive profit. It’ll also go far in helping you to love your job again!
Most recurring tasks can be given to someone else. The list will look a little different for everyone, but here are the types of tasks that almost surely need to be delegated:
- Answering the phone
- Returning calls
- Handling mail
- Completing routine reports like expense reports, mileage logs, weekly production, etc.
- Scheduling meetings
- Running errands
- Maintaining databases
- Doing research
- Bookkeeping and filing
- Website design and maintenance
- Social media daily/weekly posts, tweets, and blog posts
- Writing marketing content, letters, job descriptions, estimates, etc.
Delegate the low-priority tasks so you can focus on the high-payoff, revenue-producing tasks like networking, meeting clients and prospects, forming strategic alliances, building centers of influence, and expanding into new markets.
As the owner, you also need to be doing tasks critical for long-term success—recruiting the right people for your team, strategic initiatives, conducting seminars, public speaking, and creating new products or services. Confidential issues or sensitive customer relationships are also on your shoulders.
The more you delegate, the better you’ll be able to grow your business and prevent stagnation. Start today. Your bottom line will thank you.
For more details on the whole idea of delegation, why, and how to do it, download our free whitepaper, “Growth Without Delegation: It’s Impossible.”
What are some of the tasks you delegate? How did you decide? What has been the benefit? Sound off in the comments below!