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Delegate…entrusting someone else with a task or responsibility. Does the idea of delegating make you cringe? If so, you aren’t alone. Today, in Episode #46 of The Cultivating Business Growth Podcast, we are going to discuss the importance of delegation. Recent conversations revolve around your team and business growth. Delegation can offer you, the business owner, space to innovate and grow your business. With this episode we aim to get you comfortable with delegating, but more importantly, see that delegation is a necessity in growing and decreasing stress.  Once you have this information, you’ll be able to successfully and confidently delegate tasks in your business. 

What we cover in this episode: 

  • 00:33 – Intro
  • 03:53 – Kim Nixon personal story about delegation
  • 05:45 – Why delegation is important
  • 10:36 – What tasks to delegate first
  • 16:07 – Overcoming excuses
  • 18:39 – Strategies for planning to delegate
  • 18:39 – Who can I delegate to
  • 20:14 – Set expectations
  • 26:41 – Tasks that should remain your responsibility 

Why delegation is important

Before we dive into why you should delegate, let’s start with a quick tip. Delegating isn’t just needed in business. Delegating is also important at home and in life! Delegation allows you to establish your priorities and boundaries and determine where your time is best spent.

We will be addressing the fact that there are certain tasks that should not be delegated. As you gain more experience with offloading your work, you will see the truly important tasks that must be completed by you in order to successfully move the business forward. But, that leaves many tasks on the table that you can delegate so you may focus your time and attention on the critical tasks that make the largest impact in the growth and profitability of your business.

What tasks to delegate first

It’s ok to take a deep breath before you delegate a task to someone else. You’ve been the one taking care of said task for quite some time and you are having a hard time letting go. We understand and you aren’t alone. After your deep breath, maybe start with a task that is annoying to you. Do you despise drafting the monthly newsletter? No problem. Give that task to someone else. Once you’ve offloaded a few annoying tasks, you can embrace how good it feels to know the task will be addressed and then celebrate that you aren’t the person having to do it. As you unload your to-do list a bit, it should get easier to delegate more often. 

If you are a bit more comfortable with the idea of delegating tasks, but are more unsure about what is best to delegate, start with easy wins. In order to identify what that is, you may start by asking yourself “What do I waste most of my time on?” For full clarity, we aren’t asking you to consider what you spend most of your time on. Instead, what WASTES your time? Are you filing and organizing? We know what you might be thinking, “Yes, but…” Sure. We know that being organized can bring peace of mind. We’re simply saying YOU don’t have to be the person to do the organizing. Administrative tasks like this can easily be handled by someone else, even a new team member as long as they are given a little bit of direction. 

Then, you can look at routine tasks that have to be done by a specific deadline every month, week, or even multiple times per month. Routine tasks like payroll require quite a bit of your time. That time could be better utilized on your actual business. These sorts of routine tasks most likely have processes that have already been established, which makes it easier for someone else to be trained. 

Lastly, think about what can be automated and automate it! For more information on productivity and automation, we discussed this in episode #17: Productivity and How it Relates to Business Growth & Profitability. We also talk about automation episode #07, which is part of our Strategic Planning Series.

Overcoming the excuses

Now that we’ve given you some direction on where to start delegating, we are going to spend a bit of time talking to those of you who still aren’t on board. We have been in your shoes, we’ve worked with people who are in your shoes, and we’ve heard all of the excuses you are probably giving to yourself for why delegating isn’t going to work for you. Are you someone who feels as if you are too busy to train someone effectively? Do you feel as if you are the only person who can do the task correctly? If so, pay attention because we are here to help! 

Start with the right mindset

Overcoming excuses starts with having the right mindset. In order to have the right mindset, go back to your “why.” Focusing on your “why” reminds you the purpose of the business. In order to reach the goals you’ve set and succeed in business, change is inevitable. 

Make time for the things that matter

Delegating tasks to others may not be what you want to do. However, in order to get where you want to be and accomplish your goals, it’s possible you need more time in your schedule for the tasks that make a difference in achieving your big picture. If you haven’t clearly defined your “why” in your business, we encourage you to listen to episode #12: What’s Your Why? One way to make more time in your schedule for those impactful tasks is to delegate. 

“I’m the only one who can do it right!”

Kim shared with us a wonderful example from her personal life of how she has someone clean her home for her when she doesn’t have the time to do it herself. She knows the person she hires to clean doesn’t clean exactly how Kim likes it, so after the cleaning person is done, Kim will go through her home and clean what she feels was missed. The great realization Kim had with this situation is, even though she is still doing a bit of cleaning, this time is significantly less than what it would have been if she cleaned it entirely by herself. Her house still gets clean to her liking and she’s able to spend her time more productively. When you start delegating, something similar may happen. Someone else may complete your task, but you feel the need to review it and clean it up. That’s ok! That’s less time and work you had to do because you let someone else take this on.

Strategies for planning to delegate

To whom can I delegate?

Now that we’ve answered why you should delegate and addressed what you can first delegate in order to get used to the concept, the question is “Who can I delegate to?” In order to answer this question, first consider whether or not you have anyone on your team who can take tasks off your plate. If you don’t have anyone, you may have to hire someone. You must have someone on your team in order for delegation to be possible. If you already have a team, identify team members who are driven, qualified, and have good track records of following through. There may be someone who meets those characteristics, but also has been known to ask tons of questions before they are able to hit the ground running. If this is the case, you may want to identify someone else because it’s possible you’re going to waste a lot of time answering questions. Try not to get yourself into a situation where you spend so much time answering questions, that it would have been faster to do the work yourself. 

You also want to best match the personality of your team member with the task. For instance, if you have a creative task, look for someone who is creative and thinks outside the box. If you have detailed tasks, look for someone who is detail oriented. Matching personality with the task will not only produce good end-results, but will also contribute to your employee morale. 

Set expectations

Before you can adequately communicate your expectations for the task you are delegating, you first need to determine your expectations. Then, share your expectations and make sure they clearly understand those expectations. If you want something done in a very specific way, that’s ok as long as you’ve shared that expectation. Midway through the process, it’s good to check in with your team member to ensure they are doing things the way you want. If not, you know and can easily redirect them. Initially, delegating can take a bit of extra time with training and progress reviews. In the end, your workload will be lightened and you will reap the rewards later. 

Maintaining quality control 

Establishing SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) that detail the how-tos of each task can help you maintain how tasks are completed. Depending on the task, you can even include photos so your team understands how something should look. If time is an issue or you do not have procedures in place, you can incorporate that person into the documentation process. As you train them, they can create the procedure and you can review for accuracy.

Establishing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and other metrics to measure the progress of projects or tasks can also help you check in with employees or contractors and help you keep tabs. If you’d like to review KPIs, we cover that in our strategic planning series in episode #08.

Tasks that should remain your responsibilities

Tasks that drive your “why”

If you have any tasks that you love, that also drive your “why”, keep those tasks. If, however, you simply love the task, you may want to consider passing this on. As we covered earlier, your time should be spent on the tasks that have the largest impact on reaching your goals. 

Tasks that impact your revenue

Tasks that have a large impact on your bottom line should also remain in your control. Maintaining relationships with your best clients, vendors, centers of influence, etc. are examples of these. 

Tasks that bind you legally

Legal issues can impact the success and survival of your business. Issues like lawsuits, customer complaints, and contracts should have your eyes on them. At the very least, you should be signing off on all contracts. This way, you don’t have people on your team signing things that aren’t in alignment with how you want to do business. 

 

Additional delegation resources 

Conclusion

We talk about delegation and how that can impact the growth and profitability of your business. First, we discuss why delegation is important both for your business and personal life. We then get tactical about what you can delegate first and getting over the excuses you may be making to avoid delegating tasks. We cover strategies that can help you delegate successfully and tasks that you should keep yourself. 

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