Delegating rarely comes naturally to the ambitious all-rounders that lead businesses. Nevertheless, ‘delegator talent’ allows companies to prosper, so it’s a skill worth developing.
Delegating is often the best financial choice. If your time could be charged at $30 an hour, then spending it on a task that someone would do for $25 an hour is a poor use of resources. And that’s before you even factor in the value of lightening your mental load.
Delegating can give you time to work on your business rather than in it. It's no wonder Gallup research found that CEOs with high delegator talent generated 33% more revenue.
Delegation often feels unnatural
Small business owners are used to being able to do everything themselves. They’re often perfectionists too. When you’re juggling a lot of balls, letting go of one by delegating can feel like you’re losing control. Instead, it may be a way to take more charge.
Delegating is an important part of growing your business. Nevertheless, high achievers may feel some guilt or mistrust when they hand overwork. If this is the case, you can build your confidence in delegating by starting with small steps.
Delegation works best with a good process
You’re most likely to succeed when you understand your strengths and those of each person in your team. Then, you can delegate to make the most of everyone’s talents. Good delegation has a few common features.
- Start by assigning small jobs that can be done independently.
- Be clear about the outcome you want and when: explain what 'success looks like for the task.
- Ensure the person you delegate to has everything they need to complete the work.
- Provide detailed instructions but empower people by allowing them flexibility over the process
- Give thanks, and swap feedback once the task is done so people know how to keep improving and can also suggest ways to improve the process.
When you delegate the finished work may not always meet your expectations. Persevere! Help people build their skills and check if your delegation process could be improved.
Delegating the right tasks is important
Choosing what to delegate depends on your particular situation. However, a few ‘rules of thumb’ can help.
Some tasks should nearly always be delegated. Finance and legal work requires professional expertise to be efficient and effective. Marketing and administration are two further areas where delegation usually gives better results for the time you’d spend doing it yourself.
A business owner is usually the best person to take on some critical responsibilities. Strategy, investor relations, company culture and sales are things that shape a company and allow you to keep connected to stakeholders. As a small business owner, it's vital that you stay involved in these areas. If you have a Mentor, they can help you navigate responsibilities like these ones.
Other business tasks can be prioritised to help you decide which to delegate. Consider what is weighing on your mind the most. If it’s tough to ‘see the wood for the trees’, your Mentor can help you work through what's most important.
You’ll probably benefit from delegating tasks that require either new technical knowledge or no technical knowledge. As you begin to delegate, you'll also gain more time to strategise how tasks are managed.
Now, you can get the right support with smart delegation
There's help on hand if you still don't know where to start. Business Mentors are experienced business people who have learnt what works and also what doesn’t. You’ll find they have your best interests at heart and are ready to support your success. And, you can delegate the task of finding the perfect Mentor match to our specialists at Business Mentors New Zealand.