Learning how to delegate might not be high on your list of priorities right now. Many small business owners are wondering how they’ll keep the business running in a time of lock-downs and social distancing. At a time like this, can you afford to delegate?
The real question is, can you afford not to?
Many small business owners try to do it all. They do their own bookkeeping and data entry. They stay up late planning new marketing campaigns, then stay up even later drafting emails to promote those campaigns. Data entry, cleaning, troubleshooting and driving to the post office to ship a package all fall on the small business owner’s shoulders.
Delegation can shift some of that weight for you. It protects your physical and mental health as well as the wellbeing of your business. If you think you don’t have the budget or the time to delegate, that’s probably a signal that you need to make it happen.
How do I delegate?
Small business owners get so used to handling everything themselves. So often the biggest hurdle is just realizing that it’s okay to ask someone else to do something for you. Pick a task. Pick a person qualified to do that task, and let them do it. It’s that simple.
There’s one more really important step. You have to trust that person to get the job done. No micromanaging. No redoing it after they’re done. Give clear instructions and then trust them to do the job. Meanwhile, you can focus on something that only you are qualified to do. Or, you know, get some rest for once.
What can I delegate?
The most commonly delegated jobs are those small or repetitive tasks that eat up your time. Things like sorting your inbox or entering data into a spreadsheet. But don’t stop there. Here are some other tasks you can delegate:
- Research – Keeping track of your competitors, watching price trends, figuring out whether there’s a market for your new big idea, all of that takes research that you might not have the time or energy to do.
- Worry – Yes really. You don’t have to worry alone. There are people who are paid to be experts on things like taxes, stimulus packages, business growth, and other weighty topics. Bring them in and spread the worry around a little.
- Things you hate doing (or aren’t good at) – Anything that routinely annoys or frustrates you can probably be handed off to someone else who actually enjoys it. Seriously. There are people who actually like researching and writing blog posts. (me!)
- Idea generation – You have some great ideas. Otherwise, you never would have started your business in the first place, but other people can have great ideas too. Collaborate to help get the juices flowing.
Who can I delegate to?
Family and friends – Kids better at social media than you? Let them run your business page. Cousin with a brain full of crazy ideas? Ask them how they think you should pivot your business to weather the pandemic. Friend with a business that offers a service you need? Hire them (and offer to pay them appropriately).
Business Coaches – Their job is to make your business better, and your personal life will likely benefit as well.
Masterminds or networking groups – Groups of people who are also business owners can help you make plans, find information, or connect with the right person.
Your employees – You pay them to work for you, might as well make the most of their talents.
Your customers – They’re great at telling you what you can do better, helping you test your new product or service, and coming up with new ideas.
Industry experts – CPAs, marketing managers, blog writers, the Small Business Association, the local chamber of commerce, these people (and organizations) are experts in their industry. Let them do what they do best.
Jackie – With more than two decades in the Hampton Roads business community, Jackie knows a lot about business. She also offers administrative services like word processing, transcription and Quickbooks management.
Need help? Just ask. That’s what Jackie and College Park Executive Suites are here for.