So you started your own business and the business is doing well. Then all of a sudden you find yourself extremely busy and with a to-do list a mile long. You find yourself at the point you want to pull your own hair out or are seriously considering cloning as a viable solution!
There is nothing more exciting than growing your business and revenue stream to the point where you have too much to do and are in need to delegate some of your administrative operational tasks to someone else. It doesn’t really matter whether or not the task is delegated to someone who works side-by-side with you or virtually; there are some things that must occur in order to make the delegation successful.
One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners make in the decision to delegate tasks and reduce the load on their plates falls into not knowing how to delegate or be supported. Unless you create adequate time and training for the person you are passing your task off to, you are setting yourself up for a world of frustration. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this occur where business owners hire a third party to help complete a task and then the task is either not done correctly, in time or to the expectations of the business owner and it is all of the support staffs fault. Now I am not saying that support staff is always right or that third party vendors never make mistakes.
We have all heard the horror stories around delegating tasks to support staff or third party vendors. Sometimes these stories are true due to reasons like not selecting vendors that can provide the results desired or ones that do not fit well with our personalities or working styles but rarely do we consider the role we play in the successful art of delegating our overwhelming to-do list of a million projects and task.
As a business owner you know delegation is crucial so you can focus on revenue generating activities and growing your business. It wastes company money and time not to delegate! In order to be successful you need to know how to delegate and how to allow yourself to be supported by someone else. If you can be mindful of how to delegate a task properly you stand a much higher chance of successful delegation.
In order for support staff or third party vendors to complete any task successfully the knowledge to perform the task must be transferred.
Your support staff or third party vendor cannot read your mind so if you do not take the time to communicate the transfer of knowledge than you cannot get upset when the results are not up to expectation.
You also have to be prepared for mistakes and be able to put them in perspective because they might directly lead back to your ability to teach and delegate rather than the competencies of the support staff and this can be a difficult mirror for business owners to look in.
What I am saying is that certain things must occur in order for any project to succeed regardless of if it is fulfilled by you or your support staff or third party vendor.
The project must be identified, the steps to complete the task must be followed through and the end result must be achieved.
Here are a few tips to get you well on the way to being successfully supported.
- Clearly identify task that can be delegated
- Assign the task to someone who can complete it while maintaining standard of excellence that is concurrent with yours
- Establish that the person the task is being assigned to either has the knowledge to complete the task or has the capabilities to assimilate the knowledge to complete the task correctly and in a timely manner
- If you have to transfer knowledge or train the person on how to perform the task be mindful that people have different learning styles and try to accommodate the one which will facilitate the fastest path to the command of knowledge
- Expect a learning curve and be prepared for the possibility of mistakes initially while the knowledge is being transferred and assimilated.
- Make yourself accessible for questions and further training in the beginning as we are all humans and it takes a time to master a new skill.