Entrepreneurs Learn to Delegate – Your Business Will Thank You For It

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It’s time to bust the ‘I can do it all’ myth, says Candice Clark who leads HR business, The Agile Talent Company and is a former business coach.

“This is where a lot of entrepreneurs get stuck and logically – their business growth [does] too!”

This is because growth often means an increased workload and a bigger team which requires an entrepreneur to delegate and outsource some business tasks and processes if they are to keep up.

It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to struggle with the following questions when having to let go of control of certain tasks, says Clark: “What do I hand over? To who do I hand it over? How do I make sure they can do it well?”

To help answer these questions and to help entrepreneurs learn how to relax the reins, Clark recommends the follow 4-step strategy:

Step 1. Ask yourself: How do I use my time currently?

– I would strongly encourage you to start keeping time sheets if you aren’t – not forever, but try it for a few weeks. You have eight hours a day, what are you spending it on? As one of my mentors once told me, it should be: CASH, CANDIDATES, CLIENTS.

– Once you’ve captured your time and tasks over a period, analyse them. Interrogate yourself: Am I really spending my time on activities that bring in cash, grow or lead my team well and/ or ensure client satisfaction and relationship building? No? Then something needs to change. Quick.

Step 2. Decide on what to keep

– This can be tricky, and requires careful analysis. Perhaps use a mentor or coach for this part of the exercise if you can. I would start with the question, what do I absolutely have to retain? Maybe it’s several anchor or key clients, perhaps it’s debt collection and/or invoicing, maybe it’s your social media presence that is a huge generator of leads because of your unique voice. Whatever it is in your business – make a list of the top five things you absolutely have to retain.

– Next up, what do I love to do AND what am I really good at? These are things that should mostly be income generating. Activities that help keep you in the flow. Try keep these too if possible, in addition to the key activities you must retain.

– Now, take a look at your time sheet analysis. What is left over? And which of these are cash, candidates and/ or client focused? I would argue that anything that’s left over that’s not [any of the three], might be worth dropping and outsourcing.

Step 3. Choose the right person for the job

– You must find someone that is both skilled at what you need done and who loves doing it. Passion and talent are going to outperform just passion or talent any day of the week. Think about their skills and experience that you need and [search for the right candidate]. Make it

as specific as possible. It will help you shortlist CV’s and/ or portfolios much quicker, and you’ll know it when you find the right one!

– Remember you can decide to employ and/ or sub-contract. You can decide to get someone to join full-time or part-time, all dependent on your preference and what your business needs.

Step 4. Set up your replacement for success

– Always on board someone! Whether they are an employee or sub-contractor. Set up an on boarding calendar for their first two weeks, and decide what you will be training them on based on [the task].

– Set up at least two dedicated hours per week for a catch up and to build a relationship with them. People love to work for bosses they love and who show an interest in their lives.

Outsourcing can seem scary at first, but it’s totally doable with the right steps in place. If you’re feeling uncertain about delegating, get a mentor or coach to support you through this. Your business and yourself will thank you for it!

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Melissa Javan
Melissa Javan
Melissa Javan is a writer with nine years' experience in the media industry. She enjoys blogging and taking part in Twitter chats. You can find her on Twitter @melissa_nel.

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