One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that every day is different — but for a lot of entrepreneurs, that also means you end up doing a bit of everything. However, doing everything for your business can also mean you spend too much time on the day-to-day tasks and not enough time focusing on growing your business. That’s where effective delegation comes in.
In order to truly scale your business, you can’t try to do it all on your own. By outsourcing or hiring staff to take care of time-consuming tasks, you can focus on the most important, high-level priorities for your business. But giving up some tasks and control can be a challenge for entrepreneurs who are reluctant to let go of any part of the business they’ve built.
One founder with that type of high delegator talent is Virgin Founder Richard Branson. He says his secret to success is people, because “they had skills that I did not. In some areas they knew better than I did how to make my vision a reality.”
Effective delegation — not micromanaging — allows you to focus on the most important parts of your business while empowering your team to take charge of projects you assign them.
Why Delegation is Important for Entrepreneurs
Successful delegation involves building the right processes (including setting expectations, following up, and giving feedback), as well as providing the resources and authority to act to your team. It also involves giving the right task to the right person for the right reason.
Some benefits of effective delegation include:
Freeing up your time to focus on the most important aspects of the business
Growing employees’ skills and expertise
Empowering employees to handle tasks they are best at (or are better at than you)
Increasing efficiency so that you can take on and complete more projects
However, many successful entrepreneurs still struggle with delegation in management. Many employees and freelancers struggle to succeed due to a lack of direction, tools, or communication. In order to make sure delegating tasks actually helps your business instead of hurting your business, you need to prioritize learning how to delegate effectively.
Tips for Effective Delegation
Martin Zwilling once said, “For a few, delegating comes easily, maybe too easy. For others who are perfectionists, letting go of even the most trivial task is almost impossible.” As an entrepreneur, you have to be ready to delegate in order to grow your business.
You want to hire people who can think on their own, have the skills to push your business forward, and can manage the important day-to-day tasks without needing to be micro-managed.
Here are some tips for effective delegation:
Delegate the full project, not just certain tasks. Train your employees or freelancers to take ownership of the entire job, not just bits and pieces. They’ll be more invested in the project and be able to see it through from start to finish.
Communicate clearly. Part of effective delegation is clear communication. Luckily, there are plenty of tools great for managing a remote team that make this easier. Make sure everyone on your team knows important details such as timelines, budgets, and the people they can turn to for help.
Teach and train your team the right way. Though tedious now, making sure you take the time to explain how everything works and why you do things a certain way pays off in the long-run when your team has fewer questions on the next project.
It’s Time to Start Delegating Tasks
You don’t need a huge payroll in order to have a successful company — so long as you know how to leverage outsourcing properly. Thanks to our hyper-connected world, it’s easy for solopreneurs to hire virtual assistant (VA) workers to take care of many of the day-to-day tasks involved in running a business.
These are tasks that, while important to your clients and your overall business growth, often take a long time and don’t need to be completed by you personally. By delegating these tasks, you can spend your time working ON your business, not IN your business.
The Top Tasks Successful Entrepreneurs Delegate
1. Writing and Scheduling Social Media
A social media presence is important in today’s world. However, it can be a time-sucking activity that distracts you from your most important business tasks. Look for a freelancer or employee who specializes in social media who can write social media posts to fill up your calendar and who can manage the day-to-day social media monitoring and scheduling.
2. Creating Graphics for Blogs and Social Posts
Not everyone has the skills or patience to create graphics, but in social media, including custom graphics is important. Hiring someone who specializes in creating graphics will save you time in the long run and improve your overall brand, as their specialty is creating designs that look good.
Even if you do have an artistic eye, hiring someone to create most of your graphics can be a big help. You can create the most important designs, but outsource the rest to someone who can quickly produce all the graphics you want with the dimensions you need. Plus, collaborating with others will give you fresh ideas when you run out.
3. Day-to-Day Client Management
Once you have lots of clients, keeping track and communicating with all of them can eat up a chunk of time that could have been used for more direct revenue generating tasks. Consider outsourcing customer service, email communications, and other management tasks, having them handle simple requests and passing anything important to you.
4. Data Entry
Although many of today’s systems are automated, there may be some aspects of your business that require manual data entry, such as inputting names into a database or updating your email marketing solution — especially when you’re switching to a new software. Luckily, many sites allow you to hire a freelancer for a specific project for even just a few hours, making it possible for you to outsource these projects quickly.
5. Handling Administrative Tasks
Freelancers and VAs can handle administrative tasks such as calendar management, returning phone calls, and scheduling appointments. In addition, if you tend to travel a lot for business, making travel arrangements and finding the best deals can take up a lot of your time. Outsourcing this to someone already handling your calendar makes it easy to get everything organized for you.
Besides fighting distraction, research takes hours — and then you have to organize the information! It’s best to outsource this task to someone else whenever possible. You’ll still be able to analyze the data, but having someone do the initial research and highlight the important points saves you a lot of time.
7. Generating New Leads
Initial lead generation tasks typically involve some type of administrative function, such as database management, data entry, and reaching out through phone calls and emails — all of which you can outsource to a virtual assistant. They can then pass leads to you once they’re warm so that you can turn them into clients.
8. Overseeing Other Freelancers
Once you have a large enough team of VAs or freelancers, you can even start delegating management tasks to one who’s reliable and has been on your team long enough to know what you want. Hire someone you trust to serve as a project manager to oversee how everyone is doing. You can give them the big-picture projects, then they break that down into smaller tasks and make sure everything gets finished on time.
Final Thoughts: Why Effective Delegation Is Crucial for Successful Entrepreneurs
Effective delegation is vital for successful entrepreneurs to scale their business quickly. When you begin delegating the day-to-day responsibilities of running an agency, you can focus on growth, and your team members can take ownership of projects.
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