Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
Go and Grow - In Other Words, Delegate!
By Victoria Munro
Without delegating, you will
never work at your maximum efficiency,
and you’ll limit the growth of your business.
It’s easy for entrepreneurs to spend all their
time working very hard in
their businesses, but taking little or no time to step
back, gain a different perspective and work on
their businesses. If you’re
overwhelmed, have too much to do and too little time,
consider the benefits of delegation.
It’s tempting to put off delegating because you
know that it will take even more time initially to explain
and teach someone else the process and then to inspect
and possibly help them make needed corrections. This
can be stressful, and it’s easier to simply do
For some, letting go of control is a challenge. It’s
especially difficult when you know you can do the job
better than anyone else. When you started the business,
you probably had to do everything yourself, and you’ve
become really good at many things. However, without
surrendering control and delegating, your business simply
can’t grow to the next level.
Many small business owners
feel they can’t afford to delegate, but
we’ve watched entrepreneurs discover and implement
creative solutions to this problem. Some hired interns
from local colleges or high schools, stay-at-home moms
during school hours or retirees eager for a part-time
position. Others cut expenses in different areas and
hired a virtual or part-time assistant or bookkeeper
for several hours a month, then watched sales soar because
they were able to devote more of their time to working
with new and potential clients.
Sometimes, it takes a leap
of faith to pay the price and delegate. When
Marty Dickinson realized he would never be able to grow
his business without delegating more of the workload,
he took the plunge and increased the hours of his part-time
assistant. “That week, she worked thirty-four
hours,” he explained. “And I got more accomplished
than I had in the entire month before.” Now Marty
is in the process of hiring another full-time employee
in order to more quickly develop the company and reach
his revenue goals.
take stock of your strengths. Note the areas where you
are most productive: your high-payoff activities. Understand
your weaknesses—these are often the time-consuming
tasks that need to be done, but that you are not good
at and probably don’t enjoy. List all the tasks
that you do, or ideally should do, each week or each
month, and mark those that you could delegate. Then
figure out how, when and to whom you’ll delegate
them. Aim to surround yourself with capable, talented
individuals whose areas of expertise complement your
Prior to handing a task off to someone else, make quite
sure the job can’t be automated or eliminated
If You're Ready to Hire, Consider
what you want to delegate and draft a job description.
This should include the needed skills, qualifications,
duties, type of training and supervision that will
be provided, and where and what hours the candidate
will be required to work. Also, specify the main
purpose of the job and how this will contribute
to the success of the company.
||Decide how you will find
the new hire. If you plan to advertise online, in
the newspaper, professional or trade publications,
write an ad for the position. Be sure to tell friends
and associates in your network about the type of
person you are looking to hire.
||Design an application form for candidates to fill out. Make a list of questions you will ask during initial phone conversations and face-to-face interviews, with space to take notes. Remember, it’s unlawful to ask about the applicant's age, sexual orientation, marital status, religious affiliation or race. You will learn a great deal by asking open-ended questions and allowing them to talk.
||Screen applicants over the phone, schedule times and interview top candidates face to face.
||Complete background checks and call all references (ask for both professional and personal references). It may also be beneficial to request they take a personality assessment.
Don't rush your decision or
hire the first person who comes along. The old
adage hire slow and fire fast has great merit. Successful
delegation is both an art and a skill that can be learned.
While great employees are a valuable asset to your business,
those who perform poorly or have pessimistic, unhelpful
attitudes can have a negative impact on the entire company
and its reputation. Time and
energy invested in careful delegation will be well rewarded,
enable you to successfully grow your company and
enjoy the process.
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
Click here for printable version.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is
co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small-business owners through creatively designed programs
and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different
businesses. To receive FREE business success articles
with tips to help you with your business, sign up for
their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,”
and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get
More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics
You’re welcome to “reprint”
this article in your ezine, print publication
or on your website, as long as it remains complete and
unaltered (including the “about the author”
info at the end). Please send a copy of your reprint