As entrepreneurs and small business owners, you are used to doing everything yourself and being responsible for every aspect of your business. Often, though, trying to do everything is not the best and smartest use of your time. You might have employees who could do the task better than you, or you might be spending time and energy on the “small stuff” to the detriment of future planning and goal setting for your business. Here are seven ways you can get delegating and work smarter, not harder!
- Make yourself delegate. You need to let go of that feeling that you must do everything yourself. Realize that some tasks are better handed off to others, and you will be well on your way to delegating effectively.
- Delegate before it becomes a crisis. If you wait to delegate tasks until you are overwhelmed and things are at a tipping point, you run the risk of too little, too late, and things might fall apart anyways. Recognize when you are heading towards a time when you will have too much to do, and shed yourself some work before that point, for the most success.
- Be smart about what you delegate, to whom. Know your team, know what each member is good at, so you can approach the right employee with the right tasks. Social media is a good example of this. So often this is left to the bottom of the to-do list with entrepreneurs, but you might have an employee for whom this is right up their alley, and they could take your social media and make it soar. Find out what your team members are good at, and delegate tasks to them in the areas they love.
- Teach. Often, entrepreneurs think they are the only ones who can do a certain thing. But, the reality is, these things can be taught, so teach! Show your employees how to do certain tasks so they can succeed, and those tasks can come off your list.
- Standard Operating Procedure manuals. SOPs might not work in every business, but for some, this is the quickest and most reliable way to make sure employees have access to loads of good information, and don’t have to run to you about every little thing. Create an SOP for each task you are delegating, then team members can find the information they need and finish the job. If you don’t have time to write up SOPs, get a team member to do it, and then you can just edit and review it at the end.
- Check-in regularly. No, this does not mean micromanaging your employees, no one wants that. But it does mean, circle back to make sure there are no questions or issues, and that the task is underway. Make sure your employees know they can reach out to you if they have issues, or something is unclear.
- Provide feedback. Of course, at the end of the task or project, it is important to provide feedback. Make sure to start and end with positive comments and sandwich the tips for improving in the middle. And be sure to ask your team member for feedback on how effective your instructions were, and what could be improved. You are all in this together, after all!
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