Problem solver. Bookkeeper. Marketing guru. Running a small business involves wearing a lot of hats, and many entrepreneurs believe they should be doing everything themselves. This mindset can be destructive, however, leading to business burnout. The solution? Delegation.
While it can be a difficult task for any invested business owner, delegation is critical to your success as an entrepreneur.
Learn to delegate effectively with these strategies from Forbes:
1. Choose what tasks you are willing to delegate.
You should be using your time on the most critical tasks for the business, and the tasks that only you can do. Delegate what you can’t do, and what doesn’t interest you. For example, non-computer types should consider delegating their social media, website, and SEO activities.
2. Pick the best person to delegate to.
Listen and observe. Learn the traits, values, and characteristics of those who will perform well when you delegate to them. That means give the work to people who deliver, not the people who are the least busy. This requires hiring people with the right skills, not the least expensive or friends and family.
3. Trust those to whom you delegate.
It always starts with trust. Along with trust, you also have to give the people to whom you delegate the chance to do a job their way. Of course the work must be done well, but your way or the highway is not the right way.
4. Give clear assignments and instructions.
The key is striking the right balance between explaining so much detail that the listener is insulted, and not explaining enough for someone to grasp what is expected. Think back to when you were learning, when you were a neophyte.
5. Set a definite task completion date and a follow-up system.
Establish a specific deadline at the beginning, with milestones. In this way you can check up on progress before the final deadline, without fuzzy questions like “How are you doing?”
6. Give public and written credit.
This is the simplest step, but one of the hardest for many people to learn. It will inspire loyalty, provide real satisfaction for work done, and become the basis for mentoring and performance reviews.
7. Delegate responsibility and authority, not just the task.
Managers who fail to delegate responsibility in addition to specific tasks eventually find themselves reporting to their subordinates and doing some of the work, rather than vice versa.
8. Avoid reverse delegation.
Some team members try to give a task back to the manager, if they don’t feel comfortable, or are attempting to dodge responsibility. Don’t accept it except in extreme cases. In the long run, every team member needs to learn or leave.
Every entrepreneur needs to set aside their fear of delegating. If you do it right, as outlined above, every task will likely be done better than you could do it. The only thing you can’t delegate is “the buck stops here” role. That can only be done by the person in charge, and it better always be you.
For more tips on delegation, head over to Forbes.