The art of delegation is one thing business owners must master.
For entrepreneurs and those just starting out, relying on another team member to handle important tasks can be difficult. After all, your business is your baby and who knows your brand better than you? However, learning how to delegate is essential – not just to your business success, but to your sanity.
Delegating to the right people in the right way will allow you to step back from the everyday activities that exhaust all your efforts so you can focus on growing your business.
Why should you delegate?
There are several reasons why it makes perfect sense to delegate, particularly in those early days.
- As an entrepreneur or startup your time is precious, and successfully delegating will save hours that could be spent better elsewhere.
- By sharing tasks with your workforce, you can use the best people for each and every job, developing employees in the process.
- Delegating to your employees is an excellent motivator. Delegating shows you trust your people, and employees will feel engaged in their roles and more committed to wider company values and objectives.
Phil Foster, Managing Director at business electricity comparison site Love Energy Savings, says: “Delegating tasks to your team is an essential aspect of both driving a business forward and employee engagement. As an entrepreneur or startup company owner, it’s your responsibility to develop people within your organisation. While it may be easier to complete the task yourself in the short term, delegating to employees will provide the challenges and opportunities your staff need to learn new skills and expand existing ones.
“Employees who aren’t challenged, motivated or engaged won’t stick around for long. By delegating, you can instil a high level of focus at all levels and give employees the chance to advance their careers. Remember, nothing is more destructive than micromanaging. Draw on your employees’ strengths and build a team that will support you and business growth in the long run.”
3 expert tips from successful entrepreneurs on delegating:
“Learn to delegate very early on” — Richard Branson
Filling the skills gap you have is another reason why the most experienced entrepreneurs delegate. In recent article ‘How to delegate when launching a business’ Richard Branson stated:
“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate … When my friends and I started up Virgin, I knew that I was lacking vital knowledge on some subjects, and so I started learning this skill very early on in my career”.
The Virgin Founder makes no secret of the fact that the key to his success is his people. Learning how to delegate and trust from an early stage ensures your time and energy can be spent keeping the business where it should be and resolving all the unexpected issues that will no doubt arise.
“Keep your team as small as possible” — Mark Zuckerberg
This tip may seem a little odd considering Facebook serves more than a billion users worldwide, but Zuckerberg does have a point.
During an interview with CNN Money he said that “the most important thing is to keep your team as small as possible” when asked how entrepreneurs can start to delegate successfully to others to grow their own companies.
Picking the right people to delegate to is vital. Ensuring your small and carefully selected team has the skills and strengths to complete the tasks, or has access to training and support to develop such skills, is key.
“You have to be open-minded” — Bill Gates
Most people have their own way of doing things and this extends to entrepreneurs and small-business owners. In Time’s Bill Gates’s Best Career Advice Gates said:
“You have to be open-minded. Somebody could do it differently and still do it well. You can’t have this bias that they need to do things the same way.”
Micromanagement is a huge no-no when delegating. Once the team member you’ve delegated to is trained and briefed, you need to back away and trust they can succeed – even if they do approach and complete the task differently.
Understanding the importance of delegating is integral to taking your business to the next level.
Building your team requires some initial investment, but delegating will ultimately save you money by allowing you to step back from the day-to-day and focus on driving your business’s growth.