Launching a business means that you are pretty much guaranteed to be permanently busy. From chasing up invoices to winning over new clients, hiring the right staff, scoping out premises, to writing a marketing strategy and even running the company social media, you quickly tend to become a jack-of-all-trades – and a hugely busy one at that. It’s totally natural to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of tasks on your to-do list each day, and if you work starts bleeding into the evenings and early mornings, you can soon start to jeopardise your mental wellbeing. And yet it’s difficult to step back when something is your baby and you’ve put so much effort into getting it up and running. In fact, the art of learning to delegate effectively is not something that tends to come naturally when you are so invested in your business. If you are truly to succeed and to grow your operations, however, you’re going to have to learn how to do it, or else risk becoming a blocker to your own business. So, how do you delegate effectively?
Know Your Strengths
One of the greatest things you can develop as a business leader is a clear-sighted view of your own strengths – and shortcomings. Truly understanding where you can best serve the company versus areas where it might be better to take a step back and outsource can be transformational. You may already have a good idea of what is in your comfort zone and that you enjoy doing, which is generally a good indication of your strengths, as we tend to enjoy what we are good at. Finding a business mentor can be really helpful here, as they can give you a detached perspective on anything you might be missing. Then learn to play to your strengths. If you’re brilliant at the client-facing stuff, prioritise that and hire in help in other areas – this might mean finding a marketing agency to support with lead generation, or looking for help with IT Services so that everything runs smoothly in the background.
Communicate Your Expectations Well
Excellent communications skills are high on the list of desirable attributes for a leader as well. If you are able to explain clearly what you expect, how those expectations will be met and check the understanding of the person you are delegating to, it reduces the chance of any misunderstandings and unwelcome surprises further down the line. Articulate clearly, make some written goals so that everyone understands, it will help you to relax about letting go of some aspects of running your business.
When someone in your team or that you’ve hired to support gets it right, celebrate that. After all, it also counts as a victory for you and your new skill in delegating effectively. Often, outside agencies can be even more effective, as they work across a wide range of clients, gaining industry knowledge and best practice as they do so. So if someone gets a task really right – let them know. It creates a mutual good feeling which strengthens the working relationship, and means that the next project is likely to go even better.