I'm used to being the "getter doner", the assistant, the right hand. Consequently I am the one who is usually preaching about the benefits of delegating and trying to explain how delegating can save a business owner more time, relieve stress, increase earnings, and improve customer satisfaction.
But recently something interesting happened. I finally had the chance to experience the flip side of the delegating coin, to be the person who was having stuff done for them. I must admit, I was surprised how challenging it was.
I found this really interesting, so I got to talking with several other virtual business owners and supervisors of traditional offices about why it is so hard to delegate.
These were the common "I'd rather not delegate" reasons I gleaned from my little survey:
2) "No one else can do it as well as I can."
3) "I have so much to do that I wouldn't even know what to ask someone to do", aka--"I'm too disorganized to get organized :-)."
4) "I have no clear idea of what I could delegate."
5) "I don't know if I can trust someone else to do this."
6 "I don't want to give up this task because I like doing it."
7) "I'm the only person who knows how to do this."
Things that make delegating easier
But how can you get started if you sort of want to, if you know you're to the point where you need to, but you're still apprehensive? This is what I usually tell people:
- Get to know the person first outside of a work environment. I usually take my time getting to know a potential client before starting to work with them. It gives us both a chance to feel comfortable with each other in a relaxed, no-pressure sort of way.
- Be willing to pay for quality. If you have a business that is precious to you, you don’t want to go for a bargain basement price tag. You get what you pay for :-) Always, always invest in quality, and look for someone who sees this as a long term partnership.
- Admit that sometimes someone else does do it better... If there really is an area of your business that you are top-notch at and you truly enjoy doing it, then you can hold onto that task if you want. If you have a successful business, though, there are definitely things that others can do better than you. Why not let them?
- Realize that your role in your business changes as you become more successful. As your business grows you should focus more on business growth and development and less on doing the tasks associated with the running of your business. Your job is to improve your business, come up with new ideas, and trailblaze new areas of your field. Your job is to do things that only you can do. Other people can do customer service, manage staff, and do the technical stuff associated with the daily operations of your business.
- Know that it gets easier with practice. When I'm talking to business owner friends who are cautious about delegating, I always tell them "It gets easier the more you do it." I've known people who were dead set against giving away any of their work, and then within a matter of weeks or months they were handing stuff over to others to handle right and left. As with any new experience, it does get easier with practice after you take the initial plunge, and when you start to relax, trust the person you're working with, and relish your new free time, it's an incredibly liberating feeling.
- Focus on the end result. As you welcome someone into your business, you will ideally get to the point where you feel like you have an extra pair of shoulders to bear the weight of your business. As a solo biz owner, it gets tiring after a while having to keep all of the details involved with your business in your own little head. Learning to delegate may be uncomfortable for some people at first, but there is a huge pay-off if you stick with it.
Over the next few posts we'll explore the concept of "how to learn to delegate" so that you can get some peace of mind, so that your business can grow, and so that your own time is used to its best advantage.
For now, I ask you-- How are you at delegating?
Untitled by jared