In a previous post ‘How to focus on what you do best and maximize your impact’ we stated that the most important reason for delegation is that it enables you to spend the majority of your time in your strength zone – causing you to be happier, more productive, deliver better quality work and increase your impact. But how do you delegate?
- Identify your strengths
- Offload everything else
My greatest strengths are in devising strategies, doing preparation/groundwork and communicating with my team. However, when you think about all the rest that needs to happen (to grow a business), such as the actual implementation of the plans, the daily management, tracking the progress and ensuring continuous improvement… then I fall short. By much.
When I first started my business I devoted more than half my available work hours to administrative activities. This included things like responding to e-mail, managing my calendar, paying bills, collecting money, writing marketing material, trying to design my own website and the list goes on.
The point is I was doing a lot of things others could have done better, or at least as well, as I could.
Offloading to Others
Offloading happens in 2 steps:
- Identify those tasks that others can also do
Each time you look at a task, ask yourself, Is this something someone else can do or is it something only I can do? Then you only do those things that others cannot do.
- Slowly start hiring part-time assistants
Now you start finding assistants who can take over the tasks you identified above. This can’t usually happen immediately. It can take a few years and will possibly be a continuous process.
Examples of such assistants include:
- A Web developerto handle all the technical details of your website
- A Writer/Editorto develop the ‘good stuff’ for your marketing material
- A Virtual Assistantto filter e-mail, manage your calendar, make travel arrangements, do type work, etc.
- A Bookkeeperto pay bills, invoice clients, make payments and provide financial reports.
- A Graphic Designerto create the graphics for new products and other marketing materials.
- A Customer Support Repto answer your clients’ unending stream of questions
Interestingly, not one of these assistants have to be full-time employees. They can all be independent contractors with their own clients working for a few hours a week or everyday of the week.
If your aim is to have a business that makes money whether you’re there or not, then you have to start devising a plan for delegation. The sooner the better!