How to Delegate Your Way to Small Business Success
If you are a small business owner, you started off being the person who, not only saw what needed to be done, but also made sure the task was completed. As your business starts to grow, you need to move past that mindset, or you won't be able to get past the handholding stage with your employees. You will be doing them and yourself a disservice. While it can be challenging to learn how to let go and delegate, it is a skill that can be learned.
Here are some tips to help make it easier:
Start by renting a virtual office.
If you aren't ready to hire a full staff, a virtual office in San Jose, or wherever your business is located, is a good place to start. You can have a live receptionist answer your phone and take calls for you. This strategy will free up time to work on your business instead of having to answer all the calls that come in without sacrificing the personal touch of a friendly person. Who knows, your new staff that answers your calls might even be friendlier than you :)
Hire a virtual assistant.
Another way to delegate some tasks on an as-needed basis is to hire a virtual assistant. Small business owners typically spend too much time on things that can easily be outsourced. A Virtual Assistant can help with a number of tasks, such as invoicing, making appointments, updating spreadsheets, correspondence, etc. They charge an hourly rate for their services, which means you only pay for the time you use them.
Focus on results, not the process.
If you decide you are going to delegate a task to someone, keep your focus on the results. The way a person accomplishes the job may not be exactly the way you would choose to do it, but you are going to have to let go of some of the "hows" if this model is going to work. As long as the task was accomplished correctly, relax and go with it.
Fix mistakes instead of laying blame.
There will be some bumps in the road when you are trying to delegate responsibilities in your small business, especially if this is a new way of handing things for you and your employees. There is a definite learning curve involved. When mistakes happen, focus on fixing the problem instead of figuring out whose fault it was. Everyone involved will be much happier and more relaxed as a result.
Make a point of rewarding initiative.
Encourage your employees to make decisions. You want them to expand their comfort zone in their job over time. They should feel more confident in their ability to handle day-to-day situations as they come up, which will give you more time to do your own work.
By following these suggestions, you will create the kind of work environment that will help you delegate your way to small business success. Before you know it, your small business may grow to the point where it will no longer qualify as "small" anymore!
Research Analyst, CloudVO™
Courtney’s research focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and virtual office trends.