‘Delegate’ Is Not A Dirty Word

No matter how big or small your business, there will come a point when you are not able to do everything yourself. Although it can be extremely satisfying juggling everything all at once, consider the amount of time and effort this takes. Ask yourself this: are you getting value for money by spending your time doing each and every task within your business?

Delegating tasks to somebody new may seem stressful at first. After all, it’s hard to relinquish control of your ‘baby’ to someone else. However, if you stick to a few simple guidelines, you will soon find yourself delegating effectively and freeing up your time to pursue more those activities that take your business forward.


Where Do You Start?

To begin with you need to make an assessment of the tasks you want to delegate. Are they large, small, generalised, specialised, ongoing or one-off? Answering these questions will help you to decide whether you need to recruit additional internal staff, or if it is better to outsource your tasks to a specialist. Your final decision will also have to be based on the skill sets of current or potential employees, and available funding and costs involved.


How To Get It Right

Let’s look at outsourcing as a form of delegation. Outsourcing work can provide an extremely effective method for getting work done, without having to employ any additional people. This can be particularly advantageous if you are a small business owner. When outsourcing, it is important to follow these rules before deciding on the right people to use. You should be able to:

  1. Understand and describe your task effectively.
  2. Maintain clear and open dialogue from the start.
  3. Ensure that you have realistic costings and timelines in mind.

For example, the development of new company documentation is a task that is often best outsourced because of its somewhat sporadic nature. Keep the overarching components in mind. It is better to have a design brief of all of the elements it needs to contain, rather than a detailed idea of exactly how it should look. Then, use this design brief to obtain quotes for the work.


Potential Pitfalls

When delegating, perhaps the biggest potential pitfall is that the product you end up with isn’t what you expected. This can mean spending money twice to get it done right. Invest some time in research. Check out the person you are delegating to via their website, references, or customer feedback. Requesting previous examples of work will let you know the level of quality you are paying for.

When it comes to delegating, it’s important to base your decisions on hard evidence and accurate costings. Keep in mind that delegating is not relinquishing power or giving up your responsibilities. It’s about putting your trust in someone else in order to leverage your time.


How have you learnt to be a great delegator?