Delegation: The Magic Word of Growth for Small Businesses


Delegation is critical to growth
When we work with our smaller clients, we like to say, “we’ll teach you how to do it, and when you are ready to delegate to others, we’ll take it back.”

In business, it’s important to not only understand what it takes to get a job done, but to also recognize when you’re doing a job that you shouldn’t be doing. Here are some signs that you’re ready for delegating:

  • You’re doing something you’re not good at. It doesn’t come naturally to you. You don’t enjoy it.
  • Conversely, you’re doing something you’ve mastered 1,000 times over. It’s time to teach it to someone else.
  • You’re doing something below your pay grade. Can you make more money if you have someone else do this for you? What is your billable rate versus theirs?
  • You have a staff member not fully utilized — give them something off your plate.
  • You’re trying to be a jack-of-all-trades. If you’re not trained in marketing and you need marketing help, then hire a marketing person.

Tips for delegation
As you prepare to start delegating, make sure you’re comfortable keeping yourself in check with the following guidelines:

  • Perfection is impossible. Establish a high standard of quality, but make sure you do not expect a masterpiece. At the same time, stop believing that you are the only one who can do the job properly and that your way is the only way. Be open to learning something new from your staff (and make sure they are interested in learning something new from you, too).
  • Be complete and fair with your instructions. When delegating a new project, establish a reasonable timeline upfront and make sure your team has a thorough grasp of the assignment before you step back. Follow through on your timeline to make sure you’re not disappointed with the end result.
  • Recognize and appreciate. Understand that you’re helping your team develop and/or strengthen their skillsets. Check in periodically, exercise patience when mistakes occur, and say “thank you" for a job well done.

Part of growing is learning what to let go of and when. Don’t be afraid to invest in arming your employees — and even third-party help — with the tools and training necessary to help you get your head above water and regain your grasp on your business.

Do you have any funny stories about delegations that went really well or where the wheels came completely off the cart? We would love to hear about it:

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