As an entrepreneur, bootstrapping is only an option for so long. Eventually there comes a time when a set of helping hands is much needed. Someone that can stay on top of administrative tasks, while you focus on critical activities that contribute directly to the bottom line.
What exactly is delegation and when should you use it?
Delegation is the act of allocating a task to someone and holding them accountable for its completion. This practice can become very useful in many situations. When it’s done right, you can watch as your productivity levels increase exponentially. Take a moment and think about it. Each of us only has a finite amount of time in our days to get things done, right? So if you can delegate a number of tasks to someone, especially ones that are time consuming, you will have just freed up that much more time in your schedule. This way, you can focus on something more productive and value adding.
In a business context, there are many approaches to delegation.
Find a freelancer: The first option is to hire a freelancer. Generally, these individuals run their own operations and work on a project to project basis. Depending on the nature of your business, you may opt to find an in-house freelancer, or in other cases, a remote freelancer. For the latter, you can visit websites like Upwork or Freelancer.com where you will find people offering services across a multitude of disciplines and industries.
Hire an employee: The second option is to hire a part or full-time employee. Whether this individual works remotely or in-house, the difference from a freelancer is that this employee will work primarily for you. Don’t forget about the paperwork that comes with employing your own staff member as compared to an independent contractor.
Get a personal virtual assistant: The final option can be considered a blend of the first two options – find yourself a virtual assistant. You can hire someone who offers virtual assistant services through their freelancing businesses, or you can hire someone full-time to do this for you exclusively. Of course, this decision depends on how much work you have for them.
These are just three options to find someone you can delegate tasks to. Of course, you may already have employees or a network of freelancers which are also suitable options.
Do you find it tough to give up control and rely on someone else?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone with this one. For many of us, a business can be very near and dear to the heart – especially if you’ve spent years building it from the ground up. With that said, it’s not always easy to delegate responsibility for certain tasks that you are used to completing yourself. For those of us who are not ready, it can result in micromanagement, added stress and other unnecessary issues. To help you avoid these negative outcomes, here are some of the best practices for a positive experience.
Best practices for the art of delegation.
Be clear and specific with your requirements. This includes any task instructions and deadlines. The goal here is to not leave anything up to question. Always provide clear instructions or details regarding the outcome of what you are expecting.
Trust those you are delegating tasks to. Not everyone approaches a task the same way. So unless you outlined a specific process that should be followed, have faith in those you hire. We’ll help make this a little easier by discussing the traits of an ideal candidate below.
Delegate tasks that are time-consuming, repetitive or uninteresting. Focus on areas where you excel. It never hurts to delegate tasks that take up valuable time and are menial in nature.
Hire someone who complements your abilities. Hire someone who has skills that you may not have yourself. If you are struggling with a particular task, become more efficient by hiring someone who has the relevant skills and knowledge to get the job done.
Now that you have a list of best practices, we will discuss the ideal candidate for this type of role.
Traits of a good hire.
When it comes to hiring an individual, whether it be a potential employee or freelancer, much can go wrong. However, with a careful screening process you can eliminate any unnecessary headaches associated with making a lousy hire. Some good indicators of a promising employee include:
An eagerness to learn
Not afraid of new challenges
Timely and efficient
Confidence in their abilities
Ability to communicate
The bottom line is that you have much to gain from delegation. It is especially true when you find yourself thinking why so much of your time is spent on one task when it could be better spent elsewhere.
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