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Learning to delegate in small business

Many if not most startups and small businesses begin as one person shows. An idea is hatched, and for a while, a single person creates, packages, ships, manages and posts everything. The business grows, and eventually one person isn’t enough. But for many founders learning to delegate is a difficult process.

Delegating is vital

No single person has every skill needed to successfully run a business. Leadership, analytics, accounting, marketing, sales, manufacturing, shipping – these are just a few of the aspects businesses are built of. If you asked someone else to do everything alone they’d either laugh or just get up and leave – so why do so many founders expect themselves to be able to do everything on their own?

It can be difficult to delegate tasks if you’ve been doing them yourself from day one, but delegating is vital when it comes to business health and growth – and to your own sanity!

Learning to trust

If you’re at the point where you need to employ your first workers make sure to think smart.

Avoid bringing in close friends and family, and instead focus on the skills needed to do the jobs best. Then, once you’ve hired someone who has the right credentials and fits the bill, and who understands your business objectives and goals, take a leap of faith.

Any employee at any level of a business can make mistakes, but it’s essential that you trust the people you bring on board. Micromanaging them will only cause stress, anxiety, and poor performance.

Make sure all your employees are briefed on exactly what it is you need them to be doing, and keep the lines of communication open. Check in often, but try to relax a little (if possible). The goal of delegation is to buy you more time doing the things you’re best at so that your business can run more smoothly: not to waste the time you’ve won by watching over everyone’s shoulders.

It can be difficult to delegate tasks if you’ve been doing them yourself from day one, but delegating is vital when it comes to business health and growth – and to your own sanity!

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Delegation isn’t a loss of control

If you’re worried that delegating means you’ll lose control, don’t be. You’re not losing your foothold in the business by delegating tasks anyone can be trained into doing: after all, you’ll still be in charge of the operations and focusing on the skills – like leadership – that simply can’t be done by anyone else.

If anything, delegating well will give you more time to build a better, more effective, more successful business: it isn’t you handing your business to anyone else. Anyone can pack boxes and label deliveries: your time is better spent working on the big picture.

In addition, any good leader will empower those around them. By making sure you can work on your own strengths, and each of your employees can work in areas that are theirs, you can gain trust and respect as a founder.

Delegate wisely

For some people, delegating yourself out of a job seems like a dream. You get to put up your feet while everyone around you works. But in order to have a successful business, delegation shouldn’t be about simply passing off work: it should be about making sure that your work is aligned with your responsibilities and where your time is best spent.

Your business needs someone to really push it forward and grow it, and that person ought to be you. Your goal is to give yourself time to focus on the things that will really help you do so!

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Delegating can be difficult when your business is your baby, but growth and successful will inevitably mean that you’ll need more hands to manage the load.

So hire and then trust the right people, acknowledge that delegation doesn’t mean a loss of control, and make sure you delegate the right tasks to the right people.

Lena Klein

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