It’s Not as Bad as It Seems
When starting a business, you do everything. You handle the installations, repairs, vehicle maintenance, answer the phones, balance the books, all of it. All tasks were yours because you wanted everything done to your standards and in a manner that was suitable for the company you were trying to create. Through the creation of operation manuals, you were able to put down on paper exactly what you expect for every position in your business. Delegation is essentially handing out the manuals and training people to do the tasks. If you want to grow your business, you need to learn to delegate as many of those routine tasks as possible. As Tommy Mello puts it, you see yourself as the superhero of your company. You are so worried about letting go of some of these tasks, whether it be because you think you are saving money or just because you do not think anyone else can do what you do. You are so worried about “saving a few pennies, you’re missing the hundred-dollar bills flying over your head”. If you are seeing these people you have hired as incompetent and unable to perform, hire new ones. The goal is to free your time for the tasks that you should be doing.
You are only one person, and at some point, having your hands on everything will limit your ability for growth, or even cause some areas to fail. You will be overextended and some tasks that did need YOUR specific attention may not be getting any of your attention at all. Being a jack-of-all trades may seem like you are accomplishing a lot. Showing your team that you can do everything. The problem with this is that eventually you will start making bad decisions and taking your company in a negative direction instead of actually growing it.
There are 7 tips for effectively delegating in your business:
- Know what is on your plate
- Make a list of all the tasks that you are currently handling, even if it seems small. This will help you see where all your time is going and provide you a clearer picture.
- Inhouse hiring: hiring an employee
- Outsourcing: using independent contractors such as virtual employees
- These would be operation manuals or even just a list of what each job requires of you
- Make sure the list is somewhere that can be easily accessed by the person you are going to delegate to. This will help them jump in where you were or even keep repeating the job in a manner that you expect of them.
- Think of how you will assign these tasks. In some cases, you will need to give them new projects daily, how will you communicate these to them? How will they track their time if they are a virtual employee?
- Think about if this is an assignment that needs to be completed right away and who can be working on the task. Does this have to be done by you, no exceptions? Can someone else be assigned to the task?
- There are many file sharing software options as well as team apps that allow you to share what is on your screen as well as modify and assign new tasks. Explore these options and see if there is one that works best for you and your business.
- Constant, or at least regular communication helps make sure that the tasks you assign are being done and give you the opportunity to supervise the people you are entrusting with these tasks. It also gives them a way to communicate milestones and show that they are being done efficiently.
- Trust needs to go both ways. You need to trust that these tasks are being done in a manner that you want them to be done, and the team members need to trust that you have given them all the information necessary to get that “gold star” of recognition when completing the jobs. Handing these tasks off may not be easy, but you need to trust the people you assign them to.
Delegation may seem scary, but it is giving you back so much more. As Tommy puts it in his interview, he now gets to work on things that he loves because of delegation. He has grown a very large empire, so to speak, and in the beginning when it was still small, he had to hands in a
little bit of everything and anything. Through delegation, he is now able to focus more on marketing and sales, areas that he claims to love. His growth of his business has led to him having around 300 employees. He prides himself on the fact that he can help so many people with jobs, and families that have a good income through working for him. Tommy could never have grown his business to this size without handing off tasks to other people. Delegation in his company has also helped others through creating new jobs and giving him the ability to hire more people. He shares his steps to delegation in his book Home Service Millionaire.
Tommy’s 7 steps to begin delegating repetitive tasks:
- Select the repetitive routine task you want to delegate.
- Create a procedure that outlines the correct way to perform the task, step by step. Be sure to document the who, what, where, when, why and how of the task.
- Set deadlines and then hold people to them.
- Document the expected results of the delegated task.
- Assign the task to someone, and then, using the procedure, train them on how to properly perform this task to your standards. Make sure the person signs off and accepts responsibility for the task.
- Let them perform. Stay in the loop of their progress, but you trusted them with the task let them do it.
Once you have managed to let go of some of these tasks, you will feel a sense of freedom for more important things. In the beginning, you may feel a need to keep your hand in the task even though you have given it to someone else, but you need to understand that you can’t do everything. You have these people, these employees, in place for a reason. You have given them all the information they need to go out and conquer the area they need to in the correct manner for your company. Trust them to do what you hired them for. Micromanaging, or having them work as you look over their shoulder and watch every move, is going to undo anything that came from delegation. You are the leader, supervise these people. You can have them update you at certain milestones keeping you in the loop. Your most important job as a leader is to foster a positive company culture and model its values, resolve conflicts, oversee hiring, mentor the senior management team, and monitor financing. That’s it. All the organizing, lists, charts, manuals, they were all created so you can have a company functioning properly while you are away.
I want to end with a statement Tommy made in an interview. “If I offer to take you and your family to Hawaii for three weeks, would your business still be there when you returned?” He says that without delegation, without systems in place and people working with the knowledge of what is expected of them while you are gone, you do not have a business. You will never make it to that home service millionaire status that everyone wants when running their own business. And, you will not have the freedom running your own business is supposed to give you.
If you have any questions, please reach out and comment here. I am more than willing to answer any questions you have as well as be a sounding board for your delegation issues. Delegation can be hard for many people, trust me I have been there. In the end, it is worth it. Get back to doing what you love, enjoy your day, have freedom. DELEGATION!!