Your business is growing, and this is a wonderful thing. Yet as this occurs, a question keeps creeping up in the back of your mind: Where did all my time go?
This is a common trend among the more hands-on entrepreneurs, and while an active approach is something to be applauded, the need to delegate tasks, even important tasks, becomes more present.
If this is not something you naturally do, don’t worry. Delegation is a skill that you can learn just like any other, and we encourage you to seek out those resources for the benefit of your business. Yet first, here are a few more reasons why we stress the importance of delegation:
Personal Time-Management Can Only Go So Far
You can be a paragon of time-management, but you can still only be in one place at once. There will be a point where you simply cannot oversee two departments or employees at once.
Additionally, while you might be ok with putting in long hours and working hard for the moment, eventually you’re going to need to take a break, willingly or not. You are eventually going to get sick or need to take a leave of absence, and without delegation, your business will grind to a halt without you.
Some Team Members and Services Can Do the Job Better than You
If you are the best person for the job for every task in your business or worry about whether people are doing their jobs correctly, you might want to revisit your hiring practices. With any luck, you are working with talented people who are capable of creative ideas and are already trained in the most efficient methods for completing their jobs.
Your managers, if they are paying attention, likely have great ideas they can’t wait to implement. Delegating and giving them the autonomy to get the job done their way will almost certainly help your business in the long run.
Consider HR and payroll, for example. You can attempt to handle such matters yourself for your small business, but chances are that despite your best efforts you don’t have the expertise and connections necessary to offer what large, dedicated organisations can for your employees.
Consider outsourcing and delegating those types of tasks. Your business will be more effective at doing its primary work and acting as a cohesive organisation for it.
Your Management Team and Staff Need Experience as Well
Employees working with an entrepreneurial business generally want more than just a paycheck. They want experience and a chance to prove themselves in their careers. They want to be part of the organisation and they want to lead. If you aren’t delegating, it’s quite possible that your best talent will look for that opportunity elsewhere.
By delegating, not only are you providing invaluable experience to your team (which will only come back to help your business), you are building a culture of trust and empowerment that will lead to bold and innovative ideas and methods, a necessity for a new business in a competitive market.
You Need to Be Setting the Tone and Looking to the Future
Perhaps at the start, it’s important to be there on the ground floor overseeing your business, creating a template to work from in the future. Yet once the nuts and bolts are in place, what are you thinking about? Are you worried about keeping things on track (which is something you can delegate to a manager or senior staff member) or looking towards the future and preparing to catch future opportunities in your sails?
Oversight is necessary, and you should regularly check in on the day-to-day operations of your business, but it shouldn’t take as much time as some people spend each week on it.
As the owner, only you can set the course for your business and only you can have the final impact on your business’ culture. These are the important tasks, and the most exciting and challenging ones. We ask you to consider focusing on them for a dedicated period, because once you see the results you will likely realise that the positive impact on your business is unignorable.
There is a limit to what you as a business owner can accomplish yourself. Yet your team, when managed well, can accomplish just about anything. That is the importance of delegation and starting early will only make future growth that much smoother.
Any thoughts of your own you have about delegation and its importance? Please leave a comment below and tell us your thoughts.
Jock Purtle is a business owner, entrepreneur and industry expert on the valuation of high growth internet companies. He has been featured and quoted in publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Entrepreneur and Business Insider. He knows the value of a good team and the importance of mastering the art (and yes, it’s an art!) of delegation.