Small business consulting firms face myriad challenges when working with small business owners who have built their company from the ground up. One of the most common issues they have to address with owners is how important it is to delegate certain tasks. Business owners have to wear many hats during the early years of their business, putting out fires and handling everything from marketing to customer service. As a company grows, however, business owners have to spread themselves too thin if they don’t start delegating. An owner can’t focus on growing his business if he’s still putting out those fires or trying to keep every department running smoothly. In order to grow, small business consulting firms recommend that owners delegate whatever tasks they can. But how do you know which tasks to delegate?
Identify Time Drains
Determining which tasks are time drains is critical to proper delegation. Keep track of how you spend your time for at least two weeks, then review the results with a small business consulting firm that can point out areas for improvement. You may be shocked by how much of your time is being sucked away by certain tasks that are low priority. Now determine which activities can be safely delegated and which individuals in your company are strongest in those areas. Once you’ve determined who to delegate to, provide a template for success by creating procedural guidelines they can use.
Successful delegation isn’t possible unless you train your employees and give them the tools to perform their new tasks effectively. Prepare detailed procedural guidelines they can refer to in order to prevent a breakdown in the process chain. Keep in mind, however, that your ultimate goal is to enable your employees to handle specific tasks without micromanagement on your part. Process documents should be guidelines, not hard and fast rules. The focus should be on the results, not on the process itself.
In order to delegate effectively, small business consulting firms stress that owners have to let loose the reins to some extent. By letting your employees take on roles you’ve handled yourself in the past, you are signaling that you trust them and their abilities. Don’t take away that trust by trying to micromanage their efforts. Instead, touch base with each team leader weekly to discuss not only your expectations, but their suggestions. Trust is a two-way street, and you’ll soon discover that the more open you are to employee suggestions, the more they will be willing to take on new responsibilities.
At Makarios Consulting, our small business consulting focuses on leadership, strategy and proper execution in order to ensure your company’s growth and continued success. Visit our website or call 610-380-8735 to schedule a consultation.
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