Part of running a small business successfully is knowing when the time has come to
delegate work and make room in your schedule for new tasks. The day to day operations and tasks of your small business may have been your responsibility in the beginning, but these simple tasks cannot be performed by the business owner forever. Delegating work is the only way to guarantee that you will be free to reach new customers, develop new products and services, meet new challenges, and prepare your business for a more profitable future.
Jennifer Bourn, of BournCreative.com, featured a superb article that lists 132 things small business owners can delegate to other employees or individuals. When you understand the importance of delegating work, you can peruse this list of tasks to figure out a way to lighten the burden of your small business.
A Successful Business Output Requires Work Input
Working on your business is, of course, the most important thing you can do to guarantee your business’s survival and future existence. One of the most basic principles of business is that a successful and profitable output requires an input of work, effort, time, and money. Small business owners that start from the ground up know this principle better than anyone.
Starting a Business: Hefting the Burden Yourself
In the beginning, you will likely carry most of this burden yourself. Daily tasks such as marketing, selling, dealing with customers, perfecting products and services, managing a website, and handling social media activity fall on the shoulders of the small business owner. As your business grows, however, it will become more and more difficult for you to shoulder all of these responsibilities on your own. When this happens, it is time to delegate work tasks so that you can focus on broader aspects of your business.
Spend Money to Make Money
Many small business owners hesitate to delegate work to new employees or assistants because they simply feel that they cannot afford to spend the money to outsource business tasks. The truth, however, is usually that small business owners cannot afford not to delegate these tasks to others. In business, it is necessary to spend money in order to make money. This is one of the most difficult business principles for entrepreneurs to swallow. When your business is in its earliest stages, you may want to hold on to every scrap of profit that your business generates. This may make you feel more secure about your business’s future when, in reality, it is crippling the expansion possibilities of your business. Unless you spend money on task delegation, your business will never effectively grow. There are three major business tasks that can be easily outsourced, so you can focus on the big picture.
Social Media Presence
A successful social media presence is necessary for marketing and growing a small business. However, social media management is often a full-time position. Social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter must be continually updated in order for them to be effective. Consumers want to connect with business social media accounts on a regular basis, so you may want to hire someone to manage your business’s social media daily. When a trusted employee is posting on your business’s behalf, you can focus on managing other important business operations.
Customer service is another business task that is hugely important for achieving business success. Unless customers feel that their needs, issues, and complaints are being heard and addressed in a timely fashion, you will never be able to secure a loyal and continual customer base. Gaining a customer only to lose that customer because of a poor customer service interaction will lead your business nowhere. You can hire a professional to manage customer service interactions. Many businesses outsource this service by directing customer service calls to a telecommunication company that addresses common customer concerns and keeps a record of customer calls. Other small businesses hire employees that handle customer service from home or from the business’s offices. Either way, this task must be managed by someone who can devote a considerable amount of time to your customers.
Search engine optimization is shifting to a content-heavy strategy. Unless your business is constantly generating engaging, interesting, and applicable content for the consumer, you cannot hope to rank well with the search engines or draw new traffic to your site. Hiring a freelance writer to manage content creation tasks is a great way to take this responsibility off your shoulders. If you aren’t a great writer but you have a lot to say about your business and your industry, you can find an excellent writer who can turn your ideas and concepts into expertly written articles. In the early stages a qualified writer can work from home, which allows you to negotiate better pricing per piece or hour.
Hiring the Right Employees
Delegating work is only possible if you hire the right employees to handle your business tasks. Unless you can fully rely on your employees to manage tasks correctly the first time, you’ll only be adding more work for yourself. Employees must be reliable and professional. You must be able to completely turn a task over to an individual, so that you can focus your efforts entirely on running your business and moving it forward. Meeting employees face to face is one of the only ways to make an accurate and informed decision about their potential. If an employee isn’t working out, if tasks are being handled poorly, if work is slipping through the cracks, or if you have to look over employees’ shoulders to make sure things are being done correctly, it may be time to hire some new help.
Delegating work is one of the hardest jobs for a small business owner. Handing over the reins to an aspect of your business to someone besides yourself is quite a challenge. Your business is the product of your own invested time, effort, and money, and it can be tough to trust an outsider with important responsibilities. Unless you delegate tasks in proportion to the growth rate of your business, however, you will never be able to expand and grow to meet new challenges head on.