You’ve started a business – or at least you’ve asked the right questions to get your idea off the ground. If you’ve truly thought through the details, you are likely realizing that all business start-ups involve hundreds of tasks. Some of the tasks are huge and crucial, while others are small and seemingly unimportant. But no matter the size of the tasks, there are tons of them. And you’re probably realizing that you cannot make this venture a success without some thoughtful delegation. As an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to delegate which tasks get assigned to which employee for efficiency in your company.
For example, maybe your business venture requires a working knowledge of the multimedia world. Are you trained in this area? Be honest with yourself: multimedia may not be your forte. That’s okay. We all have our areas of expertise! Thoughtful delegation would involve finding the right individual and contracting out the work to someone who understands multimedia inside and out. Believe it or not, you’ll save time, money, and energy, as well as receive a better result.
Understanding how to delegate can make all the difference. Now, you’re not going to delegate your tasks to just anyone. There is a process for thoughtful delegation that I think every entrepreneur should follow. Consider the following steps and then decide what one task you are going to delegate today to make your business more successful.
Thoughtful Delegation in 4 Steps
1. Research & interview several possible delegates.
There is no benefit in rushing the delegation process. If you give the job to the first person who claims to know what she’s doing, you may be making a huge mistake. There is great purpose in spending time researching the job, the candidates, and the going rates for your particular task.
For example, think back to our multimedia example above. Clearview Media may claim to have the best rates in town, but if I spend time researching their company, I may find that previous customers were not satisfied with the work delivered. Maybe the new startup company a few miles down the road is a bit more expensive but always achieves quality, fast work.
Don’t overdo the research and stress yourself out, but do read reviews, interview the candidates, and find out the average rate before hiring out a task.
2. Clearly define your expectations.
This is absolutely essential. You need to know your expectations. The delegate needs to know your expectations. What are the limits of the job? How long are you expecting the task will take? Does the employee understand the purpose of the task? I highly recommend writing your expectations in a contract and having the delegate sign his name stating he understands the job and the expectations. This will save you many headaches in the future – and you will have a record that you went over the expectations prior to the start of the task.
Good communication is key in a successfully functioning workplace. Establish your expectations and define success in your terms.
3. Set realistic timeframes.
There is nothing more frustrating than hiring someone for a job and then finding out that the work will not be finished in time. Unfortunately this is often the business owners’ fault if he or she didn’t set a realistic timeframe and communicate it properly. As you are creating your contract mentioned in step two, include information about the timeframe and deadline. Also consider how often you expect reports and what kind of response you hope to receive in the reports.
Do you want a FREE sample contract? Sign up at the end of the post to download a template & get started creating your delegation contract today!
4. Establish limits.
If your delegate doesn’t understand the limits, you will find yourself frustrated. You’ll also be tempted to take over the job and finish it yourself, which is often not the best move for your business. To keep this from happening, you must establish clear cut limitations for your employees and contract workers. For example, consider where the person’s authority begins and ends with regard to budgets, resources, etc? If you allot $500 for a task and the employee comes to you near the end of the project asking for more money, are you going to give more? Are you giving the employee permission to speak on your behalf, represent you to other contractors, and more? This may seem like simple stuff, but it is so important!
Ask the questions before you get started, and don’t forget to include the employee’s limits in the contract.
Remember the multimedia example at the beginning? Now think if you took the four steps for thoughtful delegation. You would hire the appropriate personnel, establish goals and limitations, and communicate regularly and efficiently with that individual in order to meet your objectives. Delegation is the name of the game! Your business will take off when you learn to delegate well.
What are your skills and areas of expertise? What areas should you consider delegating? Think this through and challenge yourself to delegate one task this week!
Don’t forget to download your FREE delegation contract template! This will prove useful again and again.