If you have decided it is time to delegate some of your tasks in your business and you have overcome the mindset issues around delegation. Congratulations! You are ready to move into the actual implementation of delegation.
Delegating starts with hiring, which is challenging and scary for most business owners. It is time-consuming, and you want to find the best person to add to your team. If it is your first hire, there is also the added pressure of adding leadership to your list of duties. Instead of being apprehensive, be excited! Hiring means growth, which is a huge accomplishment in your entrepreneurial journey.
Types of Hiring
When you are getting ready to hire, you are either hiring to bring in more business or hiring to serve the business you already have. The first step is to clearly understand your profit margins on your products and services and your net income. This will inform what you can afford to pay a new employee.
Your first hire is usually revenue based. That means you are adding a role to generate income for your business. Usually, this hire is made when you have reached capacity for taking on new clients, and you need to add someone to your team to provide services.
This year at 4 Corners CFO, we added a senior accountant. While I enjoy and can do the work I am delegating, I knew I needed to add people who could take on client work if I wanted my business to grow. Often the first hire to take on client work is the hardest to make. There is a lot of anxiety around how well they will do the job, if it will meet your standards, and if your clients will be pleased with the services. These concerns are typical but should not keep you from adding to your team. Most of my fears were completely unfounded, and adding to my team was a great decision.
The next level of hiring usually occurs when your business starts approaching the million-dollar mark. At this point, you need to bring in support/admin people who are not revenue-generating but are necessary to support the size of your business.
This type of hire takes preparation and planning because you will feel like you are paying people and not seeing an immediate return. It is important to have HR processes in place before this hiring for support positions to maximize profitability and productivity and be able to measure the results of adding these roles. If you cannot measure monetary contribution, you will need success metrics to justify the position over time.
Let’s take hiring an operations director as an example. An operations manager manages all systems and processes to ensure everything works inside the business. This role is essential to the business’s long-term success, but it does not bring in revenue directly. Since you cannot measure monetarily, you will need performance metrics to ensure the position is solving a problem. Performance metrics also help define the role and give the new hire a clear direction and path to success.
Remember, profit comes from productivity and performance, so revenue and non-revenue-generating roles work together to increase your bottom line.
When to Delegate
When is it time to add a role to your business that you can delegate work to? While there isn’t one precise scenario of when you should delegate work, you can ask a few questions to determine if you might be ready.
- Is this work outside of my zone of genius?
- Is there someone in the world who could do this better/quicker?
- Will this work be recurring?
- Would taking this work off my plate allow me to take on other tasks that will move my business forward?
- Do I have the time to delegate effectively? This includes training, answering questions, and reviewing work.
- Am I turning away new clients because I cannot serve them with my current team?
- Do I have time to redo the job if necessary?
You don’t have to answer yes to everything, but this gives you a jumping-off point to determine where you currently are in the delegation process. If you are ready to start, we have some tips to help you start implementing delegation.
- Start by delegating a small role to get comfortable. Start with something small if you are not ready to add a full-time, client-facing position. This could be a VA that only handles social media posting and engagement. Starting small builds confidence; if something goes wrong, it is not on a client account.
- Identify what you want to delegate. Only some things can be delegated; some work is strategic and high-impact and needs the attention of the CEO. Before you begin, evaluate the importance of the work and the implications of delegating it.
- Get comfortable letting go. Learning to delegate is a critical skill for long-term growth. Practice by handing off small tasks and building more significant projects. This will build confidence in your employees and allow them to take ownership of their deliverables, but you shouldn’t be uncomfortable every time you delegate.
- Set your employee up for success. Be clear and guide the people you are delegating work to; this sets your team up for success and increases the chances that everyone will be happy with the result. Be patient as they are learning, you might think the task is easy since you have been doing it for so long, but it is brand new for someone else. Take time to walk them through the job and answer any questions.
- Invest in training when necessary. If your business uses industry-specific technology or software, ensure that any new employee is trained before delegating to them. This will shorten the time that the task takes and sets them up for success in the future.
- Be open to communication and feedback. When delegating tasks, ensure a clear understanding of how to contact you with questions. Planning for a 1:1 to review the project is also a good idea.
- Feel free to give feedback. The first few times your new team member takes on a task, there might be many things you would do differently. Instead of reviewing, correcting, and moving forward, review the corrections and the reasoning behind them with your employee. This will teach your team member how you like things done and will minimize the mistake in the future.
- Give space, but verify. Once you delegate, give your team member space to do the work. Check in to see if they have questions or support, but provide them a chance to do the job without you looking over their shoulder. Once complete, verify the results, as you are ultimately responsible for the work, so verify the results.
- Give credit for a job well done. Once completed, make sure to give positive feedback. This goes a long way to keep morale up.
If you are ready to hire and delegate in your business, get going! The longer you wait, the harder it becomes. In my own experience, I cannot imagine not having the team that I have built. It was hard to hire and get out of the way of my perfectionism, but adding to my team allowed my business to grow more rapidly, and I was free to work in my zone of genius.
If you want to figure out if you can afford to hire in your business, get in touch! We would love to help you get your numbers in order and determine how soon you can hire.