Sometimes it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to admit that they’re doing too much. Understand where your strengths lie, and outsource the rest to save time and money.
Many business scholars use the juggling analogy when it comes to the many roles that entrepreneurs take on. When you’re starting out, you simply don’t have the budget to hire a full-time accountant, marketing director and designer, so you take on all of these tasks.
But as the business grows, it becomes necessary to understand the importance of having help and delegating. By hiring people skilled in a particular area, you can save time and money, and build a professional company. You can delegate to success.
Often, the reason entrepreneurs don’t delegate is because entrepreneurs like to have control. But by overstretching, it is easy to control. It’s important to focus on specific things and delegate the rest.
Understanding the Cost and Time Savings
It is said that ”time is money.” Calculate what your time is worth. If you provide professional services like marketing or legal assistance, you already know your hourly rate. If you make products, determine how many your business can produce in an hour, and multiply that by your unit selling price.
Determine how long it takes you to complete a task, such as writing a blog post or updating your accounting. Multiply the amount of time taken by such tasks by your hourly worth. Chances are that it’s much cheaper for someone professional to complete the task faster.
Let Go of Control
If the reason that you’ve been reluctant to delegate in the past is truly about control, consider the reasons. Do you assume that no one can do the job as well as you? Realistically, you need to admit that there are professionals that design/write/account for a living, who can manage a task more effectively than you can.
Doing it Right
Once you determine which tasks can be outsourced, think of who you will outsource to. If you have staff, you may be able to pass on some work to employees. Make sure you don’t overload them with too much work, and ensure that their skills can satisfy the task. Otherwise look to freelancers or firms on a project basis.
Next, list everything that one will need to know to complete the task. Walk through the process in your mind, and type out instructions based on the process. This will help you to delegate more effectively, especially if you delegate to multiple people over time.
If you decide to outsource, interview firms or freelancers and choose the one best suited to your needs. Spend time training the individual(s) who will take over the work. It’s worth the time spent to ensure that the tasks are completed successfully.
Don’t wash your hands of the tasks as soon as you hand them off. Ensure that the new owner of the task understands her role and can do it successfully. Allow three months to make sure that the transfer of ownership is complete, and analyze whether or not the person you’ve assigned is on track. If not, look for another employee or freelancer who is better equipped.
As your budget grows, consider other areas to outsource. These include:
- Marketing & PR
- Web Design
- Blog content
- Customer service
- Graphic design
Start with smaller projects, then as you build trust with a freelancer or firm, add to the outsourced work.