Delegating 101 for Women in Business
The number of women business owners is still increasing, as more and more women take advantage of the numerous technological advances and funding availability - as well as their own drive to be their own boss - in order to fulfill their own business visions rather than working to help someone else achieve theirs.
For a handful of women business owners, delegation comes easily and naturally. For the vast majority though, the idea of letting someone get their hands on any part of their new business baby is terrifying.
However, if you want your small business to flourish and grow, there quickly comes a time when you are just simply going to have to let someone else shoulder some of the burden, and for some that can be very hard. Here are some tips for delegating without driving yourself to despair:
Pick the Best People
This means giving work to people who actually deliver, not to those who are the least busy, or to those who are the cheapest. Check references and testimonials before you hire anyone, don’t just fall for some website hype and a fancy Linkedin profile.
Trust Your Employee
And along with that trust, you have to be willing to let the person you are delegating the task to bring a little of themselves to the table and assist in the day to day running of your business. The work still has to be done well of course, but demanding that it’s “my way or the highway” is simply not the way to help your small business grow.
Give Clear Instructions
You are busy of course, anyone running a business is, but simply giving the person you are delegating to a two minute briefing and then expecting everything to work out the way you want it to is simply unrealistic. Summer Goldman, attorney and co-founder of Goldman Wetzel comments, "One of the keys to successful delegation is striking a balance between giving enough instruction without giving too much. If you don’t give enough instruction, the task won’t get done to your satisfaction. If you give too much, you risk alienating your employee and insulting their intelligence and capability."
Set up a Good Follow Up System
Establish specific deadlines at the beginning of each project, but also get a system in place for reporting milestones along the way. This will save you having to send those “hey how are you doing?” emails every other day. Coworking systems like Asana or Slack can be very useful in achieving this particular goal.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
This is the really hard part for some small business owners. A real life example? A woman who was running a fledgling, but promising virtual assistance business began delegating most of the tasks to others, but claimed all of the credit for herself.
The end result? When the clients found out although they were happy with the work anyway, they felt she was being dishonest and looked elsewhere. The small business owner also lost her best employees because they felt cheated and unappreciated. It spelled the end of her business before it ever really got started.
Yes, it’s your company, but by giving credit to others when it is due you will inspire loyalty and provide real satisfaction for work done, meaning that the chances are that these people will happily follow you and your business to the ends of the Earth if that’s what it takes to succeed, and people like that are priceless.
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