Is being an entrepreneur all you dreamed it would be? If you have effectively learned how to delegate, your life as business owner may be looking pretty good. You may be at a point in your entrepreneurial journey where you have several virtual assistants and online workers helping run your business. If that sounds like where you are, congratulations! Learning how to delegate tasks to remote workers is an essential step to creating a prosperous business in today’s market. However, you must avoid the mentality that you can blindly hire workers for everything in your business without first creating systems and processes.
If your business is growing so quickly that you are frantically trying to hire and manage a large bunch of freelancers, you must take a step back and ensure you are delegating properly. In today’s article we will discuss exactly how to delegate tasks in a rapidly growing business by creating systems and processes. There is a certain mindset that you must maintain and protect in order to avoid trouble down the line. Here are the 5 exact steps to learn how to delegate tasks through systems and processes.
Identify New Tasks Important to Growth
When you learn how to delegate, it is important to understand exactly which tasks to delegate as your business is growing. In today’s busy world, your business may grow very rapidly – leaving a lot of tasks unidentified or remaining on your plate. Either of these scenarios can lead to lost profits, unhappy customers, and stunted performance. The first key step in learning how to delegate is to identify which new tasks are important to growth. When you are in a situation where your business is growing quickly, the tasks that are most critical to your growth need to be prioritized for delegation to virtual workers.
You can identify the important tasks by looking at the specific needs of your business. Ask yourself some of these questions.
- What areas of your business are growing?
- Which tasks will make your customers happy?
- Which tasks require a specific skill set or require a lot of attention to detail?
- Which tasks will drive the most impact in your business.
- Which tasks can be streamlined or automated?
As your business grows, it will be your responsibility as business owner to continually identify new tasks important to your company’s growth. This process requires reassessment often because the tasks will likely change in importance level and new tasks will pop up as your business grows and changes over time.
Spend 1-2 Weeks Going Through the Task on your Own
Now that you have identified new tasks that will drive the continued growth of your business, it may be tempting to hand them over to virtual workers right away. However, you must maintain the mindset that you will always understand everything that goes on in your business. You must spend a week or two going through the new task(s) on your own before handing them over. In learning how to delegate, this step is often overlooked and can affect your bottom line when neglected.
If you fail to understand the task you are delegating, how will you know if a worker is qualified? How will you know she is performing well? How will you know if he is spending too much or too little time on the specific task? While you certainly do not have to become an expert, you should know the basic ins and outs of everything you delegate to both local hires and virtual workers.
Create a Set System and Process for the Task
Systems and processes allow us to perform work efficiently and with high quality. They also allow us, as business owners, the flexibility of hiring assistants and managing them easily. When you spend the time to set up a system or process before you delegate the task, a new worker (and your company) will benefit in the future. Not only will the worker be set up for success in the new role, but you will be able to easily replace that worker with a new one if necessary with little impact to your business.
Systems and processes do not have to be complex or require a lot of time to create. In fact, the best systems are actually the simplest. And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel either – many systems and processes are already available for many common tasks. From computer software to online platforms, the options are endless. Depending on your specific business, you may need marketing systems, distribution systems, inventory systems, research and development processes, customer support systems and more. As you learn how to delegate, you will find that systems and processes are essential. They will help automate and streamline your business, thus creating more free time for you and less work time for workers. It will also allow you to easily keep tabs on the performance of your business through this task and the performance of the worker. Don’t be afraid of trying something new. You can always evaluate and tweak later on as necessary.
Hire Someone to Take Over
The beautiful part of learning how to delegate properly is that once your system and process is created, it is time to hand it over to a qualified worker. You will have a good understanding of what it takes to complete the task and how much time it should take since you have invested your time and energy in learning it. This will enable you to identify a new virtual assistant or online worker that is qualified and ready to take over. Because you created a simple to use system or process, the onboarding will be minimal. The new worker should be off and ready in no time. And if you need to hire someone new to take it over in the future, everything will already be set up to do so. By investing the time to delegate through systems and processes, you will actually save time over and over again as time goes on.
Repeat with Each New Task
It feels pretty good to hand over an important task to a remote worker knowing that you have learned how to delegate properly through systems and processes, right? You have set yourself, your business and new hires up for success by taking the time to go through these essential steps. But the work isn’t over. This process must be repeated for each new task that you identify is important for your business and its continued growth. Every time you evaluate a new task that you want to delegate to workers, spend the time to learn it and create the proper systems and processes prior to hiring it out. Remember not to overcomplicate this process either. Do a little research and digging and you might just find that it is a whole lot simpler than you originally thought.
What Happens When You Don’t Follow This Process
Is your head spinning after reading this article? Are you wondering how in the world you will find the time to learn each new task and set up a system for it too? You may be tempted to just skip all of this and delegate the new task to a virtual assistant. Isn’t that what you pay them for anyway? And you can certainly do that. You can hire just about anything out these days. But you can also waste a lot of time, energy and money by delegating incorrectly.
When you don’t follow the correct process outlined above, any of the following can happen (and none of them will help your business):
- You hire a completely unqualified candidate because you have no idea which skills are needed for the specific task
- You hire someone to complete a task that doesn’t really need to be done at all
- The worker you hire sets up her own systems and processes to complete the task and takes all of it with her when she leaves your company – leaving you in quite the lurch.
- You have no way to know or tell how well a worker is completing the task or if anything can be done to make the task completion be more efficient
When it comes to scaling your business and virtual workers, you must take the appropriate steps. As your business grows, this becomes even more important. These steps in learning how to delegate are the foundations to a successful company and business. Don’t be tempted to skip them, even if you feel hurried or overwhelmed. The good old saying “go slow to go fast” exists for a reason.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.