4 Tips to Successful Delegating

As a small business owner, time is your most valuable asset. Make the best use of it and delegate these four things.
Founder and Owner, Boldheart
May 22, 2012

When I started my private nutrition practice in 1999, I immersed myself with getting new clients. I had to–I couldn't pay the rent otherwise. Within eight months, I filled the practice to capacity. I then realized that I could provide more value teaching business owners how to attract clients. With that, my Client Attraction System was born, one of the main tenets of which is: the best way to bring in new business is to delegate some of the things that you’re doing right now.

I can hear your protests as you’re probably like me, who has an Inner Control Freak that wants to control everything. This may have been essential when starting your business, but it can get in the way as your business matures. Here are my top four tips of what to delegate now:

1.  Delegate anything that does not make you money. If you’re doing something that doesn’t make you money, it’s not your “brilliance work” – those activities you perform that bring in the most amount of money using the least amount of time and effort. 

Chances are these are the tasks that you simply love to do. To drive the point home on how important this is, I want you to look at how much you earn per hour when you’re doing your brilliance work. Now, consider how much you’re not earning when you’re doing other work you could be paying someone else to do (at a fraction of what your own earning potential is.)

2. Delegate anything that you’re not good at doing. If you’re not good at doing something, chances are you’re not enjoying it, not doing it well and taking longer to do it than someone else would. For me, that task is bookkeeping. I spent way too many hours struggling to keep up my books until I finally realized it was best to have someone else do the job. 

Make a list of all those pesky tasks that you know you’re not good at it (or don’t enjoy), then hire a part-time employee or a virtual assistant to get it done.

3. Delegate what you don’t know how to do. Give yourself permission to not have to know everything.  I don’t know how to code HTML or how to build a website. But I know that if I want to get more clients and make more money, then I have to have a professional web presence. That means hiring someone who’s got great coding and website skills, and delegating that work to them—which is exactly what I did.

4. Delegate what you don’t have time to do. When I started my business, I kept my own schedule and at first, this made sense. Why would I hire somebody else to tell me where I had to be or what I had to do? But over time the more clients I brought on and the busier my calendar became, the more time it took to schedule–and reschedule–meetings.

Delegation is easier said than done and these tips may sound obvious. Ease the struggle by being really clear about expectations with whomever you delegate to. Define your ideal outcome to them, set deadlines, create checks and balances and be available for questions, especially early on in the process. Don’t chide yourself if you find it’s taking too long to “turn over” a task in the short run. In the long run, it will free you up to do more of your brilliance work and bring in new clients. 

OPEN Cardmember Fabienne Fredrickson, The Client Attraction Mentor, is founder of the Client Attraction System®, a step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to attract more clients.

Photo credit: Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock

Founder and Owner, Boldheart