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When to Delegate Tasks and Engage Experts

You’ve broken out on your own as an entrepreneur!  You feel like a renegade, blazing a trail into the great adventure of your life.  The entrepreneur in you is liberated from the 9 to 5 life. That is until you realize the trappings of the self-employed life.

It’s you. Just you. All you.

Everyone Needs Help Sometimes

Just because you’re running your own business does not mean that you have to (or should) do everything on your own. Doing all the behind-the-scenes functions to run your business has its cost-saving appeal. But spending hours and energy doing things that are not in your wheelhouse – and not earning you money – is not the best use of your time.  Everyone needs an assist every now and then.

Utilizing the help of an expert or delegating tasks to an assistant is wise and saves your energy for the things that only you can do.  If your business were a pie, these would be the six slices.  What can you reasonably do and what can you delegate?

There are six major components of a business.
  1. Strategy – the overall direction of the business and oversight.
  2. Marketing – the process of attracting customers to the brand/products/services.
  3. Finance – including monthly bookkeeping and annual/quarterly tax returns, budgeting, and future forecasting.
  4. Technology – including equipment procurement and management as well as technology functions.
  5. Operations/processes – this is the actual work of delivering products and services to customers and continually improving quality and experience.
  6. Human resources – managing the people who perform roles and tasks related to carrying out business functions.

Oftentimes, an entrepreneur focuses on doing the actual work of the business (operations), gets a CPA to take care of taxes (finance), and manages strategy, marketing, and technology on their own.

The Need for Delegation

Human resources are virtually forgotten.  It’s often considered a dream to scale the business and hire employees.  And until that magical day an entrepreneur needs employees, well… just put your head down and do the work. Alone.

But we seldom go from zero to 60. Before you are ready to hire employees, consider utilizing sub-contractors, consultants, and service providers to delegate tasks and help you stay focused on what you do best.

Here’s how you can determine when to call for outside help and what areas you can delegate.
  • Always wear the strategy hat. Always think of yourself as being in the driver’s seat, taking your business to each milestone and determining the next best step.
  • Run the numbers. Before assuming ownership of a task, do the math. Almost every time, making another sale or signing another client is the way to go instead of tackling behind-the-scenes tasks yourself.
  • Consider the jack-of-all-trades stumbling block. The second half of that maxim is, “master-of-none.”  Sure, you could go to youtube to learn how to fix that laptop, but if computers are not your business, why do it?  Focus your energy toward your expertise and develop mastery in areas where it will pay off.
  • Learn the principles behind the task. You may be able to write a great blogpost, but if you don’t know how to maximize readership, it’s potentially two to three hours lost.  You can either delegate the task away or if learning this task is important to the business and the bottom line, then invest the time to learn it.
  • Exercise care in selecting your team. Your brother-in-law may be a web developer, but if you’re not paying him, your requests will probably take longer to fulfill. Your close friend may be a graphic designer, but can your friendship withstand a difference of opinion regarding design work?  Bartering services has its pros and cons.  There are innumerable and creative ways to assemble your go-to experts. Besides just getting the job done, can the experts you work with demonstrate a hefty return on your investment?

Take Stock and Engage Experts for Help

Take stock of your business functions and where you have mastery and what areas you need to be involved in closely.  Then consider areas and functions where you can delegate and engage the services of others.  Assemble a list of people you may wish to call upon for a task, a timeframe, or for occasional advice.

To get business coaching or refine your marketing message and define your strategy, reach out.  Schedule your complimentary 30-minute call with Julie today.