Delegate: To entrust (a task or responsibility) to another person
If you’ve ever wondered, “What, to whom, how or when do I delegate?” or “How do I know what to “entrust” someone else to do?” you’re in the right place. Delegation does not need to be a complicated or overwhelming process, but in order to grow and succeed in your business it does need to happen.
Each month I will share with you another step in the process of getting comfortable with delegation. You will find simple yet powerful ways to gain more control of your time in the day-to-day operation of your business. So let’s get started!
Who to delegate to?
Last month we discussed “WHAT” to delegate, worked through a simple exercise and helped you create a list of tasks you might start to delegate. So, grab your list and let’s take a look!
Review your list and think about the level of complexity and technical skill required to complete each task. An example that comes to mind, and is most likely on your list, are both “mailing catalogs” and “entering product orders on the company website.” To complete these tasks requires different skill levels. See the difference?
Let’s start with the less “complicated” tasks… WHO might be a good choice to (sticking with my example) mail out those catalogs?
Older children: Do you have an older child in your home? Many parenting experts agree: moving from an allowance to being part of a family business can be a great step for you both. Being involved in my parent’s small business growing up had a big influence on my choice to become an entrepreneur.
Students: If you don’t have kids the “right” age to lend a hand, there are probably some high school students nearby. Many students are finding it harder and harder to find part time summer jobs, so even a few hours a week working with you will put a little cash in their pocket and add time to your clock!
Family members: As much as they’d like to support you, they don’t always know what you need done. You’ll never know if they’re willing if you don’t ask.
Retirees: Lots of retirees find they miss work! They might not miss going every day, but many older people miss both the paycheck and the feeling of contribution. A “once in a while” job might work for both of you.
But who can support you with the work that requires technical skills?
College Interns: I know one superstar who has had great success finding talent at the local colleges; many courses require an internship component.
On-site Employees: this one takes some careful consideration. If you want to bring someone into your home office will their assistance outweigh their cost? When doing your calculations, make sure you include all of the “extra” resources (space, computer, phone line, desk, coffee, etc) needed to have someone come share your office. Also be sure to determine what, if any, tax and legal implications this solution may create. Always check with your accountant and/or lawyer: you don’t want to run into an expensive problem later on.
Virtual Assistants: The beauty of a VA is that (s)he is an independent contractor. A VA will provide their own equipment and are responsible for their own taxes and legal issues. The potential downside is that different VAs provide different services and that can make finding the right “match” feel a little overwhelming. Here are some tips to help:
- Ask friends, and fellow leaders for recommendations
- Check social media, VA’s are… well… VIRTUAL meaning that much of their work is online. It’s fairly easy to get a sense of someone via their Facebook pages and Twitter conversations
- Before you hire someone make sure you have a least one phone conversation to make sure you “understand” each other. If it doesn’t “feel right” let her know that you will be talking to some other VAs before making a final decision.
Remember, it’s ok to ask for examples of their work, referrals, and to start out with one small project before handing off your entire To Do list! I always suggest starting small, delegating is not an “all” or “nothing” process. So do you have some ideas of WHO you can start delegating to?
Next month we are going to explore the HOW to delegate, now that you know WHAT and WHO it’s time to figure out how to get those items off your list and gain more time back for what you do best!
About the Author:
Melissa H. Dery is The Golden Rule Virtual Assistant (VA) providing Virtual Business Management to Direct Sales leaders. A former direct sales consultant, Melissa also grew up in a direct selling family. She knows firsthand about the “behind the scenes” work required to help your business grow and prosper.
When Melissa combined more than 20 years of experience as an administrative professional with her desire support those in direct sales, The Golden Rule VA was born. Her mission and her “rule” are the same: to treat your business as if it were her very own, with respect, creativity and professionalism.
Melissa is married to her best friend and lives in New Hampshire with her two sons. She has a Bachelor Degree in Business Management and a “Ducktoratte” Degree from Disney University. She loves coffee, running and, most of all, camping with her family.