Posted: Mon 20th Mar 2023
Letting go of tasks as a business owner can be challenging, as you may have a strong sense of ownership and responsibility for the success of your business.
The result of holding on to all the business-critical tasks leaves room for a decline in your business progress. After all, running a business is not a one-person job but rather a collective effort with your team, regardless of whether they are full-time or freelance.
Just as a one-person band tries to play all the instruments, sing, and entertain the crowd by itself, a business owner who does not delegate tries to handle all aspects of the business alone.
While this may seem impressive initially, it quickly becomes overwhelming. It can lead to burnout or a lack of focus on the most critical tasks. The one-person band may have a lot of skill in one or two instruments. Still, the overall performance will suffer without delegating some tasks to other musicians.
Similarly, a business owner who does not delegate may have a lot of skill and knowledge in one or two areas, but by delegating some tasks to other team members, the overall performance and success of the business will improve.
A business owner needs to be that – a business owner. It requires time to think, communicate and develop a strategy for its growth and success. Doing tasks can be delegated to those in the team.
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The dangers of not working on your business
There are several dangers of not working on your business as a business owner, including the following:
Lack of growth
It will not grow and improve if you're not working on your business. This can lead to stagnation and a decline in revenue.
Loss of competitiveness
Not working on your business can also lead to a loss of competitiveness. Smaller the business, the harder the competition. This can make it challenging to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Loss of passion
Without regular work on your business, losing touch and the passion that initially inspired you to start it can be easy.
This can lead to a lack of motivation and a lack of success. No business owner dreams of overwhelm when they set it up.
Lack of innovation
By not working on your business, you will struggle to develop new products or services or find new ways to improve your existing ones. The dreadful to-do list's mental clutter clouds creative thinking or spotting opportunities. This can make it difficult to stand out from your competitors.
Without regular work on your business, your business will become less efficient. This can lead to wasted time, increased costs, and, ultimately, a profit decline. Ouch!
Lack of control
Not working on your business leads to uncontrollable directions. This can make it difficult to make crucial decisions and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
A business owner needs to stay involved in the day-to-day operations and work on the business to ensure its growth and success. This can be achieved by setting clear priorities, creating a schedule, and delegating tasks when possible. Additionally, it's essential to review and adjust the balance as needed regularly.
The art of delegation
There are a few steps you can take to help you learn to let go and delegate effectively:
Prioritise your tasks
Identify the most important and impactful tasks that only you can do and focus on those. Leverage your strengths. For the rest of the tasks, consider delegating them or outsourcing them to someone else. Or toss them in the bin!
Find the right people
Hire or contract with people who have the skills and experience to take on the tasks you want to let go of. Recruit someone who has the strengths you do not have. Make sure they are a good fit for your business and understand your expectations. And be mindful of confirmation bias.
Set clear guidelines
Provide clear instructions and guidelines for the tasks you delegate so that the person taking them on knows precisely what is expected of them. Creating a process document can be extremely helpful for you as the owner and the person you've hired.
TOP TIP: Ask the new team member to update the process documents as they go along for when you grow and hire again or need to re-hire.
Put on your managerial hat and regularly check in on the progress of the tasks and provide feedback to the person responsible for them. This will help them improve and give you peace of mind that the tasks are appropriately handled.
A manager ensures they mitigate risks and spot contingencies – work with your team to identify gaps and empower them to help with solutions.
Trust in the ability of the people you have delegated tasks to, give them room to grow, and let them take on responsibilities. Empowerment is the greatest characteristic of any successful business owner.
Have a plan B
Always have a backup plan if something goes wrong, so you can step in if necessary. Business is hard, and foreseeing challenges can be troublesome. A backup plan improves the business's resilience and adaptability.
It's important to remember that letting go of tasks does not mean giving up control but rather finding a balance between delegation and oversight. It takes time to adjust, but it will lead to a more sustainable business and a better work-life balance for yourself.