Owning a small business is hard. You may find yourself acting as an accountant, secretary, human resources, and janitor when all you set out to do be your own boss. Maybe you find yourself always running late, putting out fires, or rushing to get the job done? If you’re trying to run a business doing everything yourself, it’s time to make a change. It’s time to delegate.
The Problem: What Goes Wrong When You Don’t Delegate?
Small business owners often sacrifice for their business. Whether it’s sacrificing a paycheck to float the business, or using personal savings for a business expense, financial sacrifice abounds. Less than 2 in 20 small business owners set aside extra cash for themselves and even fewer save toward retirement.
Sacrifice goes far beyond money. Small business owners skip vacation, work weekends, and often keeping working even when they’re not there. 3 out of 4 small business owners spend their vacation (most take only 1 per year) shackled to their laptop or smartphone, focused on work.
After all that sacrifice, most small businesses still fail. Only half of the small businesses survive the first 5 years, and only a quarter survive long enough to make their first million. Owners who are busy taking care of every little problem lose sight of the big pictures and making all those decisions themselves takes more time and energy.
Decision fatigue sets in when you try to make too many choices. Over time, each decision gets harder to make, and fatigue sets in. As a result, you’re more likely to react to situations, rather than proactively preventing problems, and your business suffers.
Are You Suffering Decision Fatigue?
- Do you feel paralyzed and unable to make simple choices?
- Do you overthink every decision, no matter how small?
- Are you feeling frustrated or arguing with employees?
- Do you make choices based purely on instinct, without a second thought?
The Solution: Learning to Delegate
Learning to let go and assign some tasks to others will benefit your business and your peace of mind. It starts with hiring the right team, people you can trust to get the job done, without you looking over their shoulders. While finding qualified personnel, and getting them to stick around, can be difficult, the recent growth of gig-work and flexible employment options should make it easier to find just the help you need.
Who Will You Hire?
Full or part-time employees:
- Invested in building the company
- Long-term cost doesn’t fluctuate when sales are down
Contract workers or freelancers:
- Only work when you need them
- No guarantee they’ll be available
Whoever you hire to do the job, having policies and procedures in place to guide them through daily tasks will free your time from supervision and hand-holding. Create a training manual or employee handbook. Write form letters and prepared responses for common inquiries. Develop organized procedures for daily tasks and recurring workflows.
With the right systems in place, delegation can drive your business forward. Learn more in this infographic:
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