On the road to success, you should heed the advice of those that have made it – and Richard Branson epitomises success. He began as an entrepreneur selling records and magazines. Now he’s founder of the Virgin group which manages over 400 companies – need I say more!
Handing over tasks to others is a vital element in getting work done effectively yet many have difficulties delegating. How often have you thought “I know how to do this better than anyone else” or “I don’t have the time to teach someone else” or the ultimate excuse “I’ll save money doing it myself”.
Well, you probably could - if time wasn’t an issue and you could freeze it! Truth is, you risk being locked in an endless cycle of too little time and too much to do. If you are undertaking tasks that don’t generate income and are time-consuming, then you’re not using your time wisely – you’re wasting it. Not the mindset of a successful entrepreneur! The hazards of ‘doing it all’ can be detrimental to your business, health and personal life.
Good business acumen requires the ability to delegate. In fact, business sectors and teams exist for this purpose - to delegate tasks that are too large, complex or ever-changing for one person to handle on their own. Effective delegation is a time-saving roadmap which leads to greater productivity. Once you rewire your approach to outsourcing, your quality of life improves – and you focus and channel your efforts into the things that matter most in life. By streamlining your tasks, you have more time and energy to grow your business.
There is an art to delegating successfully and it involves more than hiring and managing people and telling them what to do. Delegation is a balancing act that requires commitment and preparation. It also involves guidance and motivation. Delegation will challenge your abilities to communicate as well as your skills in problem-solving, planning and decision-making and will, therefore, help develop better working relationships.
Start by establishing the tasks and deciding which ones you need to delegate. Learn to let go and collaborate by agreeing on timelines and targets and follow-up systems to check progress.
Discuss with team member’s ideas and suggestions to ensure everyone is aware of what is involved. Decision making as a team results in a higher quality of work, harmony and motivation.
Work through how the tasks will be undertaken with clear instructions and steps on how the task will progress.
Acknowledging variables in work styles can lead to better teamwork, commitment and productivity. We all work differently – for example, some people can multi-task and some like to focus on one task at a time. Collaborating as a team to establish how each member will contribute will create a better focused and a more productive outcome.
As your business develops, so will the need for delegation. Evaluating task ownership will evolve with changes in business so provide a ‘delegation check-up’ to anticipate and handle any changes. Ongoing project team meetings are vital.
"Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people"~ Steve Jobs
Delegating to a Virtual Assistant
When you hire a VA, an integral and fundamental part of the process is delegation. During the consultation process, it is important to have faith in the collaboration. An experienced and responsible VA knows what it takes to run a virtual office and can recommend various apps and software to help you run your business more efficiently.
It’s vital you are clear on every task you are delegating and that you outline your expectations – the most competent of Virtual Assistants still needs you to outline the parameters. Ensure they know what you expect, for example, if you require weekly or daily reports, just ask.
A VA can become a great business partner - giving you the freedom to focus your time and talents on other areas of business.
Essentially, lack of time is why you need to delegate to a Virtual Assistant. Time is infinitely more valuable than money….. so spend it wisely.