How To Delegate To Boost Your Small Business Growth

640px-Fotothek_df_roe-neg_0002422_003_Läuferinnen_beim_Weiterreichen_des_StaffelstabesFact: If you don’t delegate, your business will never grow sufficiently.

Absent of delegating many of the jobs within your business, the only way to grow the top line is to raise your prices. You could increase sales, but to achieve that in any great measure, you would have convert more prospects, which will take more people. By the way, increased sales will have a ripple effect through every other department in your organization, so I’ll go back to my first assertion: Unless you hand off some of the jobs within your business to others, the only way to grow the top line is to raise your prices, and that is subject to severe market constraints in most cases.

Let me give you a good general rule to use as you approach delegating within your company: Delegate services that have become commodities, apps or can be performed by freelancers.

Some of the entries on this list will be obvious:

Bookkeeping. There are many Quickbook specialists in your neighborhood. Engage a good one.

IT support. There are plenty of third-party companies as well as individuals who will do this part time. Further, you may have someone on staff who can jump into this position.

Social media and content creation. There are some apps that help out here in a major way. There are also plenty of excellent freelancers who can take over much of this work for you.

Customer service. There are good software as a service (SaaS) options to give your startup excellent customer service capability.

Fulfillment. If you ship products anywhere, consider going with a fulfillment company. Why deal with the personnel and space required to do it in-house?

Production labor. Are you still making all the widgets yourself? Many founders are too closely tied to the manufacturing of their products for too long. If you’re the only one with the recipe for the secret sauce, you’ll never grow.

Now let’s look at step two of delegating: delegating authority. For many of the functions on the list above, in the beginning it can be delegated to one other person or a company that is set up to handle the work.

However, when additional growth occurs, you need to hand off some of the day-to-day decisions to others. You must be the driver and decider on the important issues and also maintain your company culture. The question you need to ask yourself is this: Do my employees see me as a “micromanager.”

If the answer to that is “yes,” then you need to find ways to back off a bit. You probably need to provide some additional training, upgrade some job titles, and define those areas where others can make the calls.

As you are considering the items above and how you can begin to give others authority or limited autonomy, always do it in the perspective of how you are most valuable to your business. If delegating some of your work allows you to spend 20 percent more time in the areas where you deliver the greatest added value, think of the growth potential you are unleashing as that compounds over time.

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Image: “Fotothek df roe-neg 0002422 003 Läuferinnen beim Weiterreichen des Staffelstabes” by Deutsche Fotothek?. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia Commons.