The Business Owner’s Guide to Delegation

As a small business owner, delegating some of your responsibilities and tasks probably doesn’t come very easily to you. Your business is like your child, it can be hard to let someone else be in charge of certain aspects. Delegating requires you to relinquish control of different areas of your business in order for you to devote more time to the business as a whole. 

Without delegation, business owners often spread themselves too thin while struggling to find balance and trying to do it all, which can be dangerous for the success of the business. Delegation is a critical skill for business owners to have, even though you may not find yourself willingly giving away control, because there’s no way someone else can do things for your business as well as you can, right?

With the right approach, mindset, and methods when it comes to delegation and division of labor, you can become a master of time management and allow all aspects of your business to flourish and prosper.

How To Accept The Fact That You Need To Delegate

Let go of the “I can do it all” Mindset

Just because you think you can do it all doesn’t mean you necessarily have to. Doing everything inevitably means you probably aren’t doing everything as well as you could be. By delegating, you are able to focus on fewer tasks, and devote more time and effort to those tasks, resulting in a higher level of productivity, quality, and less stress for you.

Typical Tasks Business Owners Delegate

We should start off by addressing the tasks most business owners usually choose to delegate. These tasks include:

Web Design and Maintenance

Unless you happen to be in the tech business or have extensive knowledge when it comes to web design, this is an area of expertise where it may be necessary to delegate tasks. Learning how to design and update a website regularly, on top of everything else you do to run a small business, can take up a lot of your time, time you could be spending elsewhere. 

Accounting and Bookkeeping 

This is one of the most common tasks business owners choose to delegate, as it requires specialized skill, attention to detail, and a good amount of time to upkeep. Outsourcing the accounting and bookkeeping of your business can be extremely helpful if you don’t feel comfortable managing the numbers of your business all on your own, or if you’re looking to avoid the headache of learning the ins and outs of business accounting.

Digital Marketing 

Similarly to web design, unless you are radically familiar with marketing online using email campaigns, social media, or similar methods, delegating the digital marketing aspect of your business can save you a great deal of time, and can definitely lead to an increase in profits in the long run. Think of delegating your digital marketing as an investment, rather than an expense! 

Customer Service

On top of everything else you have to do on a daily basis to keep business running smoothly, taking breaks in your busy work day to field customer questions and complaints can often feel like the last thing you have time for. Why don’t you let someone else handle it? Outsourcing your customer service can take a huge burden off of your shoulders and gives you one less thing to worry about during your workday.

Tech Support

Even if you’re quite tech savvy, you shouldn’t have to waste your time working to solve tech issues and troubleshoot tech problems when you likely have a million other business related things going on each day. As a business owner, you shouldn’t have to worry about fixing the wifi, refilling ink cartridges, or assisting with computer crash issues. Delegating to a tech service company or individual can save you time, as well as provide advice and guidance towards new technology that may be an asset to your business.

How to successfully delegate

Choose the right person and provide as much information up front as possible

When deciding to delegate, make sure you’re choosing the right person for the tasks you’d like to delegate. If you’re looking to delegate your digital marketing tasks, it likely wouldn’t make sense for you to hire a tech support company, unless they happened to also be skilled at digital marketing. To find quality companies, firms, and individuals to hire to take care of some of your small business needs, try to get references from other professionals or professional websites, such as the testimonials page of a potential company’s website.

After choosing the firm or individual that feels right for you and your needs, make sure you provide as much information up front as possible about the different tasks you need completed. Provide them with details, exactly what you’d like them to do on a day to day basis, what a completed project should look like, and deadline details. Giving explicit details will help the employee to be as efficient as possible, achieve a result you’re happy with, and will help your employee complete a job just as well as if you had done it yourself, which keeps you from feeling the need to micromanage.

Another smart delegation idea is to set up checkpoints to make sure that everything is on track and being completed the way you want it to. Checkpoints offer you and your employee a place to collaborate, regroup, make edits, and create the best final product possible, exceeding your goals and expectations.

There you have it. A quick business owner’s guide to delegation. Delegating can be one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business, as long as you remember to let go of your “I can do it all” mindset, delegate tasks you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself, choose the right person to delegate to, communicate often and avoid micromanaging! By delegating aspects of your business, you’re on the track to a more productive and profitable company.

 

We are here to help you navigate so schedule a call to discuss your specific business goals

Adapting to an ecosystem-driven world: Next-generation family businesses

 

​Family-owned businesses face a growing challenge: how to thrive in today’s fluid business ecosystems while still preserving their identity as a business and their cohesion as a family.

Tothrive in today’s dynamic, complex business ecosystems, many family-owned businesses will need to shift their mindset to take a more expansive view of the kinds of business relationships they can use to drive value, according to a new Deloitte study.

Next-generation family businesses: Exploring business ecosystems, a 2018 global study by MWC, polled 575 current and future family business leaders to investigate their attitudes and actions with respect to the business ecosystems in which they participate. The study showed that while most family-owned businesses view ecosystems as an opportunity for growth, a number of more-insular behaviors persist even among some organizations whose leaders view themselves as more open to collaboration.

Innovation is one area in which many family business leaders’ attitudes seem particularly out of step with their actions. A large majority (89 percent) of survey respondents agreed that business ecosystems enabled their organization to innovate beyond its individual capabilities. Yet when asked about their actual participation in innovation projects, more than half (53 percent) said that they rarely or never partnered with other organizations during the past three years, pointing to a lingering reluctance among at least some family-owned businesses to engage with external parties. Further, 32 percent of the respondents said that their businesses would only work on new services and/or products with organizations with which they already had a long-standing relationship. This is consistent with many family businesses’ traditional emphasis on operating within stable, closely knit networks of collaborators—a model that is at odds with the more fluid and varied modes of interaction that characterize today’s business ecosystems.

In this context, it is interesting that acquisitions were the most frequent type of business combination that respondents undertook over the last three years—and that they expected to engage in more acquisitions than in any other type of combination over the next three years as well. When asked why they pursued business combinations, 30 percent of respondents cited “access to innovation” as a driver, making it the third-most-frequent reason given for undertaking a business combination. The study also found that family businesses place a high value on owning intellectual property (IP), with 63 percent of respondents saying that owning IP was “very” or “fairly” important to their organization.

Taken together, these findings suggest the possibility that family businesses feel the need to own innovations outright in order to derive value from them. While this belief is in keeping with the family-owned business’s traditional emphasis on owning a strong asset base, it may expose leaders to undue risk if it encourages the pursuit of acquisitions at the expense of other types of relationships. Joint ventures and alliances, in particular—which are generally more cooperative, more negotiated, and less risky than acquisitions—offer avenues for family businesses to benefit from innovations without actually owning them.

To fully exploit the opportunities presented by modern business ecosystems, family business leaders should consider adopting a flexible, outward-facing mindset that allows for variation in the types of relationships they pursue. This represents a sea change in attitude that many family business leaders themselves are aware must take place. More than half of the survey respondents believed that they needed to change the approach of their business to collaboration, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and alliances, either to some extent (53 percent) or substantially (17 percent). Working in their favor is the fact that family businesses tend to be resilient and agile, and most have a long-term planning horizon. These strengths, along with astute leadership and an understanding of the current environment, can help family businesses navigate their way to success and continuity.

The overall picture emerging from the survey is one of family businesses making a slow transition to fuller participation in broader business ecosystems—typical of the prudent and steady approach of many family-owned businesses. But while a cautious approach may fit in well with their culture, family businesses need to balance caution and conservatism with the need not to be left behind. Perhaps most important of all, family businesses (and their leaders) would do well to consider how their business model can work effectively in an evolving business ecosystem—without neglecting the history and traditions embedded within the family.

New entrants and startups, as well as established competitors, are capitalizing on a wave of opportunities created by an ecosystem-driven world. Family businesses that can evolve their culture and business practices to take advantage of the same opportunities can gain a competitive edge.

*We are here to help you navigate so schedule a call to discuss your specific business goals