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

Top 10 Time Management Tips for Managers

Running a small business is no walk in the park. Between taking care of clients, managing web presence, working with your employees, general administration tasks, and chasing leads, you tend to constantly have a lot on your plate. As a manager or small business owner, your day to day life and business responsibilities can get pretty hectic. Poor time management can make stressful situations more stressful, and lead to problems, mistakes, and no work-life balance. 

While there’s not a lot you can do in terms of reducing your workload and making yourself busy, managing your time well can make things run smoothly and help your responsibilities feel like less of a burden. By making sure your time is well managed, you will be able to be the most productive version of yourself and get much more done than before, leading to less of the “I need more hours in the day” internal dialogue throughout your work week.

Here are some of the best time management tips that will help to boost your productivity.

1- Avoid Multitasking

While multitasking– jumping from task to task- can seem like a good idea when you’re pressed for time, it can actually make completing tasks more difficult, reducing your overall productivity. Shifting between a number of different things all at once requires your brain to adjust quickly to new tasks, reducing focus levels and leading to careless mistakes you’ll just have to spend time correcting later on. 

Focusing on a single task for a shorter amount of time is a smarter method of time management than working on multiple tasks for long periods of time. Remember, trying to take care of a task while also checking and replying to emails every few minutes is still multitasking and is still taking away from your productivity! Save the emails until after you’ve finished your task.

2- Make a daily to do list and stick to it

You should begin each work day with a list of goals to be accomplished for the day and commit your day to accomplishing those goals only. Without a clear set of tasks at the beginning of the day, you can meander through your day, touching on multiple tasks, but never fully completing any. Making a bulleted list of things to get done or creating an hour by hour breakdown are great ways to keep your day structured and organized.

3- Use an online organizer to keep track of multiple clients, deadlines, and projects

Online project managers, which help you to keep track of multiple projects, deadlines, and clients, can help you to stay organized when you have a lot of moving parts. Getting bogged down and confused by all of the different things you need to accomplish for different clients can seriously inhibit your productivity. Online organizers like Asana and Monday can keep you organized so that you can better organize and manage your work week.

4- Experiment with different productivity methods

Humans are always searching for ways to become more productive, ways to get more done in a short 24 hour day. A popular productivity/ time management method is The Pomodoro Technique. Developed in the late 1980’s, The Pomodoro Technique consists of setting a timer for 25 minutes, working on a task with undivided attention for those 25 minutes, stopping and taking a 5 minute break when the timer rings. Then, you restart the process all over again. After you’ve had four consecutive 25 minute interval sessions, also known as pomodoros, you then take a longer 15 to 30 minute break. This technique allows you to maintain freshness of the mind and not become burnt out from staring at one project or task for hours on end.

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5- Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks

Anyone who’s skilled in time management delegates tasks. It’s one of the best ways to simply have more time. By handing off tasks and duties to someone else, you are able to make more time for yourself, your own tasks, or urgent tasks. While it can be hard to relinquish control, as long as you learn the right way to delegate, and avoid micromanaging, delegating tasks can be the ultimate time management tool.

6- Automate what you can

We live in such a technologically advanced world these days, there is almost nothing you can’t automate. From social media posts to email newsletters to web updates and more, you can automate just about every aspect of your business. Imagine how long it takes for you to go into social media, decide what to post to keep your account active, create a post, a caption, and a photo (depending on the platform). Now imagine how much time you’d save if you used a social media automation tool to post. This is just one example of an aspect of your business that can be automated for efficiency and better time management.

7-Identify and Eliminate Time Wasters

This goes hand in hand with automation and delegation. Identify what you take time out of your daily tasks to complete, identify things that are wasting your time. Perhaps it’s your social media management. Maybe it’s running tech support in the office because the wifi went out for the third time this week. Or maybe it takes you 30 minutes to refill the ink cartridges in the printer each week. Or how it takes you over a month to figure out the accounting and taxes for your business. Whatever it is that’s wasting your time, eliminate it! Outsource these jobs to other people, delegate tasks to your employees. You can improve your time management tremendously just by removing time wasting tasks from your to do list. 

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8- Learn to live by the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule is one of the most helpful methods of time management. The method essentially states that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results. What does this mean in terms of time management? Let’s put it in terms of a to-do list. The rule suggests that two out of ten items on that to do list will turn out to be worth more than the other eight items put together. But where does the problem come in? Often, people will procrastinate on the top 20% of tasks, known as the important “vital few”, while wasting their time on the other 80%, or the “trivial many”. 

To fully harness the time management capabilities of the 80/20 rule, you will need to apply it to your everyday work life. To do this, each day, take a look at your to do list. Now ask yourself, if you could only accomplish one of the goals on that list today, which one goal would be the most important, most productive, make the most impact? Then continue to ask yourself that question after each task is crossed off of your to-do list. Get ready to see massive productivity results after starting this method.

9- Organize your workspace

A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind, which slows productivity and leads to procrastination, confusion, laziness and mistakes. Make sure all areas of your workspace are clean and organized to maximize productivity and improve your overall work experience.

10- Don’t procrastinate!

Procrastination is the polar opposite of productivity and quality time management. Procrastination is the enemy. Oftentimes, we find ourselves procrastinating because the thought of starting a task, especially a large one, or the first one on a large to do list, is too daunting for us to even want to begin. A way to combat this is to just dive right in. Don’t think, just start working. Sounds easier than it actually is, right? A fun method to get yourself to just jump right into a project is to count backwards from 5. Once you finish the countdown, you have to get up, or put down the phone, or stop doing whatever you were doing to procrastinate. This countdown method really works, so next time you find yourself procrastinating, give it a try.

Now that you’re equipped with the 10 best time management tips for business owners, you’re on your way to becoming a more productive, more organized, less stressed version of yourself! Try these tips, tricks, and techniques, get ready to watch your productivity soar like never before.

Why Your Small Business Needs a Consultant

Small Business Consultant

Have you ever found yourself wanting an outside eye to help out your company? Have you felt the need for someone with more specialized skills to assist in a certain area of your business? Do you need someone to help identify problems within your company? Do you just need more time to focus on the day to day tasks and would like to outsource some of your other work in order to supplement your business and your staff? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in need of a small business consultant! 

What is a small business consultant?

Small business consultants are professionals who often specialize in a more niche aspect of business, such as an attorney skilled in business law, certified public accountants (CPAs) or even consulting firms which offer a variety of business-related services, like marketing, management, sales, or advertising. The more common types of consultants include strategy and management consultants, operations consultants, IT consultants, human resources consultants, and sales and marketing consultants.

 

The different types of small business consulting services

To discover which type of consultant may be right for you, dive into learning a bit more about different types of consultants and what they do.

Digital Strategy and Management Consultants can help with expanding your product offerings, widening your marketing footprint, developing a business plan, reorganizing your business for efficiency and cost savings, or even buyout another company. They can assist with your business’ social media, market research, online marketing, and website development.

Operations Consultants can help with increasing your process quality and efficiency. They may work with project management, develop new operation plans, helping to reduce steps or mistakes and increase your profit margins.

IT Consultants are one of the most popular types of consultants, with the rapidly changing pace of modern technology. Different things IT consultants can do include maintenance and support services, application development, application integration, to name a few. They can also assist in updating operating software, updating servers, upgrading internet providers, phones, and much more.

Human Resources Consultants are often used to work on employee needs. They can be helpful in recruiting, training, teaching, and improving employee retention. You may also use them as leadership and communication development specialists, and use them to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your staff..

Creative Consultants, PR and Media Consultants are becoming more popular with the expansion of media and digital marketing. The consulting practices and services may offer include graphic design, videography, photography, branding, promotions, campaigns, outreach, events, and communications.

Sales and Marketing Consultants create marketing strategies, launch advertising campaigns, build a high level cohesive brand, make sure you are generating good business, even initiate the sales process.

So, why would you need one of these types of consultants?

Why you may need a consultant

There are many reasons why a small business may need a consultant. You may want added expertise, a fresh set of eyes, a seasoned problem solver and idea generator, a trainer, an influx of new life into the business, or an objective standpoint on business matters.

A small business consultant can offer…

Added expertise and specialized skills

Perhaps the most common reason small business owners hire consultants is for business growth. They allow them to gain access to special skills they may not have among in-house employees. These skills can range from marketing to finance specialists to recruiters. Hiring consultants makes it easy for you to gain access to expertise and specialized skills on demand, whenever you may need.

Hiring consultants is a cost-effective way to supplement your staff, too. While small business management consulting rates are usually a bit higher than a full-time employee, the money saved by only hiring a consultant when their skills are needed, rather than full time, will be more cost effective in the long term.

A fresh set of eyes, an idea generator

When dealing with an issue or important decisions in your life, do you often turn to friends and family for advice? It can be useful to do this in a business, too! Because consultants have a track record of working with many different companies, they may have seen an issue that you may come across in your business, and often they will have a creative solution to problems or experience in handling something you might not have dealt with before. Consultants are seasoned problem solvers who are able to offer fresh, innovative ideas that clients may not have been able to come up with on their own.

A trainer or teacher

Consultants may help companies keep employees on top of new business trends or developments in their field, consultants may be hired to teach. Consultants can also be useful in training new staff when you don’t have the time to do so yourself. 

An influx of new life into the business

No one likes change, least of all corporate America. But change can be good, and often, change is necessary. Consultants can help usher change into an organization seamlessly, whether it be through staff leadership retreats, workshops, e-learning, training programs, new technology, or helping to teach a new business ideology or way of communication, consultants can provide those much needed new methods and ideas into your business, as well as your staff!

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Consultants are a valuable resource for any small business, and the impact they can have on a company should not be underestimated. If your annual revenue has been the same or declining in the last 3 years, your business isn’t serving you, you need help managing your growth curve, or your team isn’t hitting goals month over month, you should consider hiring a business consultant.

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

Seeking responsible leadership

 

JANUARY 20, 2020 RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

  • The social, economic and environmental challenges of the 2020s require new approaches to leadership and responsibility.
  • As organizations put sustainability and equitability at the heart of their organizations, they will need a broader range of leadership skills and attributes.
  • An ability to master Mission & Purpose, Technology & Innovation and Stakeholder Inclusion must become second nature.
  • We reveal the Five Elements of Responsible Leadership that high performing organizations display.

The decade to deliver

As we enter a new decade, businesses and organizations are facing a range of challenges that are forcing them to redefine responsible leadership:

  • Climate change: 65% of CEOs agree that they need to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources.
  • Global economic fragility: 87% of CEOs believe that global and economic systems need to refocus on equitable growth.
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution: New technologies have to be managed for both their potential promise and their peril.
  • The risk of leaving people behind in the workplace: Investment in emerging technologies doubled 2017-2019, but only 18% of organizations planned to significantly increase spending to reskill their people in the next three years.

These issues are encouraging a wider range of stakeholders to raise their voice and to influence decision makers. Leaders are beginning to acknowledge the need for change.

72% of CEOs say citizen trust will be critical to their competitiveness in the next five years.

61% of emerging leaders (the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers) say that business models should only be pursued if they generate profitable growth and improve societal outcomes at the same time.”Organizations have the opportunity and the obligation to drive growth in tandem with positive social and environmental outcomes. This starts with redefining what it means to lead responsibly. A new generation is leading the way, focused on driving value while honoring values.”

— Monika Wood, MBA, Founder/Principal – MW Consulting, Inc.

Combining responsibility with innovation results in better performance

We examined 2,540 publicly listed companies between 2015 and 2018, indexing them according to their sustainability & trust levels, their innovation and their financial performance. Companies that combine high levels of innovation, on one hand, and sustainability & trust, on the other, outperform their industry peers, with 3.1% higher operating profits and greater returns to shareholders. Companies that excel at innovating alone, without achieving sufficient levels of sustainability & trust, see a negligible impact on operating performance (see below).

A new model of responsible leadership is required

Today’s leaders need to deliver value on three fronts: organizational performance, measured most often by short-term earnings; continuous innovation, the seedbed for longer-term growth, often propelled by emerging technology; and sustainability & trust, earned by attending to the interests of stakeholders.

What leadership attributes are required to achieve all three objectives? We asked approximately 2,000 business leaders and 3,000 stakeholders. We also asked more than 1,800 emerging leaders in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers communities.



The five elements model of responsible leadership

Stakeholder Inclusion, Emotion & Intuition, Mission & Purpose, Technology & Innovation, and Intellect & Insight are leadership attributes in the Five Elements Model of Responsible Leadership.
  • Stakeholder Inclusion: Safeguarding trust and positive impact for all by standing in the shoes of stakeholders when making decisions, and fostering an inclusive environment where diverse individuals have a voice and feel they belong.
  • Emotion & Intuition: Unlocking commitment and creativity by being truly human, showing compassion, humility and openness.
  • Mission & Purpose: Advancing common goals by inspiring a shared vision of sustainable prosperity for the organization and its stakeholders.
  • Technology & Innovation: Creating new organizational and societal value by innovating responsibly with emerging technology.
  • Intellect & Insight: Finding ever-improving paths to success by embracing continuous learning and knowledge exchange.

Company executives and stakeholders value different leadership qualities

Company executives recognize that leaders of responsible businesses need to exhibit all Five Elements. They place strong emphasis on Technology & Innovation (Te). But companies’ stakeholders see things differently. Consumers, employees and others have a far greater interest in leaders with highly developed Mission & Purpose (Mi) and Emotion & Intuition (Em). This suggests that organizations may find it hard to meet the expectations of wider society unless they modify their leadership qualities and seek a stronger and more balanced Five Elements profile.”This is the decade to deliver. A new model of responsible leadership can help address the world’s most pressing problems in ways that unleash new waves of growth that are more sustainable and equitable.”

— PETER LACY, Senior Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Europe, UK & Ireland and Accenture World Economic Forum Lead

Making responsible leadership a reality

Responsible leadership becomes real when it learns from and ultimately reflects those it serves. Getting started means addressing head-on some potentially uncomfortable questions. We suggest three:

Who are your stakeholders and how well do you really know them?

Do they include non-traditional and diverse interests? How important is each group of stakeholders to your organization? Do you understand the negative and positive consequences of your organization’s actions?

Is your leadership team on course to have a balanced Five Elements profile?

In discussions, does the Five Elements profile resonate with your leadership team? Do you draw upon these attributes, skills and mindsets when making strategic decisions? Are the Five Elements present in how you grow and build your future leadership teams?

What do you need to accelerate and scale responsible leadership qualities throughout your organization?

What barriers exist? What opportunities and burning platforms can accelerate progress? Are there particular tools, support, or types of collaboration that can spur progress at an individual, organizational and ecosystem level?

 

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