Friday, December 5, 2014

Entrepreneurs: Delegation in Three Easy Steps By Kangelon “Kay” Dexter


Another month ends, and you feel a little more behind than you did a month ago. Invoices need to be prepared, quarterly reports need to be compiled and proofed, numerous leads need to be followed-up on, and then you realize you haven’t tweeted in 17 days. Does this sound familiar?
Running a small business is no small task, and even the best multitaskers can’t do it all alone. You know you need to delegate, but who has the time? Richard Branson, famous billionaire and Virgin CEO, knew the importance of delegation from the beginning, and it set him up for long term success.
“Virgin’s ability to grow and diversify successfully was set in the company’s early days, with my learning how to delegate and let go,” he shared in his column.
Regardless of whether you aspire to running a multi-billion dollar business or want to stay local, all entrepreneurs can take Branson’s advice on delegation. If you are wondering where to begin, below are three basic pieces of advice that will help you get started.

Take Inventory of Your Tasks
When your business is your passion, you may hold your cards close to the vest. In the process, your to-do list may be unreasonably long, possibly impacting growth and your sanity as well as the sanity of your employees. Using time-tracking software for a full week, take a complete and honest inventory of how much you’re actually doing. Be prepared to be surprised by how much you shoulder all on your own! Look at the list objectively to determine which tasks and processes you don’t need to personally do. This now becomes your delegation list. 
Don’t Rush the Personnel Search
Now that you know which tasks need to be delegated, make sure that they are delegated to the right people. Richard Branson said that hiring should be done with the plan that one day you will even delegate your CEO position when it’s time to step back or move on to something new. When the person you’re hiring may eventually take your place, at your own choosing, it’s best to look beyond basic skill sets and experience to find someone you trust and who shares your values and work ethic. Finding this person may take time, but don’t rush. Once you’ve found the person, begin by delegating just one or two simple tasks, then re-evaluate.
Reward Your Trusted Employees
Promoting from within is one of Richard Branson’s guiding principles for rewarding proactive employees, and it’s something he recommends to other entrepreneurs. This advice translates to any size business and can be done easily with a small business. If your graphic designer has a good idea for a blog post, let them take a shot at it. If your virtual assistant wants to take on email marketing, develop a plan together and let them try it out. People love feeling ownership of something they helped improve, so rewarding initiative and taking chances on your people stands to improve your business.

Where do you stand? Do you try to do it all, or do you delegate? If you are already a skilled delegator, what advice would you share with those just getting started?

Kangelon “Kay” Dexter, Product Marketing Strategist, Sage One, Sage North America
Kay uses her passion for marketing and entrepreneurs in her role at Sage to ensure the voice of the customer is heard as new products and features are created. She has built her career around being an innovator, straight-talker, forward-thinker, and always making sure her work is relevant to customers. Outside of the office, Kay enjoys spending her free time mentoring local teenage and collegiate young ladies, shopping for the latest fashion trends, and being a youth and worship leader at her church.

Join @thebossnetwork and @TheKayDexter for a special #BOSSChat via Twitter on Thursday, December 11th at 8pm ET.

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