As a business owner are you exhausted at the end of the work day? Are you tired of doing everything yourself? Are your team members unwilling to make decisions and are coming to you for even the smallest of issues? The truth is that most business owners, who are skilled at just about every task in their company, struggle with the one thing that can make a big difference . . . DELEGATION. It may seem practical to stay lean and mean and do everything yourself. However, you need to realize this is not a formula for growth. And, even worse, not a formula for enjoying life outside of your business.  You should understand that very few people make a fortune running their business, but a lot of people do by selling them.  If YOU ARE the business it really isn’t worth what you think it might be. When a business can run without the business owner the value is increased exponentially.

So how do you go about delegating? Well, first you have to admit that most business owners are perfectionists, don’t really trust their people to make the right decisions and simply are unwilling to “give up control.” If this sounds like you the first thing you need to do is look in the mirror and admit that you need to change. 

The second thing you will need to do is a time study. Spend the next several weeks if not months tracking the things you do every day. Then rate your activities high, medium or low in terms of the skills it takes to complete those tasks and in terms of the interest you have to complete those tasks.

You need to start looking at those tasks you are performing that plot in the lower left hand part of this grid. Namely, those tasks that take medium to low skills and have medium to low interest from your perspective.

Now, the third thing is to systematize those tasks that fall in that lower left hand part of the grid. That means write down exactly what it takes to perform each task. Then ask someone in your business to perform each task after reading the description. If it takes intervention from you to explain how to perform that task you have not described it in enough detail. They should be able to complete the task without you having to explain it. Keep doing this with all the tasks you have identified. You are now on your way to developing a “systems manual” for you business. 

The fourth thing to do is now assign these tasks to individuals within your company. Or outsource the tasks to service companies that can do these things for you (bookkeeping for example). Periodically, track results and be sure things are getting done properly. You are now the “reviewer” and not the “doer.”

The last area to look at is the decision making processes within your business. List out all the decisions that are made in your business on a day to day basis. Determine what decisions can be made by other people and give them the criteria to make those decisions.  I call this the “Delegation of Authority.” This is a guideline on who can make a decision and what facts are needed to make them. An example would be how to offer discounts to customers. If the deal is of a certain size a sales person can offer up to five percent. However, anything more will require the sales manager, up to 10 percent. Over 10 percent will require the owner’s approval. Now you have set the rules, your staff simply needs to follow them.

You will soon find that you have more time on your hands. What to do now? Go market your business! Meet with your clients. Find out what more they need and want. Make further changes to get them to buy more from you.  You are now working more ON your business rather than IN it.