Are you running yourself ragged trying to do it all? Rebecca Newenham explains how to delegate effectively to get back in control of your time.
As a franchise owner, being able to delegate effectively is vital. If you don’t delegate, you risk becoming burnt out by overstretching yourself, but you could also be limiting the growth of your business. Whether it is to a colleague or an outsourced provider like a virtual assistant, delegating effectively can unlock great results for your franchise.
Trust others to deliver
Trusting other people isn’t easy, especially when it comes to your own business. Your franchise is your baby, and you might find it hard to imagine that other people will give your business the care and attention you would. Drive and passion are incredible, but you need to keep them in proportion to succeed. Although other people might not feel exactly the same as you do about your business, that doesn’t mean they won’t produce good work.
Think about influencing rather than controlling. You can influence the quality of the work someone produces by educating the person you are delegating to and sharing information so that they can find the answers they need. Because this information comes from you, it will be correct. You can trust the person to work to the standard you expect.
Win back time by letting go
Teaching someone else to carry out a task that you already do can feel like a total time-drain. Isn’t it just quicker to carry on doing it yourself? But keeping jobs to yourself can be a false economy.
In the long run, sharing information and educating others to complete tasks on your behalf is a sound investment. Once the handover is complete, you’ll regain time to focus on other aspects of the business or recharge your batteries. Accept the short-term pain of training for the long-term gain of empowering others to do things that you don’t need to do. Then relish your newfound freedom to complete tasks you want to do, and where your personal attention will make a more significant difference.
Define the support you need in terms of both tasks and skills
Take some time upfront to think about what help you need. A business coach can be a great sounding board for this, or even talking to a family member can help. Analyse what you spend your time on, on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Categorise those tasks into things that you enjoy doing, or you feel you have the skills to do, and jobs that need to be done but are always at the bottom of your to-do list.
Once you’ve got a list of tasks, you need to find the right skill solution. Estimating how many hours of assistance you might need is tricky. No one wants to take on a staff member and then realise that there isn’t enough for them to do. Consider if you have the skills in-house already or whether you need to recruit or outsource. Outsourcing can be an excellent option for maintaining flexibility, only paying for as many tasks as you need or hours you have budgeted for, and being able to cherry-pick from a pool of experts.
Don’t be afraid to have high expectations
If something isn’t done to your standard, say so! Delegation doesn’t work if you end up redoing it afterwards. The right assistant or colleague will want to be doing a good job – and understand why if they are not, so they can improve.
Change colleague or supplier if needed until you find the right fit that works for you and your business. Someone who works to the same high standards as you and genuinely helps you move your business forward.
Letting go isn’t easy, and many people, especially business owners, struggle with delegation. But by changing your mindset, you can master the art of delegation, work smarter (NOT harder!) and achieve your business goals. There are only so many hours in the day, so use them wisely by delegating to succeed.