Update: How Did My Two Weeks Off Go?
Entrepreneurship is all about running a successful business. The problem for most entrepreneurs is that you probably need some help doing it. You feel like you are the ‘bottleneck’ and everything is stuck with you in the way of progress.
If you are going to grow or scale your company learning how to delegate effectively and not abdicate should be one of your top priorities. It’s easy to pass off tasks, but when you do it without instruction you are abdicating. You are doing so with a plan based on the hope that the employee will complete the task and do it well. If you’ve done this, you’re certainly not alone.
We have all been there, too many things to do without enough time and someone willing to take it on. If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that it never ends well. If that person who did take on the task, and by chance does it well, leaves without documenting the process, you are back at square one — the task is back with you and there is still no process. That’s where delegation comes in.
How do you pass off tasks with instruction and feel like they are getting done the way you want them done? It takes some work but you will be glad once the process is underway. Check out this podcast by Ryan Lazanis about carving out time to work on your business each day — a crucial task! Future Firm Accounting Podcast- First 2 Steps to Freeing up time in your firm
Where to start?
- Begin documenting your easiest tasks that don’t require your direct touch. These can be all things administrative, data entry, and setting up appointments or zoom calls. You could also pick the tasks you like the least or have the least amount of experience in.
- Match the tasks to the right person. This is also where you decide what to delegate to your team and what to outsource outside of your firm. If you are outsourcing any tasks, make sure they are experts in this area and have great referrals
- Provide training. Yes, this takes time but it is important for success and the time you’ll save in the long run will be well worth it. You have the process documented and the right person, now show them how to do it. Then watch them do the process and then let them do it on their own, following your instructions. Check to make sure it was done correctly and you should have confidence it will be done properly going forward.
How can you track if it’s being done?
Before you pass off these tasks, you need to focus on the results and let go of the need to control the process.
- Find a way to check on the completeness of the task and if it is being done correctly. You can set up a project management system like Asana for completeness. The free version of Asana connects with other systems like Google Calendar so tasks always stay in front of you! We use a practice management system, Financial Cents, to track all our tasks and make sure they are getting done.
- So how do you know if the task you pass off to someone else is being done correctly? It depends on what the task is…. For us, we can check on reports to make sure the team is doing their job correctly. To make sure our team has reconciled the bank and credit card statements following our process, we can review the reconciliation report. Are there any transactions that are more than 30 days old? Is there a reconciliation discrepancy? What was the date of reconciliation? This report answers all of these questions and therefore can tell us if the job is done correctly. In a marketing firm, you might delegate the task of posting on social media. Try using a scheduling platform that has built-in analytics that will show you what has been posted, when, and how well it was received by the audience. This allows you to see if your team posted timely, followed the strategic plan for your client, and executed killer posts that had a great engagement!
- Communicate constraints and boundaries. These are actions you want to make sure your team member doesn’t make. Make these constraints and boundaries a part of training. You might want to give parameters on what type of response they are allowed to have with clients or a response time that is appropriate.
Above all, your team needs to know your mission, vision, and priorities. If they are on board with the direction you are going in, they will be highly engaged and self-motivated and take actions that are in line with your goals.
Once you have delegated tasks and have put in place ways to track them, you are on your way to preparation for growth and scaling your company!