When you first start out in business, it can feel like you’re on the hook to do all the things. Even if you have a partner or a few select team members (like an accountant or attorney), the way of business still leaves a lot on your plate. You must show up as the visionary and the integrator, which can be overwhelming if it becomes the standard expectation.
Fortunately, you don’t have to grow your business alone! Building a team of people who specialize in the areas you don’t enjoy will free up your schedule and allow you to stay in your flow zone. Whether you hate social media management or you simply don’t find sales “fun,” there are countless professionals out there who do enjoy those tasks—and are likely better at them than you as well!
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But finding the right people and forming your dream team is only the first step of the process. The next part requires an essential quality of great entrepreneurs: leadership.
Without you at the helm, your team will feel lost at sea, unsure of what to do or how to succeed. They might wonder why you hired them in the first place if you weren’t ready to trust others enough to delegate your work.
Don’t worry–leadership is a skill you can cultivate! Every successful CEO has had to step up to the plate and manage a team for the first time, and most will tell you it came with varying degrees of success. So expect to make mistakes, learn hard lessons, and become a better entrepreneur for it.
Whether you have a great team in place or you’re still piecing it together, these delegation strategies will help you save time, let go of unnecessary pressure, and maximize your investment in personnel.
Let it go—plain and simple.
Loosening the leash in one’s business is perhaps the hardest thing entrepreneurs must do when building a team, but it’s the single most critical step of them all. (It’s also the most rewarding!) While creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training new hires may be formulaic, letting go of control requires a mindset shift.
You must accept less-than-perfect quality initially but recognize that a dedicated team member will learn and offer more room for growth. They will own every aspect of their role, which likely served only as a distractor for you. You don’t have to do every little thing—in fact, you can’t do so if you intend to scale your business, take on more clients, and increase revenue.
Start with repeatable tasks.
When you start delegating, it’s not about handing off large-scale projects with countless moving pieces. That still belongs to you! Instead, focus on repeatable tasks that take up time and pull you away from your talents, passions, and value-driven work.
Think about all of the recurring to-dos in your business—scheduling social media, uploading client documentation, organizing contact information, sending proposals, and the list could surely go on. Not only will these take an ongoing task off your plate (rather than a one-time win), but they’re also easy to standardize with streamlined SOPs.
Make motivation a top priority.
While effective delegation is primarily focused on work, remember that your team members aren’t mere order-takers. They are people who live regular human lives. They have good days, bad days, and everything in between. As their leader, it’s up to you to support their needs and maintain morale and motivation levels within your team.
Everyone finds motivation in unique ways. For example, your copywriter may feel most recharged after taking an afternoon off, while financial incentives might stoke the flames for your virtual assistant. Get to know the individuals on your team to see how you can personalize your leadership approach and bring out the best in each of them.
Create a space that fosters productivity.
It’s hard to feel inspired when your workspace is a mess. Think about it: A cluttered desk can make it feel like your mind is just as cluttered. So give your team what it needs to succeed! A tidy workspace is essential to productivity and will keep your team organized, in sync, and ready to get things done.
If you operate in an office environment, bring in comfortable furniture, delicious coffee, and meaningful artwork to create a space that flows. If your business is online, focus on building systems that keep your digital workspace clean and organized. Nobody wants to work amidst chaos, so make sure to provide your team with a constructive and dynamic atmosphere no matter where you’re located.
The good news: Once you get in the rhythm of delegation, it will begin to flow like second nature. Your team members will become better in their role, you’ll establish more trust in others, and you’ll see the results shown in your schedule, your profit margins, and your business’s success.