Okay, all you control freaks out there, it’s time to have a heart to heart. Even if you don’t consider yourself a part of this category, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Are your to do lists piling up to the ceiling? Do you believe “If you want it done right, do it yourself?” Do you cringe at the amount of training time “wasted” trying to teach someone to do something you could accomplish in a few minutes on your own? Yes? Call it what you like, but the do-it-yourself approach is dangerous to a growing business.
Take it from a recovering controller; there will come a point when you simply can’t exist at such a pace. Your business will start to suffer from lost opportunity, not to mention your family and personal life. There is only so much one person can accomplish—no matter how dedicated and driven that person might be. A team can accomplish much more than one person could ever achieve. That’s the beauty of delegation and the reason that almost every successful company does just that.
Think about the companies you admire. There’s a flow to their business that keeps them successful. They know what to do, when to do it and, most importantly, who should get it done.
What’s the secret? These companies have figured out how to use their assets and people in a way that keeps the operation growing. A company that dedicates time and resources to explore additional opportunities is a company that will continue to grow.
So let’s take a look at the resources you have around you right now. What could you be using better or more efficiently? What’s available to you right now that you aren’t taking advantage of? If you’re like most of us, you’ll probably realize you have a lot more to work with than you thought. Just like all those applications on your cell phone or your computer that you rarely use, a lot of your business tools are likely underutilized.
The Online Side
We could focus on delegating just about any aspect of your business. But since my specialty is websites and marketing, let’s focus on that.
Do your current website and marketing materials represent your business as you would like to see it? Do they help you stand out from your competitors? If your answer is “They are good enough,” that shouldn’t be the case.
Many website solutions offer webinars or one-on-one training to help you gain an understanding of what you have. Are you using everything that is available to you? Would your customers have a better experience with your business if you did? When was the last time you reviewed your marketing? Is it getting the results you want?
You can make a difference immediately by using the resources that surround you—your staff. Delegate. Start by putting job titles aside. Maybe you have a graphic designer who is also a great writer—put him in charge of updating website content. If your CSR is on Facebook every time you pass her desk, crown her your “social monitor.” Giving employees tasks outside of their typical job duties will make them feel even more like key players, and your company will benefit.
The trick to delegating is to empower your employees to make decisions. You won’t save much time if your “content guy” asks for your approval every time he changes a paragraph.
Here are my top 10 suggestions for roles that you can delegate to your staff. Keep in mind you don’t need 10 employees at the ready to make this happen. These roles shouldn’t take more than a few hours a week, so you can delegate more than one role/task to a single employee.
Picture Person: Responsible for ensuring the images on your website and marketing materials are up-to-date and changing often. Images draw visitors in and encourage them to engage more. Use real pictures of your shop and staff (include events such as your company picnic), convert your best projects into website images and showcase them throughout your site, not just on your products page.