One of my biggest challenges as a business owner is delegating work to others. This is primarily because I am a sole proprietor and I work alone. It is also because it seems easier to do something myself than hire someone else to do it for me. After all, by the time I show them how to do it, I could have it done myself, right? This type of thinking, unfortunately, has kept me stuck.
Fortunately, however, I have recently had so much business (yeah!) that I've had to hire someone to help me with research, editing and writing tasks. It was a tough call to make, as well as an unexpected investment, but it has allowed me to take on more new clients and to continue meeting deadlines. Here are my tips on how you might delegate more in your business:
1) Make a list of tasks that absolutely MUST be done by you, as well as a list of tasks that you might delegate (bookkeeping, appointment setting, filing, shredding, marketing, etc.).
2) Make a list of people who might be able to assist with the duties you might delegate. For example, do you know someone who does bookkeeping or who has a virtual assistant? If so, start there.
3) Talk preliminarily with those people to see what their availability and rates are. Can you afford them? Are they available when you need them? If you aren't sure if you can afford an assistant or to outsource your work, consider what you'll lose if you don't - clients? time? sanity?
And think of what you'll gain by sharing some of your growing workload - clients? time? sanity? Win, win!
4) Interview several people and see which of them match or complement your working style. Choose the one that seems to be the best fit.
5) Once you make your selection(s), try a test project to test the waters. Explain each project clearly, provide the necessary information or tools to do the job, state a clear deadline and how and when you will pay for the work. After the project is complete, evaluate the quality, timeliness and ease of working with the person. If each item is rated an A+, hire away! If not, keep looking.