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If you’re a small business owner, chances are you sometimes find it difficult to delegate. However, learning to let go of certain tasks can actually increase your profits, make your business more productive, and, at the same time, improve your work-life balance. Here we take a look at when and how to delegate effectively.

Why Don’t You Delegate?

According to Amy Gallo of the Harvard Business Review, there can be a number of reasons why small business owners take on too much responsibility and don’t want to let go of even the easy tasks. She suggests that many small business owners are perfectionists who worry that the work of others won’t be good enough. Alternatively, you may lack confidence and worry that a team member is actually going to out-perform you.

However, delegating can actually make your staff look up to you more. Gallo gives the case study of business park manager Russell Sy as an example. “I am fortunate to have a top-notch direct supervisor,” he says. “Constantly observing her delegate, motivate, and manage for results has taught me a lot.”

Yet few small business owners feel comfortable with the idea of delegation. Research by ProfessorJohn W. Hunt of the London Business School reveals that only 30% of managers believe they are good at delegation. Of these, only one in three was rated good at delegating by their team. Getting it right is something that the vast majority of small business owners obviously need to learn.

When Should You Delegate?

If you constantly have too much to do and you’re working increasingly long hours, but your team keeps standard hours and don’t seem very motivated, it’s time to let them handle some of your workload.

Thomas N. Hubbard, Professor of Management and Strategy at Northwestern University in the US, suggests that there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself in order to determine when to delegate and who to delegate to.

1. Do you have the time to maximise your business?

Failure to delegate can harm your business, as you might find yourself having to turn work down because you don’t have enough time to handle it all.

2. How well do you know your staff’s skills?

Even if none of your team has your level of experience or skills, knowing their strengths will help you choose who you can delegate work to, leaving you to concentrate on the tasks that only you are qualified to do, saving time and effort in the process.

3. Do you have the tools to make delegation easier?

Much of the technology available today can make delegation easier. It’s important to keep up with the technology available to your industry and invest in solutions that will save time and effort when it comes to delegation. You can take advantage of numerous apps or management programs that not only lets you delegate with ease but also monitor the progress of the different tasks you’re currently doing or you delegated.

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Delegating Effectively

Once you are sure you have a team that is capable of handling some of your workload, there are steps you can take to make the delegation process easier for both you and your staff.

Communication is vital. Define the task and the results you want as clearly as possible at the beginning, as this will save you from having to answer the same questions again later on. If your team do come to you with questions, ask them to offer possible solutions so they’re learning something from the process. This also shows them that their opinions and insights are valued.

Make sure you delegate sufficient authority to your team members to complete all parts of the task without having to rely on you.

Establish procedures that will allow you to check the quality of your team’s work to make sure you are delegating to the right people and that it is actually saving you time and effort.

Be prepared to give the credit for the task publicly to the person who completed it. This will inspire them and make them willing to take on more responsibility in the future.

Learning to Grow Your Business

Effective delegating can be a major factor in increasing the profitability of your business and streamlining its operations. Mastermind programs like Build Live Give Club can provide business owners valuable insights on how to delegate tasks the right away, as well as help them discover ways to increase their business profit by as much as 50% while reducing working hours by significantly, leaving more time for the other things that matter in life such as family and giving back to the community.

Click here to sign up and reserve a spot for the free online training which also nets you a copy of the 5 Key Profit Drivers for Scaling Your Business ebook authored by Build Live Give founder Paul Higgins.