Firstly, thank you to everyone who read my posts last week. You’ve spurred me to write more, so it’s your own fault! This lesson is about helping people start to delegate or let go of the reins.
When you are a one-man or one-woman band, it’s difficult to hire and delegate, because consciously or sub-consciously, you can’t trust anyone to do your jobs as well as you.
This is one of the hardest things for new company owners to deal with, trusting someone to do a job that will be to their standards and then leaving them to it. Especially if it’s something that will go to a client. If you’re an office-based company, being in one room together means you can oversee things fairly effectively, so the trust issue isn’t quite as bad. If you’re a company that does off-site work and multiple projects simultaneously, you can’t be everywhere at once and can’t oversee every client, sub-contractor and staff member. Flitting from site to site may be the most important part of your role, therefore you need to leave the office to run without you! Basically, different businesses and industries suffer from this to different degrees. The key is to let the least important jobs go first and slowly hand over more important ones as you start to relax and embrace the change.
If you’re starting on your own, or you have a small team, here’s an easy way to organise yourself and start changing. I’ve met Directors with long running businesses and large teams that still don’t delegate well and have to be involved in everything . If this is you, take the time to sit and write a list of the jobs you have to do each week and month and rank them from 1 to 5. This is obviously recurring jobs, not random ones that come in here and there! The most important jobs get a 5, such as deciding marketing budgets, dealing with the largest clients, talking to lawyers or hiring staff. Jobs with a 1 might include organising receipts, typing up notes, transferring pictures from your phone from site visits and cataloguing them or chasing invoices. Hopefully you should all know which ones fill in 2, 3 and 4!
Start with all the jobs marked 1 and either: –
- Delegate to existing team members
- Hire someone
- Sub-contract to a company
- Find a piece of software that will automate the process
Just do something to get those jobs off your desk. When you’ve done that, move on to the 2’s, then the 3’s, and so on…
So what’s the lesson here? The lesson is, that as a Director, there should be a price on your head as far as the company is concerned. I always use £100/hr with clients to make the numbers easier. If you spend an hour per month sorting through receipts – a job that you would pay someone £8/hr to do – you have just cost your company £92 this month! If you are as valuable as you think you are, you need to be delivering that value to the company as many hours per week as possible by doing the most important jobs.
Remember, all the 1’s, then the 2’s, then the 3’s…