by Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
Why are most entrepreneurs uncomfortable with delegating tasks? Well, some say they are too busy to delegate while some are simply perfectionists who believe that it’s easier and more efficient to do things themselves. While the transition from a sole proprietor to broad-based management is difficult and often a daunting experience; as your business grows, you can no longer do everything yourself because your company will simply not grow.
Essentially, spending too much time on mundane day-to-day tasks instead of understanding the changing needs of your customers, changes in the business environment, identifying opportunities, pursuing potential clients or improving your company’s offering is counterproductive hence the need to delegate. So, at what point do you start delegating and what should you and shouldn’t delegate?
You need to delegate or collaborate with others immediately upon business operation because even when the company is small enough for one person to do everything, one person shouldn’t do it all. It’s impossible to be a receptionist, administrator, accountant, IT specialist, debt collector, lawyer and still focus on business strategy.
The reality is that entrepreneurs are creators and innovators in the economy so, very few entrepreneurs can start, manage and grow their businesses themselves as all these roles require different skills and expertise. As creators, we are more strategic and think broadly about our vision but for the vision to be realized we need supporters. Supporters complement and challenge us because they are analytical and possess the ability to break the vision into manageable and realistic tasks. Simply put, supporters fill the gaps and pay attention to details that elude us.
So, what tasks should you delegate to your team or external contractors?
You can delegate technical support, social media management, reception, administration, legal, accounting and debt collection for example. In fact, tracking outstanding invoices should be done by someone other than you to ensure collection doesn’t affect relationships with clients and ultimately your ability to get more business. You are responsible for sales and marketing of your business which requires diplomacy and charm so, it’s best to not complicate things.
What you can’t delegate is hiring staff and pitching to investors for instance because you are better positioned to find the right fit for your business and you can sell your company and what it stands for better than anyone else can. Remember, funders always support the person behind the business over and above the idea itself.
The key is hiring the right people with the right expertise that you can empower and delegate to. However, give them some autonomy to do what you hired them to do while staying connected to your overall business so as to notice the warning signs should there be problems.
It is critical that you challenge your current obsession with power, control and comfort as an entrepreneur by applying a multigenerational thinking – which means you have to be willing to hand over the vision you initiate to others. These may well be your staff members, contractors including those you collaborate with. All these people can bring innovative ideas and tools that can catapult your business to greater heights.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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