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Victoria Munro of Make-it-FlyLet Go and Grow - In Other Words, Delegate!
By Victoria Munro

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Without delegating, you will never work at your maximum efficiency, and you’ll limit the growth of your business. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to spend all their time working very hard in their businesses, but taking little or no time to step back, gain a different perspective and work on their businesses. If you’re overwhelmed, have too much to do and too little time, consider the benefits of delegation.

It’s tempting to put off delegating because you know that it will take even more time initially to explain and teach someone else the process and then to inspect and possibly help them make needed corrections. This can be stressful, and it’s easier to simply do it yourself.

For some, letting go of control is a challenge. It’s especially difficult when you know you can do the job better than anyone else. When you started the business, you probably had to do everything yourself, and you’ve become really good at many things. However, without surrendering control and delegating, your business simply can’t grow to the next level.

Many small business owners feel they can’t afford to delegate, but we’ve watched entrepreneurs discover and implement creative solutions to this problem. Some hired interns from local colleges or high schools, stay-at-home moms during school hours or retirees eager for a part-time position. Others cut expenses in different areas and hired a virtual or part-time assistant or bookkeeper for several hours a month, then watched sales soar because they were able to devote more of their time to working with new and potential clients.

Sometimes, it takes a leap of faith to pay the price and delegate. When Marty Dickinson realized he would never be able to grow his business without delegating more of the workload, he took the plunge and increased the hours of his part-time assistant. “That week, she worked thirty-four hours,” he explained. “And I got more accomplished than I had in the entire month before.” Now Marty is in the process of hiring another full-time employee in order to more quickly develop the company and reach his revenue goals.

Before delegating, take stock of your strengths. Note the areas where you are most productive: your high-payoff activities. Understand your weaknesses—these are often the time-consuming tasks that need to be done, but that you are not good at and probably don’t enjoy. List all the tasks that you do, or ideally should do, each week or each month, and mark those that you could delegate. Then figure out how, when and to whom you’ll delegate them. Aim to surround yourself with capable, talented individuals whose areas of expertise complement your own.

Prior to handing a task off to someone else, make quite sure the job can’t be automated or eliminated altogether.

If You're Ready to Hire, Consider the Following:

Decide exactly what you want to delegate and draft a job description. This should include the needed skills, qualifications, duties, type of training and supervision that will be provided, and where and what hours the candidate will be required to work. Also, specify the main purpose of the job and how this will contribute to the success of the company.
Decide how you will find the new hire. If you plan to advertise online, in the newspaper, professional or trade publications, write an ad for the position. Be sure to tell friends and associates in your network about the type of person you are looking to hire.
Design an application form for candidates to fill out. Make a list of questions you will ask during initial phone conversations and face-to-face interviews, with space to take notes. Remember, it’s unlawful to ask about the applicant's age, sexual orientation, marital status, religious affiliation or race. You will learn a great deal by asking open-ended questions and allowing them to talk.
Screen applicants over the phone, schedule times and interview top candidates face to face.
Complete background checks and call all references (ask for both professional and personal references). It may also be beneficial to request they take a personality assessment.

Don't rush your decision or hire the first person who comes along. The old adage hire slow and fire fast has great merit. Successful delegation is both an art and a skill that can be learned.

While great employees are a valuable asset to your business, those who perform poorly or have pessimistic, unhelpful attitudes can have a negative impact on the entire company and its reputation. Time and energy invested in careful delegation will be well rewarded, enable you to successfully grow your company and enjoy the process.

(769 words)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

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About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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