As small business owners we often start out wearing all the hats. Its a way of keeping costs low, control over how everything is done, and testing and refining all the different aspects of our businesses. But there comes a time for many of us where we decide we’re ready to scale and grow our businesses, to see more clients, to earn more money. And part of that journey is realising that we cannot continue to do all of the things!
For many of us we got into business to change lives, to help people, to be in our zones of genius. But what we didn’t realise was all the extra work that comes along with that. One of my favourite quotes from Denise Duffield-Thomas is this “CEO does not mean Chief Everything Officer’!
In this blog I want to help you prepare your business for bringing on a team member, or outsourcing some of the work in your business. Because its time to realise that no one is awesome at everything, and if you really want the business of your dreams you need to start spending more time doing the stuff you are awesome at, and eliminating, automating, or delegating the rest.
In a nutshell I recommend you:
- Things that take time, energy, and money with no return
- Do not add value for your clients
- Don’t HAVE to be done
- Things that need to be done, but don’t really need human involvement e.g.
- Online bookings and appointment reminders
- Invoice reminders
- Social media posting
- Things that cannot be eliminated and automated
- The things you are not awesome at / suck the life right out of you
- Social Media Management
- Posting of blogs
- Creating graphics
- Sending newsletters
- Managing your inbox
Preparing your business for delegating
Step 1 – Work out what to delegate
- Do a big brainstorm of all the tasks in your business, the ones you actually do, the ones you avoid, the ones you want to do but don’t have the time or energy for.
- Review them and assess whether you can eliminate, automate, or delegate
- Once you have the list of things you want to delegate move on to step 2
Step 2 – Document your processes!
Why? Because clearly documented processes
- Set expectations on how you want things to be done
- Make it easy to train and bring on new team members
- Provide consistency of outputs regardless of who is completing the work
- Ensure no steps get forgotten
- Ensure you’re not handing over your power to someone else and have no idea how they’re doing things in YOUR business
- See more info here on how to document your processes
Step 3 – Create a process for managing your tasks and workflows
- This is where a tool such as ClickUp can be very useful
- Think about how you are going to plan out your week or your month?
- How will you assign work to your team and track completion?
- What are your regular recurring tasks? when do they need to be done? and who will do them?
- Team meetings and communication (email, Slack, messenger)
Step 4 – Be clear on the type of person you want
- What skills they need (which will be determined by the tasks)
- Hours of availability you require
- Location (this may or may not be important to you)
Step 5 – Determine your budget
- How much do you have to spend
- How many hours per week / month do you need someone for?
- You may need to do a bit of refining here if what you need is more than you can afford. If you’re not sure what tasks to pick first I say start with the ones you hate the most!
Step 6 – Commence the search
- Ask around – usually people will have recommendations for you
- Check out UpWork, Air Tasker or Fiverr
Step 7 – Contracts
Contracts set good boundaries and are a good foundation for a strong business relationship.
- As a service provider running their own business, most professionals (VA, Bookkeeper, Social Media Manager) will have their own contract for the work they will do for you
- Or if you go via a service like UpWork they will have terms and conditions in place
- Ensure you are familiar with the terms and what it means for your business
- If you need help I suggest a chat with Michelle Whitehead
Step 8 – Onboard and Train
People are not mind readers, and every business owner has their own way of doing things. So make sure you take the time to onboard your new team members into your business.
- Explain what you do and how you work with people. Context is always helpful for people and it helps them feel part of the bigger scheme of things in your business.
- Be clear about what work you want them to do, and how you want it done (use your process documents)
- Train them on how to do the work – don’t just expect them to know
- Be open to feedback from them (which you may choose to take on or not) about improvements or suggestions
Step 9 – Review and refine
As always make sure you’re taking the time to review and refine things on a regular basis.
- What is working well?
- What could be improved?
- Are your team a good fit for your business?
- Are there more tasks you could delegate to them?