Scale Your Business through Effective Delegation

Blog Scale Your Business Through Effective Delegation

As the owner or chief executive of your small-to-midsize business, one of your greatest challenges is likely going to be delegation of responsibilities when your business is ready to grow. You have been handling many of the company’s most important functions for years, and your wizardry in these tasks and roles is a major reason for your business’ success.

Now that your company is in growth mode, you must turn your attention to team building. This means you won’t simply be training individuals or teams to take on your former functions; you’ll be building true scale with group knowledge and greater capabilities in your company. The personnel taking over your former tasks and roles will own and grow them. Ultimately, they won’t just be responsible for taking over tasks, but exceeding your expectations while creating new organizational capabilities and expectations.

Merely delegating tasks would mean the way you once did things now constrains the personnel succeeding you and wastes their knowledge and talents. That would be egocentric (yet it’s highly common), and it would create a capability bottleneck in your organization. Much more is possible; this is the growth mentality that leaders of SMBs on the verge of a breakout must foster, and it begins with effective delegation by tasks and roles that you currently assume.

Here’s how to get started:

By Task:

  1. Compile all of the key tasks that you complete, organized by the time frame it takes to complete them.
  2. Define each of the tasks clearly so that anyone reading can understand its purpose and how it is currently done.
  3. Delete tasks that you will continue to take on yourself, which, in most cases, will be executive-level tasks rather than technical tasks.
  4. Divide the tasks into those that are 1) mundane and tedious, that cannot be expanded upon, but also cannot be eliminated, 2) strategic and can be delegated to more skilled personnel with a vision for executing beyond simple instructions, and 3) digital, which can be delegated to software solutions that can automate or streamline the process.
  5. Match the personnel with the right level of skill and experience to complete each task, and whether or not they will need training from you.

By Role:

  1. Describe all of the current functions that you currently control
  2. Ask yourself, which of these roles could someone (or group) take over with about 70% of the level of quality and speed you bring. Remember, perfection is the enemy of progress.
  3. Consider whether there is a difference when you ask which of these roles someone (or a group) should take over. In other words, is there a truly compelling reason why the role should remain yours?
  4. Contemplate whether outsourcing the role to another organization or consultant might bring efficiencies to your business.
  5. Share the “why” and “how” with those who will be assuming your role, so they understand the meaning, context, and specifics that will enable them to be successful. With the “how,” consider that your successor may bring more to the table than you did, so discuss not only how you did it, but how they could do it better.

As you go through these steps, remember that you hired your employees (either directly or through the leaders you also hired). They helped you to achieve the company’s current market position and much of their talents still remain untapped. Delegate with confidence and resist the temptation to micromanage once you do.

Instead, set expectations up front for their performance and mechanisms of accountability. Finally, inspire them! This is a milestone in the history of your company and it should be commemorated with a presentation about your vision and passion for growth, your convictions about your staff’s capabilities, and your excitement as you pass the torch and witness your workforce succeeding in greater challenges.

ECI Staff Contributors

About the Author

ECI Staff Contributors love to share their insights and expertise on a variety of topics including sales, marketing, cloud, ERP, and SMB development as well as on product specific education. With offices throughout the United States, Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, more than 40 employees contribute to blog on a regular basis.