The early days of running a business are truly special. Dreams that were once far removed from reality begin to materialize in front of you, and you start to see a whole new life as a business owner.
But there’s a lot of work to be done in between the time you first get things up and running and when you can finally call yourself a success. And during this time, you’re going to learn a lot about yourself and what it takes to run a successful business.
One of those lessons you’ll eventually learn (and the sooner you do, the better) is that you can’t do everything on your own. Being able to delegate work to others is going to be a big factor in determining your success as an entrepreneur. Here’s a little more about why you need to be paying attention to this skill:
It’ll Make Your Business Better
After the business grows to a certain point, you physically won’t be able to do everything on your own. There simply isn’t enough time! Trying to do more than you can is only going to erode the quality of the work you already do, and your energy to do it. Meaning in the end you get less work that’s worse.
Delegating to other people removes certain tasks from your plate and frees you up to do other things. But delegating doesn’t always mean finding someone on your team to do the job. If none of your employees are qualified or have time, outsourcing is always an option. For example, instead of spending hours and hours managing payroll and making sure you’re paying all your taxes, consider working with a professional employer organization. They can do all this for you more quickly, more easily and for less.
Overall, learning to delegate is synonymous with learning how to run your business better. It requires you to look at which areas of the business need your closest attention, and which can be trusted to other people or other firms, helping to streamline your operation for maximum productivity and efficiency.
There are some things in this world we cannot fight. And one of those is the number of hours in a day. No matter how much we may want to have 26 or even 27 hours instead of just 24, it’s not going to happen. As a result, at some point in our entrepreneurial journey, we’re going to hit a wall where we simply cannot take on more responsibility.
Now, we may not have much choice about this happening, but we do have a choice about how it affects us. For example, if you seriously work on our managerial skills starting right from the beginning, learning how to delegate effectively, then when you reach this point, you will have everything under control. The business will be set up to operate independently of you, meaning growth no longer depends on your expanding workload.
On the other hand, if you don’t prepare for this, then the moment when you realize you can’t do any more may come in the form of a nervous breakdown, or at least some degradation in mental health. It’s critical to have balance, and life has a way of putting things back after they get out of whack. So, it’s best to learn now how to share responsibility so that you can be better prepared when you do finally reach your limit.
It Will Make You a Better Manager
There are many reasons why someone might not like their job, but so many of them connect back to a bad boss. And when people don’t like their jobs, they start to move, which is why a high rate of employee turnover is likely either an indication or result of a poor management culture.
When thinking long-term about your business, you want whatever growth you achieve to be sustainable. And part of this means bringing in and keeping top talent. As such, by working to develop your managerial skills, specifically by focusing on learning how to delegate responsibility, you are doing your part to develop a workplace culture that will keep your most valuable resource, your employees, around.
And there is really only one way to become a good manager: to be a manager. You can take lots of classes and read lots of books, but until you gain some real experience dealing with people, you won’t know what it’s like. By starting early and learning how to delegate, you’re giving yourself some low-stakes managerial practice that will help you develop the skills needed to make the organization continue to be a success as it grows.
It’s Good for Your Mental Health
While it’s certainly important for you to learn how to delegate responsibility so that the business can run more or less without you, don’t ever underestimate your value to its success. After all, it’s based on your ideas and your passion, so there’s always going to be a strong correlation between your success and that of your business.
Taking on too much responsibility and not turning work over to others is going to cause an increase of stress in your life. And stress is at the root of some of today’s most common health problems, including depression, heart disease and obesity.
So, while it’s perhaps fun now to work long into the night and on weekends, know this can’t last. Eventually, as your business grows, these stretches of overworking will become more frequent and more intense, making you less effective overall, and meaning you’ll need to find ways to spread the workload. Otherwise, you and the business as a whole, will suffer.
Shifting responsibilities to others is at first going to seem strange. After likely years of doing everything yourself, you’ll be able to cease worrying about certain things and hone your focus on what you do best. But this is a skill that takes time to learn, so it’s important to proceed in small steps. This way you can see how you react and take steps to get better as you go, making you a far more effective business owner in the future.
Author Bio: Jock is the founder of Digital Exits, an online brokerage service specializing in the buying/selling and appraisal of online businesses. He has been an entrepreneur nearly his entire career, owning two successful businesses before this one in the educational services and cybersecurity industries. He contributes frequently to the discussions about the issues facing the business world today by writing for a variety of different publications.