Learn How Delegating Tasks Can Improve Your Business
Includes a Free Worksheet To Help You Determine Which Tasks Can be Delegated to an Assistant
In the 15 years I have been in the virtual assistant industry, I have been successful serving most of my clients. When I look back at the clients that we have not had success with, it mostly came down to delegation and communication.
Many entrepreneurs and executives live by the mantra “if you want something done right do, it yourself.” However, most really successful business people will tell you that delegating is the key to success. If you are too occupied by the administrative details of your business, then you are not growing your business.
A friend told me a story of how he had been so hands on and so immersed in administrative tasks that he forgot to concentrate on growing his business. He realized his error, learned how to delegate, started concentrating on what was really important, and low and behold, his business took off.
To delegate or not to delegate
Most corporate executives are good at delegating tasks. Leading a team is part of being an executive. However when an executive leaves a large corporation to start their own business, they are not used to working as if they were every department of the business. Start-Ups are usually pretty lean, so they may not have the funds to hire a full time assistant. The emotional tug of being an entrepreneur may also get in the way of delegating. My friend above said he felt like the only one he trusted was himself. Trust is one of the keys for successful delegating. If you do not trust your assistant, then you will not succeed at delegating. Some executives are very good at delegating and others will just not give up the control. Those that do delegate well trust their assistants and have much more time available to them to grow their business.
“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” — President Ronald Reagan
Communication is the key to trust
An executive who leaves a corporation knows how to communicate. It is part of being a successful executive. In their own business, however, they may forget how to communicate properly or may not know what to communicate. Most entrepreneurs have a vision where they want their company to go. Their team needs to understand this vision in order for everyone to be aligned. Everyone working toward the same goal.
Hiring the wrong assistant can be a double whammy. They do not work up to par and you will stop communicating. This can be a disaster if you hire the wrong employee.
What if you have a new company and can’t afford a full time assistant? These days the answer may be a virtual assistant. With a virtual assistant, you only pay for the time you use. There are also no additional costs attached to hiring someone directly. Benefits can add 25-40% to a base salary. (See my previous post Full Time Employee or Virtual Assistant).
What are the right tasks to delegate?
We all have tasks and projects we “love” working on, and we tend to favors those. This is fine if it is something that you love to do and only you can do it. That is different from tasks that you love to do but are easy to delegate. Break tasks down into these categories:
Keep doing yourself.
- Tasks you love doing that only you can do.
Delegate to others.
- Tasks that you love doing but can easily be done by others. (These are tasks you should be leading on as the passion you have will lift others.)
- Tasks that you do not like doing but find yourself doing. (These are usually tasks involving detail like bookkeeping.)
- Tasks you hate doing and can be easily done by others. (This is a real time waster.)
What are some specific tasks that are easily delegated:
- Schedule Management – It is time consuming to schedule calls and meetings at times that work for everyone’s schedule. They should take the email they received or start an email of who they want to meet with and introduce their assistant to schedule it for them.
- Contact Management – By introducing the assistant in the schedule email, the assistant can confirm that all the contact information for that person is in the executive’s contacts.
- Travel – Very time consuming especially if cost matters. A good assistant knows how to schedule everything the executive needs from the time they leave their home to the moment they return home. Including setting up all the meetings that will take place during their travel. They will make sure that all your FF#’s are there, any TSA precheck is there and send them a minute by minute itinerary of ground and air travel, meetings and hotel accommodations so you can focus on your presentations/meetings.
- Expense Reports – All the executive needs to do is keep receipts and send them to the assistant for the assistant to submit and track the reimbursement.
- Presentations – Write it up and scan or fax it to your assistant so they can make it a powerful presentation in powerpoint.
- Research – Have your assistant do the research for your next presentation so you can take the information and run with it.
- Bookkeeping – Bookkeeping may be the original virtual business and one of the easiest tasks to delegate to a qualified assistant.
Find the right Virtual Assistant Services Company
If you do decide to hire a virtual assistant, you need to make sure you hire the right one. The industry has grown tremendously since I started. There are many virtual assistant companies based off shore offering inexpensive services. The problem is that they are not professional, well trained and knowledgeable, which is what you need from an assistant.
Delegating and communicating can make you much more efficient and help you focus more on what your business needs to grow and prosper. If you would like a free analysis of your business and some recommendations on tasks you could delegate, please contact me here