You won’t be able to eliminate everything overnight but you will see BIG shifts very quickly.
Think of delegating in the context of the 80/20 rule – 20% of the things you let go of will lead to 80% of the results. Over time you will chip away at the 20% that remains… but even if you didn’t you’d be ok.
So, where do you start?
Let me break it down into three steps:
Process – You need to map out your operating process to get a sense of what’s not being done/ what should not be done by you. From there, select the work/ tasks that you must do because they require your specific genius. Be picky about how you choose to spend your time (Would Richard Branson be doing this?). Then evaluate the remaining tasks to see how many other people you need to get them done. Also, take a long look at what can be eliminated all together – especially nonevenue generating tasks.
Plan – Now that you know what you need to hire for, it’s time to plan who and when you’ll hire. Group the tasks that complement each other and use the lists to write job descriptions. Keep in mind that sometimes you can find multiple skills in one person. For example, my assistant graphic designer can also make videos and manage my social media posts. You want to prioritize your hires according to your business objectives. That means you may have 3 positions identified but you start with your first hire. Then when a specific objective is met, you make your next hire. In this ramp up period, you may find yourself doing the work of the missing people, but if you follow the Maker’s schedule, you’ll also have plenty of creative time to drive growth.
I took this to another level by drawing an organizational chart with my role and all the roles of future employees. I matched this against the responsibilities and then prioritized which hires would be most critical for my success.
Integrate – Find and hire your first person. Document the processes and systems as you go, learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward until you’ve built out your whole team.
Reminder: Be fast to fire if they aren’t demonstrating the ability to fill the role you’ve created for them. At the same time you have to be patient with yourself and with them in the first 2 weeks… you’re both learning a new way to work.
Don’t forget to Leverage Technology!
Get a Help desk for managing your business email
No more direct to inbox communication. Everything should go to a centralized inbox where your team (and on a rare occasion you) can respond/ react to messages coming in. Some options include LiveAgent, HelpScout, Zendesk, Freshdesk. Research them and decide on your tool. The best option is the one you actually use.
It took a while to train my clients, and I didn’t want to forward my personal emails to the helpdesk… so whenever they sent me a task that wasn’t for “me”, I forwarded it to the helpdesk and asked them to send it to the helpdesk in the future. They’re getting the hang of it now. If you don’t have a business email ( @your.com) – resolve this ASAP.
Use a Project Management tool
You need to stay on top of your team. After all, you have an objective to achieve, which means you need to measure performance. Don’t skimp on this, and don’t operate on “trust” alone. A PM tool will help you to make sure you’re both on the same page, keep track of progress and allow you to quickly identify communication breakdowns. It’s also great for looking back at old processes and improving them over time.
Use a password management tool
If you’re sharing passwords, use LastPass or Dashlane to distribute sensitive information. That way, you won’t worry about someone you let go being able to access your stuff. If you have to let go of a team member, you take your passwords with you.
Share documents for easy collaboration
Process Street is good for documenting standard operating procedures, but a nice low tech way to do it is with Google Docs. In addition, some help desk tools and project management tools have wiki features that you can make private.
Online Alternatives might help reduce your hiring costs!
Sometimes, the things you want to delegate can be solved without an in-house hire. For example our WordPress management service can help you to eliminate all your websiteelated tasks. Another example is Rev, which is used for transcription services. Hiring an outside company is generally cheaper than bringing on an employee or contractor. It’s great for specialized tasks and short term projects (like audio production which I get done on Fiverr).
This series was born out of my own journey to becoming the CEO, and if you implement the tips I’ve shared, you will be well on your way. I want to leave you with one short reminder of what it means to assume this position and it’s a 4 word manifesto.
The CEO’s Manifesto
It’s about being the visionary, the creative, the dreamer who inspires the team and gives them the fuel to co-create with you so you can do more of your genius and less of everything else.
What’s one thing you can delegate right now?
Might I suggest your WordPress website?