Northwest 1So, you’ve started your business. You’re moving forward, sales are increasing, then boom! You hit a brick wall. Sales have plateaued, you’re doing as much work as you are capable of and may even be turning away business because you believe you can’t complete any additional work. You know you need help, but believe you can’t afford it. Now what? You think, “Do I need a loan? Do I need to hire a person? But, I can’t afford that. Ugh!” The key to moving past your stalled revenues and shortage of time is delegation.

Delegating means to entrust another person with a responsibility that you have typically performed. The hurdle to this action is fear.

  • Fear that the task will not be accomplished or you will lose control of the business (failure)
  • Fear that the task will not be completed as well as if you had done it (quality)
  • Fear that it will cost you too much money to have another person perform the task (money)

How do you get past the fears so you can delegate? First, seek out some professional assistance to ensure that your business is at a point where delegating makes strategic and financial sense. Once you’ve determined that delegating makes sense for your business, decide (1) which tasks can and should be delegated, (2) to whom the tasks can be delegated, and (3) how you will ensure accurate completion of the tasks.

The ultimate goal is to think strategically. If you begin delegating basic tasks to others, this will free up your time to work “on” the business instead of working “in” the business. This, in turn, allows the business to grow, expand and be more successful. Some of the simplest tasks that are commonly delegated in a small business include (1) social media, (2) book keeping, (3) customer service/scheduling/phone calls/e-mails, and (4) labor.

Be patient with yourself and others. Delegating can be a scary step in the progression of making your business more successful. But, keep in mind, you started a business, and that was scary. Now you’re working on making your business work for you, instead of the other way around. This is a growing pain for all small business owners, but it is truly a necessary step for business growth.

Rebecca Lobina
Management and Consulting Professional

The Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) offers free business counseling services to small business firms and individuals regarding issues such as management, marketing and financial analysis. Rebecca Lobina is a seasoned management and consulting professional with SBTDC who has multiple years of experience leading profit driven operations through business process improvement and goal attainment. Her proven record of effective short and long term strategic planning has improved operational processes, team effectiveness and profitability for her clients resulting in over 80 million dollars of economic impact.