Transitioning From Entrepreneur to Employer
Small business owners are notorious for multitasking all the time. At the dinner table, in line at the grocery store, and anywhere else where there's Wi-Fi and cell service.
We get it. You're getting things done. But what if there was a better way than constantly trying to solve every single problem? Think of your day-to-day routine as a small business owner. What is it like? Are you answering a million phone calls? Ordering supplies? Refilling the printer?
You're used to doing it all on your own. But in trying to solve every problem, you're putting yourself on a path to exhaustion and burnout. As your business grows, you have to learn how to let go and share responsibilities.
The Power of Delegating
Through delegating, you can scale beyond your own reach. Think about it. If everything in your business depends on you, it will only be able to grow as large as your personal capacity can handle - and everyone has a limit.
While you may be able to handle all of the workload produced by your small business today, what about down the line? A lot can change in a month, not to mention, in a year. The sooner you learn to delegate, the sooner you'll be able to start expanding in a sustainable way. You want your business to be capable of functioning without you. And that begins with seeing delegation as a long-term strategy as opposed to a short-term solution. It is not meant to solely be an immediate solution to an urgent problem. Delegating is a skill to be developed and an ongoing investment.
The best part? Delegating is an investment that always leads to a good return - so long as you do it properly.
How to Delegate Well
As obvious as this may seem, delegating well begins with knowing what tasks can be delegated. Rank your tasks and narrow in on the most critical ones; the ones that only you can do. Not every task can nor should be handed off to someone else.
When the time to pick who will take on a particular responsibility comes, be sure you are taking each of your team members' strengths into account. Assign them in a manner that also helps them develop their skills.
Afterward, you will want to create and implement easy-to-follow, repeatable systems by breaking down the tasks into simple steps. And of course, clearly communicate desired results, goals, and how much autonomy your team member will have. This way, you can transition into being the final stamp of approval as opposed to having to be involved throughout the entire process.
Though it can take some time to teach someone, remember, delegation is an investment as previously mentioned. Once you have taught a team member how to do something, they can perform their task(s) independently, saving you time in the long run.
Letting Go & Checking In
It is okay if your employees do things differently than you. There are various ways to get the job done, so to speak. Therefore, it is possible to uphold your expectations for tasks while still fostering a sense of autonomy for your employees.
Opportunities to grow and learn should be celebrated. You don't have to resort to micromanaging - much to the relief of your team. Instead, your new focus will be coaching them, ensuring their success, which will ultimately aid in your business's success, too.
The art of transitioning from an entrepreneur to an employer isn't as intimidating as it may seem at first glance. In actuality, it boils down to these 3 things:
- Clearly defining procedures and desired outcome(s)
- Regularly checking in with your employees
- Providing support and feedback
In some ways, becoming an employer can be easier than being your own boss. When you're the boss, everything is on you, and it's easy to feel as if you have no one to turn to. You have ultimate responsibility for every choice and decision that's made by anyone involved in your business. But when you transition from entrepreneur to employer, you gain a lot of freedom.
Now, instead of relying solely on yourself and your own skills—and finances—you can help others cultivate their talents so that they can share the burden of success with you.
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