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Six steps to delegating

Entrepreneurs and small business owners often have a hard time delegating to others.  When it’s our business and we’ve invested emotionally into it, it’s hard to let go.  We worry that no-one can understand and care about our business like we do.

If we want to be successful however, we have no choice.

Delegating is critical to a small business.  No one person can do everything and it becomes so easy to get lost in the finer points of things and lose focus on the bigger picture. Small business owners need to be leaders, and part of leading is delegating.

Here are 6 steps for delegating successfully:

1. Know What You Want. 

If you don’t know what you want, how can you expect anyone else to?

2. Express What You Want Clearly.

 It’s important to give people a clear vision of what you want. What are your goals? What do you need done? Give a clear brief.  Remember, the person you are delegating to is not a mind reader. The most important thing is that you express everything you want very clearly.

3. Set Expectations. 

It’s not enough that you’ve told someone what you want. Make sure clear goals and deadlines are set. “This will be successful if X, Y and Z happen.” And, “I need X, Y and Z finished by Friday.” If possible, give each task a priority level.

4. Trust. 

You need to trust those people you delegate to, micro-manage and ask for regular updates.

5. Let Them Do It Their Way. 

You do things your way, and everyone else does it their way.  Trust them and more importantly, provide enough flexibility that they can add their own flavour to the mix. Let them be creative, you might like it.

6. Communicate and Follow-Up. 

Delegating doesn’t mean abandoning someone to do something until it’s complete. You need to communicate throughout and follow-up with people to make sure everything is going smoothly. This isn’t about over-managing or over-analyzing.  Communication is key, setting measurable mini-goals along the way, and carefully but not over-zealously monitoring progress.

Plan, Trust, Delegate

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