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Delegation: It's not a dirty word!

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Delegation: It's not a dirty word!

There aren’t enough hours in the day, the quality can never be high enough and no one can deliver what you expect. Fledgling business owners are notoriously bad at letting go and it’s understandable. This project has consumed your thoughts, time, money and for better or worse, has essentially become your life.

There is no off switch, but sometimes that's exactly what you need in order for your business to grow. When you're bogged down in the day to day it’s hard to see the bigger picture. Investing your trust in the right people means you can step back and assess your successes and failures in order to develop a plan for the future.

Delegation is an essential management skill but it doesn’t always come naturally. When entrepreneurs pursue passion projects there is a sense the world is on their shoulders and they are sometimes guilty of being blinded by a very specific vision. The difficulty for many new business owners is articulating that vision to an outsider.

It begins with trust

If you want something doing right...hire the right person! It's simply not feasible to undertake every task yourself. In order to delegate effectivly you need to be able to trust your employees implicitly. Are they the right person for the job? If there's no trust then it’s unlikely you will be able to leave them to the task you've allocated and there's nothing worse than hovering over someone's shoulder criticising. It's a waste of time and energy for you both.

Begin by mapping your ideas out so the other person has a clear view of what they need to do to achieve your vision. They're not a mind reader, so clearly outline your preferences and tell them how and when you want the task completed. Invite questions should they have any. Having a clear understand of the ‘why’ allows your employees to see where they fit in a broader business context. You are a team and you’re achieving together. Define what success will look like and how you will measure it.

Once you’ve established the ‘what’, ‘where’ ‘why’ and ‘how’, leave them to it. Trusting your employees affords them a greater sense of autonomy. This is one of the defining qualities in establishing employee engagement in your business.

People development

Allowing your staff to handle tasks from start to finish is beneficial on many levels. Time is your most valuable resource and delegation is a manageable method of ensuring you have more of it. As a business leader you need to lead, and this means having an accurate and all-encompassing view of your business. Take advantage of the time you save on routine tasks by actively looking for new ways to add value to your business.

Delegation also allows you to develop your staff, motivating and building their skill set to potentially run or handle the business when you are needed elsewhere. Even on a smaller scale, delegating less demanding tasks to new starters builds confidence and competence. Follow up with appropriate feedback to enrich their learning journey.

Additionally other people will possess talents you lack that could further progress your business. Richard Branson recognised this, ultimately growing his multifaceted company to a global success;

“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate. When my friends and I started up Virgin, I knew that I was lacking vital knowledge on some subjects, and so I started learning this skill very early on in my career.”

Delegation: It's not a dirty word!

You're only human

Starting, running and succeeding in any business venture will inevitably become all consuming. This business is your baby and much like bringing a child into the world it can be draining, emotional and overwhelming. It’s your passion and commitment that drives the business forward and if you spread yourself too thinly, it can stunt your businesses productivity and growth. As much as it can be hard, it can be liberating to put your trust in other people.

“After launch, so much of your energy goes to keeping the business afloat as you resolve the unexpected issues connected to developing your product or service, but you must be able to move on from that role, or the business will not grow and thrive in the long run.”

Richard Branson


Erin Heenan

Erin joined Epos Now in 2016 as an in-house content writer for the marketing department, making use of 10 years experience working in busy restaurants. An avid fan of shopping and eating out, she is committed to helping retail and hospitality SMEs get the most out of their businesses.

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