Scaling Your Business: Delegating Work to Freelancers Without Anxiety
How much time are you wasting per week?
A study from Inc.com found that we are losing an average of 21.8 hours per week because of handling low value emails, constant interruptions throughout the workday, and putting out preventable fires, oh, and the non-productive meetings! AHHHH!
We need to reclaim our time and do the work that is most valuable to growing the company. We don’t want the CEO out shoveling the parking lot. Sure they can do it, but is that what is best for the company? Finding the right teammates is essential to an organization’s health.
Know when it’s time to hire
So, how do you know when you are ready to hire? Well, the short answer is, if you have started making money, you are ready. But, really, it comes down to that balance of: “can you afford to do it?” versus “can you afford not to do it?”
You can hire too quickly and deplete your savings quickly. If you wait too long, you can get bogged down and not be able to fulfill orders quick enough which doesn’t work either. When you get to the point where your business and orders outweigh your time (also taking into account the fact you are doing so much other stuff in the business like content creation) you need to consider delegating. You may be afraid to entrust tasks to new people and I get it, but every successful business has a team behind it.
Working alone is very hard, so finding one part-time contractor can go a long way to scale your business, keep your overhead low, and your to-do list short.
Define your top five tasks
Begin by jotting down your top five tasks that you perform on any given day/week/month.
Let’s say it is:
- Answering email
- Reading mail and paying bills
- Managing your team
- Working with your vendors
- Sales phone calls
Which of these items can only YOU specifically do? Go ahead and pick apart each item and figure out how to do them smarter, faster, or not at all. And by that I mean, delegate or cut out of your role.
1. Answering email
Different types of emails you’re receiving and responding to.
Could this job be done by someone else? Or even just parts of this job?
2. Reading mail and paying bills
How much mail is coming in?
How many tasks are generated by incoming mail?
Could this job be done by someone else?
3. Managing your team
How much time do you spend managing your team?
Are there ways you could improve efficiency? For example, instead of fielding 5, 10-minute meetings a week based on specific situations, schedule time on a recurring basis and touch base with each team member to answer any questions or concerns. This is also a great way to keep an eye on what your team is doing without micromanaging.
Could someone else do this job? Probably not, but adding a project manager or other management role might help you save time!
4.Working with your vendors
How often do you spend time working with vendors?
How many tasks are you managing after each vendor call?
Could you hire help to manage vendor relations and project management?
5. Sales phone calls
How many calls do you take each week?
Is there a way to have different team members field different topics?
The answers to each of these questions will differ depending on your business and preferences. Take the time to look in depth at your daily tasks and ensure that the work you are doing fits into what you are best at and also love to do. This will keep you motivated when life as a business owner gets tough.
What Can You Delegate?
So, what are the tasks that you can delegate to team members or contractors that don’t need your direct attention and still move forward with your guidance? Is it bookkeeping? Maybe hiring a project manager would help? Maybe hiring an administrative assistant to answer calls and emails, based upon your guidance, would cut down on time. You may love social media but you hate sales.
Focus more on what you’re good at and less on spreading yourself thin with tasks that you don’t enjoy or that you know could be done better by someone else. Hire someone trained in sales psychology to do this for you. Give them a Calendly with a schedule and route all your prospective clients to them. For each sale they close, offer them a slice of the commission. Now you’ve got a business system in place that may increase your profits and decrease your stress.
Hate social media? Hire a social media manager. This person can spend all the time you don’t have researching trends, hashtags, coming up with ideas, and posting for you. If you don’t like the time it takes to edit, create your content and then outsource it to an editor to chop up into YouTube and TikTok videos. There is someone out there for everything. A good business leader can recognize their strengths as well as their weaknesses and know when and where to delegate tasks that could be done better and quicker by someone else.
What if taking too much of your time is reading mail and paying bills? Having an assistant could help move these tasks along. You could still sign the checks giving you some control, with less busy work.
Virtual Assistants are a wonderful tool to have today and you can hire them on an as-needed basis from anywhere in the world. Even better? VAs are often niched down, like any other profession. Need someone who can help edit photos? Find that VA. Need a VA who is also a social media manager? They’re out there. Know what you need, and look for it from the start to ensure success.
Or hiring a director of sales, or sales associate could help get those cold calls off of your plate, and, with proper training, could start to deliver warmer leads for you to close. Or as mentioned above, they can close it for you.
Recognize your strengths and if this is not one of them hire someone who is better at it so you can close more sales.
Social media manager
With this role outsourced, you can still be the one to make the content, but leave it to someone else who can manage the postings, comments, hashtags, and that will break you away from all of the time and attention social media can suck out of your day.
How to hand over tasks with less anxiety
Delegating your tasks to others can be a hard thing to do. I have a saying that you can use to help hand over your process to a team member with ease for both you and them. After some time you will establish trust, accountability and responsibility within your team and be able to hand off tasks more easily knowing they will get done on time and to your standards.
Go write this on your dry erase board:
I do, you watch.
I do, you help.
You do, I help.
You do, I watch.
This is a way to slowly handover a task or role to someone else without overwhelming them, and giving you the chance to communicate your beliefs and strategies to that with which you want to hand over.
After a while, you can follow up with them and double-check that they are representing your work. And if you hired the right person, they might even enhance your process, or come up with a more effective way that you hadn’t even considered.